Men Having Babies Research Article Library


MHB is collaborating with researchers worldwide to encourage and support research to contribute to our understanding of surrogacy and gay parenting. In addition, the effective dissemination of research findings is of vital importance. Below you will find a library of exiting academic studies and reviews. They have been assembled for the most part by the International Surrogacy Research Group led by Dr. Nicola Carone of the University of Pavia, Italy. Also assisting in the effort are Dr. Henny Bos (University of Amsterdam), Dr. Ellen Lorenceau (University Paris Diderot, CRPMS), Dr. Luis Moya-Albiol (Universitat de València), Dr. Loes van Rijn - van Gelderen (University of Amsterdam), and Dr. Mary Riddle (The Pennsylvania State University).

Please feel free to send us suggestions for additional studies to include in the library.

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Medical and Mental Health Implications of Gestational Surrogacy and Trends in State Regulations on Compensated Gestational Surrogacy

As the New York State legislature considers legalizing compensated gestational surrogacy this legislative session, this report provides insight into (1) the impact of surrogacy on the medical and mental health of women who become surrogates and the children born through gestational surrogacy, and (2) how other state legislatures have addressed compensated gestational surrogacy in recent years.

Categories: OUTCOMES FOR ALL PARTIES INVOLVED
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Gay Fathers by Surrogacy: Prejudice, Parenting, and Well-Being of Female and Male Children

This research focused on behavioral functioning of children conceived via gestational surrogacy and raised by gay fathers. Children of gay fathers received significantly lower scores on internalizing (anxiety, depression) and externalizing (aggression, rule-breaking) than children in the comparison sample. Most notably, daughters of gay fathers had significantly lower internalizing scores than did daughters in the national database. Results are discussed in terms of gay and heterosexual parents’ gender-related socialization of daughters’ internalizing problems and the impact of minority stress on same-sex couples’ parenting.

Categories: OUTCOMES FOR ALL PARTIES INVOLVED WELL-BEING OF SURROGACY CHILDREN OF GAY FATHERS
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Child attachment security in gay father surrogacy families: Parents as safe havens and secure bases during middle childhood

Child attachment security and utilization of parents as safe havens and secure bases were compared in 33 surrogacy children with gay fathers and 37 donor-conceived children with lesbian mothers during middle childhood. Findings indicated that children of gay fathers perceived high attachment security and their scores did not differ from those of children with lesbian mothers or from normative scores of children with heterosexual parents. Children used the primary attachment figure more as a safe haven and the secondary attachment more as a secure base, though they reported high levels of both types of support from both parents.

Categories: OUTCOMES FOR ALL PARTIES INVOLVED WELL-BEING OF SURROGACY CHILDREN OF GAY FATHERS
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Parents' relationship with their surrogate in cross-border and domestic surrogacy arrangements: comparisons by sexual orientation and location

Objective

To study heterosexual and gay couples' relationship with their surrogate and their disclosure decisions when the surrogacy arrangement was completed domestically compared with internationally.

Result(s)

Parents who had surrogacy in the UK and United States felt very involved in the pregnancy compared with those who had surrogacy in Asia. Couples whose surrogacy was completed in Asia were less likely to want contact with their surrogate after the birth and were also less likely to have any current contact with the surrogate. Parents who had surrogacy in the UK and United States described positive relationships with their surrogate. Gay couples intended to tell their child about surrogacy more than heterosexual couples.

Categories: EXPERIENCES OF SURROGACY DISCLOSURE OF SURROGACY ORIGINS
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“Not my child to give away”: A qualitative analysis of gestational surrogates’ experiences

Question

What are the experiences of gestational surrogates along the surrogacy pathway?

Findings

Seven main themes, and eighteen interrelated sub-themes grouped under the pre-, during, and post-surrogacy stages were identified. Many surrogates viewed surrogacy as a positive experience and as something meaningful and impactful to other people’s lives. Most surrogates had harmonious relationships with their intended parents and maintained on-going contact with the surrogacy family post birth.

Categories: MOTIVATIONS FOR SURROGACY MOTIVATIONS OF SURROGATES
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Cross‐border surrogacy: Experiences of heterosexual and gay parents in Sweden

Introduction

Surrogacy is a controversial method of assisted reproduction that is not permitted in many countries. While there is some evidence that families following surrogacy seem to fare well, there is limited knowledge about the experiences of parents who turn to cross‐border surrogacy. The aim of the present study was therefore to investigate the experiences of heterosexual parents and gay fathers who chose cross‐border surrogacy to have a child.

Results

All couples but one were still living together and had a child (3 months to 5 years). Parenting stress levels were generally low and were not related to sexual orientation. While almost all parents were open about the child’s mode of conception in contacts with health care, gay fathers were significantly more open about using surrogacy in contacts with preschool (P = 0.004) and child recreational activities (P = 0.005) compared with heterosexual parents. A majority described being treated positively or “as any other parent” in these contexts.


Categories: OUTCOMES FOR ALL PARTIES INVOLVED PSYCHOLOGICAL OUTCOMES FOR GAY FATHERS
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A limited market: the recruitment of gay men as surrogacy clients by the infertility industry in the USA

I investigate the surrogacy industry in the USA to ask how welcome gay men are in this market. A minority of gay-friendly clinics and agencies, which cluster geographically, actively recruit gay men, creating a limited but niche market. The unequal recruitment of gay men as infertility clients reflects how normative ideas about gender, sexuality and social class are reproduced in the infertility industry. This, in turn, may impact gay men's procreative consciousness and decision-making about parenting, and exacerbate inequalities around their access to intentional genetic parenthood.

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Italian gay father families formed by surrogacy: Parenting, stigmatization, and children’s psychological adjustment

Forty Italian gay father families formed by surrogacy were compared with 40 Italian lesbian mother families formed by donor insemination, all with a child aged 3 to 9 years. The only differences across family types indicated higher levels of stigmatization as reported by gay fathers. Externalizing and internalizing problems in both groups scored within the normal range. Findings suggest that the practice of surrogacy by gay men has no adverse effects on child health outcomes. Implications for our theoretical understanding of child socialization and development, and law and social policy, are discussed.

Categories: OUTCOMES FOR ALL PARTIES INVOLVED WELL-BEING OF SURROGACY CHILDREN OF GAY FATHERS
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Same-Sex and Different-Sex Parent Families in Italy: Is Parents' Sexual Orientation Associated with Child Health Outcomes and Parental Dimensions?

Objective: 

Seventy gay fathers through surrogacy, 125 lesbian mothers through donor insemination, and 195 heterosexual parents through spontaneous conception, all with children aged 3 to 11 years and living in Italy, were compared on children's psychological adjustment and prosocial behavior, as well as parental self-efficacy, dyadic adjustment, family cohesion, and flexibility. Associations among family structures, family processes, and child health outcomes were also tested.

Conclusion: 

Findings suggested that children with same-sex parents fare well both in terms of psychological adjustment and prosocial behavior. The present study warns policy makers against making assumptions on the basis of sexual orientation about people who are more suited than others to be parents or about people who should or should not be denied access to fertility treatments.

Categories: OUTCOMES FOR ALL PARTIES INVOLVED WELL-BEING OF SURROGACY CHILDREN OF GAY FATHERS
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Parenting and the Adjustment of Children Born to Gay Fathers Through Surrogacy

Findings are presented on a study of 40 gay father families created through surrogacy and a comparison group of 55 lesbian mother families created through donor insemination with a child aged 3–9 years. Standardized interview, observational and questionnaire measures of stigmatization, quality of parent–child relationships, and children's adjustment were administered to parents, children, and teachers. Children in both family types showed high levels of adjustment with lower levels of children's internalizing problems reported by gay fathers. Irrespective of family type, children whose parents perceived greater stigmatization and children who experienced higher levels of negative parenting showed higher levels of parent‐reported externalizing problems. The findings contribute to theoretical understanding of the role of family structure and family processes in child adjustment.

Categories: OUTCOMES FOR ALL PARTIES INVOLVED WELL-BEING OF SURROGACY CHILDREN OF GAY FATHERS
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