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The Psychological Wellbeing of ART Children: What Have We Learned From 40 Years of Research?
Our understanding of what makes a family has changed dramatically in recent decades due to advances in reproductive technology accompanied by changing social attitudes. But what has the impact been on children? This article presents a summary of research on parent–child relationships and the psychological adjustment of children in families created by assisted reproduction. The findings show that families with lesbian mothers, gay fathers, and single mothers by choice, and families created by donor conception and surrogacy, are just as likely to flourish as traditional families, and sometimes more so, although the children from these families will sometimes face prejudiced attitudes from others. It is concluded that the quality of family relationships and the wider social environment matter more for children's psychological wellbeing than the number, gender, sexual orientation, or biological relatedness of their parents.
Understanding Parenting Intentions Among Childfree Gay Men: A Comparison With Lesbian Women and Heterosexual Men and Women
Introduction: There is a growing interest in the parenting intentions of gay men. Prior research has found that gay men are less likely to become parents compared to their heterosexual and lesbian peers, but we know very little about why this discrepancy exists. Our first aim was to investigate whether the strength of parenting intentions is similar or different among childfree gay men compared to lesbian women, and heterosexual men and women. Our second aim was to explore the extent to which the theory of planned behavior (TPB) model (attitude, subjective norms, and self-efficacy) is universal in predicting the strength of parenting intentions across gender and/or sexual orientation.
Postdelivery adjustment of gestational carriers, intended parents, and their children
This review examines research on the psychological adjustment of surrogates and their children. It then presents findings from studies assessing parents’ psychological health and parent–child relationships, and children’s adjustment within families formed through surrogacy. Finally, it examines how children born through surrogacy feel about their birth and toward their surrogate. Overall, studies have shown good psychological outcomes for surrogates, parents, and children, but research is still very limited, particularly in relation to the geographical location of the research, the ages of the children studied, and the lack of longitudinal projects.
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.
Children’s Exploration of Their Surrogacy Origins in Gay Two-Father Families: Longitudinal Associations With Child Attachment Security and Parental Scaffolding During Discussions About Conception
The present study examined the separate and combined influences of child attachment security and parental scaffolding (i.e., fathers’ attempts to accept, encourage, and emotionally support their children’s expression of thoughts and feelings) during discussions about conception on children’s exploration of their surrogacy origins in 30 Italian children born to gay fathers through gestational surrogacy. Linear mixed models (LMMs) for longitudinal data indicated that, with higher levels of parental scaffolding, only children who perceived greater attachment security reported greater exploration of their surrogacy origins.
Pathways to Fatherhood: Psychological Well-Being Among Israeli Gay Fathers Through Surrogacy, Gay Fathers Through Previous Heterosexual Relationships, and Heterosexual Fathers
This study explored differences in psychological well-being as assessed by life satisfaction, parenthood satisfaction, depressive symptoms and the Big Five personality dimensions among 219 Israeli fathers. After controlling for sociodemographic characteristics, gay fathers through surrogacy reported greater satisfaction with parenthood, greater satisfaction with their lives, and reported higher levels of extraversion when compared to heterosexual fathers.
Desire for Parenthood in Context of Other Life Aspirations Among Lesbian, Gay, and Heterosexual Young Adults
There were three main findings. First, while lesbian/gay individuals were less likely than heterosexual participants to express desire for parenthood, desires in the other future domains did not vary across sexual orientation. Lesbian/gay participants were as likely as heterosexual individuals to desire marriage, friendships, and community connections, as well as career and economic success. Results for expectations were, however, very different. Lesbian/gay participants were less likely than heterosexual individuals to expect that they would marry, become parents, feel connected to a community, achieve meaningful careers, live in their ideal housing, or that they would attain financial stability. Overall, for lesbian/gay young adults, low parenthood aspirations were part of a general pattern of low expectations (though not reduced desires) across a number of life domains.
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.
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.