Philadelphia, PA—Today, at the 75th Scientific Congress and Expo of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, researchers presented a study of families of gestational carriers (GCs) in which they found that the majority of GCs’ children surveyed reported positive emotions about the surrogacy experience.
Families were recruited to participate in the survey via surrogacy websites and forums. Members of families who elected to participate received mailed packets of detailed questionnaires, including a specific instrument designed for the children to complete.
Twenty-three children expressed predominantly favorable emotions about their experience, citing feelings of excitement, curiosity, surprise and pride, with 74% saying that the experience had a positive impact on their life. The children scored within normal values for behavioral adjustment, freedom from anxiety and overall happiness.
Scores on the Family Assessment Measure III showed a measure of defensiveness in the parents’ ratings greater than that seen in the children’s ratings, and the children’s ratings reflected greater familial dysfunction than the parents’, though still within the normal range.
Overall, families reported relative strengths: nurturing and supportive involvement among family members and congruent values within the family, as well as relative weaknesses: lack of agreement on roles in the family and problems with problem-solving strategies.
“We advise counseling for individuals and families considering participating in GC arrangements, but little is known about the way these experiences affect the functioning of families and their impact on children. This study, while small, demonstrates that GCs’ families function well and the experience of having their moms carry a child for another family can be a positive one for GCs’ children,” said Hugh Taylor, MD, Vice-President of ASRM.
P-687 Riddle et al, The Psychological Impact of Surrogacy on the Families of Gestational Carriers: Implications for Clinical Practice
ASRM is a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to the advancement of the science and practice of reproductive medicine. The Society accomplishes its mission through the pursuit of excellence in education and research and through advocacy on behalf of patients, physicians, and affiliated health care providers. The Society is committed to facilitating and sponsoring educational activities for the lay public and continuing medical education activities for professionals who are engaged in the practice of and research in reproductive medicine. www.asrm.org