Thursday, August 20, 2009

Surrogate children are psychologically well: study

It's always nice when mainstream articles can allay some fears that someday my child might have a total mental breakdown because of all this surrogacy and donor egg business. I worry my kid might have some sort of intense identity crisis, but what person doesn't go through identity issues? If it isn't about genetics, it can be about a whole assortment of things- gender, race, culture, career, sex, marriage, the whole gamut that life throws at you. Who's to say my kid is more likely to be a serial killer or go on a shooting rampage at their high school? But of course as a nervous mother-to-be, I google every once in a while to see what's out there on the subject. So when I found this article, it was reassuring to see this opening paragraph:

"Children born to a surrogate mother or conceived through donated sperm or a donated egg do just as well psychologically as counterparts who are naturally conceived, a study unveiled on Sunday said."

Usually I cringe when I see an article on surrogacy or donor egg because inevitably it's about a celebrity, or it's got nasty maniac comments posted after the article, or it's just sensational nonsense. But after starting this article I continued to read on:

"We found that the family types did not differ in the overall quality of the relationship between mothers and their children and fathers and their children," Casey said.

Mothers who had had their child through surrogacy and egg donation tended to be more sensitive to their child's worries and anxieties compared with donor insemination mothers and natural conception mothers, but the difference was minor, she added.

As for the child's view of family relationships, children of all backgrounds placed their mother or father in the closest circle with the same frequency.

There was no significant difference between family types when it came to self-esteem."

I am sure there are many arguments out there that try to say the opposite of this article. I have read about children of donor parents feeling angry about not being told the truth. I have read about donor kids feeling orphaned by no knowledge of the donor. I have read some moral and religious arguments that make me gage even as I write these words acknowledging their existence. But I can only work with the life I can give this child. The only thing in my power is to make sure this child is loved completely and truthfully. So I am putting aside all my past fertility cluster fucks and believing that this kid is going to be okay. After all that ruminating about chromosomal problems, we decided to just do the AFP blood work. If that comes out bad we'll consider an amnio but at this point we aren't planning on one. We'll just have to run on faith that not only will this kid dodge the down's syndrome bullet, but to the best of our abilities will also be "psychologically well."

FOR FULL ARTICLE GO TO: Surrogate Children are psychologicaly well; study - AFP


Spiritual Dan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FET Accompli said...

I have also read (please don't quote me, but it was something like this) that parents of children through surrogacy are sometimes more positive about their role as parents than other parents (possibly because of all we have gone through to get where we are - or perhaps because we don't have post partum depression - who knows).

I like ET, think those initials are cute:-)

Caba said...

Yeah, I think that children of surrogacy (or donor eggs/sperm) are no different than children that are the parents biologically, or children that are adopted, or children that are born after having good ole fashioned sex, or children born after IVF.

IMO, it's the raising of the children that makes all the difference in how the children end up, and it's not in the genetics. I have no doubt that my sisters kids are going to be happy and well adjusted. I also hate reading most surrogacy articles. I feel like they show the process in a bad light too much, especially considering that anyone that has been on either side of the process knows how emotionally draining and NOT easy the process is.

Infertile In the City said...

Great! Our chilren won't be f*ed up (or not any more than we are). I am beginning to get to the point where I don't even understand why people tell their kids that they were born via IVF (if they got pregnant after a week long orgy would they tell their kid that?). Totally off topic rant there.sorry bout that.
just glad that a study came out that makes sense(after all no one would work this hard to have children and not take grat care of them).

Meg. said...


Thanks for stopping by my blog! Although, I have to admit that I've been silently stalking your blog for a couple months now. Shhhh, don't tell anyone. =)

I'm so thrilled for the arrival of your sweet baby! I know this has been a long, maddening, confusing, exciting road for you, and I wish you nothing but HAPPINESS.

And thank you for this post! I'll admit that, at times, I've thought, "What if this whole GS thing actually works? What will my child think?" It's comforting to know that my possible future offspring will be just fine. =)

luna said...

good to find a study like that.

with adoption, any behavioral issue is often attributed to the fact that the child was adopted, which is annoying, though there ARE some real issues to be aware of.

btw, you probably already know this, but the AFP is not entirely accurate and is known for giving false positives with cause for concern when there is no problem. happened to me.

TABI said...

Thanks Luna, yeah I've been warned of the false positives. We are hoping we get a good result and not have to think about this anymore, but more than likely we will not do an amnio either way.

Beegirl said...

Luna "with adoption, any behavioral issue is often attributed to the fact that the child was adopted, which is annoying, though there ARE some real issues to be aware of."

On behalf of adoptees everywhere I want to apologize for having issues caused by the trauma of being separated from our mothers. That must be really annoying for you.

Please tell me that you aren't looking for positive studies to make yourself feel better. You need to take everything into account. Not having biological ties, whether through egg donation, sperm donors or adoption is very difficult. Yes, a lot kids have identity issues at some point in their lives but for the children with the above history, it is way more complicated.