Surrogacy disclosure to Children is more common among ART opting parents

The surrogacy opting intended parents belief disclosure to their children than other ART opting parents

The decision to opt assisted reproductive technology (ART) depending upon the infertile couple’s requirement recommended by the doctor is a very tough situation for them. It may be egg donation, donor insemination, and surrogacy. But these couples have also faced a challenge about the decision making on whether they disclose or not tell the child about his/her birth history. This dilemma is ongoing even after several years of childbirth, though the parents are very much confident about their decision.

surrogate Baby and Parent: a day on the beach

Research findings reported among different ART, parents who opt surrogacy have shown more interest to share the birth history with their child. Donor insemination parents are least interested in it. Egg donation parents have also shown quite a similar outlook like donor insemination parents.  

The female fertility issue is the main cause of both egg donation and surrogacy procedure. But the surrogacy parents have experienced a unique situation which is different from both the gamete donation cases. In gestational surrogacy, both intended parents may have genetic relation with their, which cannot be possible in a child born through gamete donation.

In surrogacy, it is difficult to explain how the child arrives without pregnancy to their family, relatives and friend circle. Therefore, disclosure is very common in surrogacy within the family and known person which increases the risk of accidental disclosure to the child. Intended parents never want to face such an uncomfortable situation which can create obstacles between parent-child bonding.

In surrogacy disclosure, no need to explain to the child about the role of egg and sperm donation or sex education and the child also easily understand the situation without an understanding of complications of infertility issues. Intended parents use terminologies that are easily a child can understand like ‘broken tummies’, etc. Considering all these points, researchers have concluded from their study that disclosure is quite earlier usually within 7 years of child age in surrogacy than gamete-donation parents.

Read Also: Secrecy or disclosure to children born through Surrogacy 

However, it is also important to mention that there is a difference between genetic and gestational surrogacy information disclosure. For gestational surrogacy, intended parents have to tell that another woman only carries their baby. But in genetic surrogacy, intended parents also have to disclose that the child has a genetic relationship with the surrogate. However, in both surrogacy techniques, the disclosure pattern is the same. Intended parents who opt the genetic surrogacy have disclosed the genetic relationship at the right age of the child. 

Disclosure at an early age is difficult in case of gamete donation because a child is unable to understand the consequences of childbirth. The habit of hiding anything for a long time leads to difficulty for intended parents to disclose the information about the birth history. Even a child may also astonish and face a difficult situation to accept the truth about the non-genetic connection with father or mother.

Read Also: The reaction of children’s after Surrogacy Disclosure

In genetic surrogacy, some intended parents and child relationships also face the same type of situation as gamete donation. Researchers have found three contending strategies for the management of genetic origins, which are full secrecy; disclose the conception method without disclosing donor identity and complete disclosure. However, in a practical instance, intended parents have persuaded different layer of disclosure depending upon the situational demand. 

Reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3155651/

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