The reaction of children after disclosure of their surrogacy origins

Implication and application of the surrogacy program have increased in recent days. Currently, many families build by taking assistance from surrogacy, but very few bother about the long-term outcome of these families after born of the child through surrogacy.

parent child relation

Firstly, the pursuance of surrogacy is a very controversial topic. Some countries legally accept it, like the UK, where surrogates get only reasonable expenses for their service. Whereas, at the same time surrogacy is illegal in some other European countries like Spain, France, Germany, and Italy. Other countries also have specific regulations to use this process.

Like, only married infertile couples can use surrogacy in Israel and the surrogate mother must be single or divorced. This whole process is authorized and supervised by a public committee in Israel. In India recently commercial surrogacy has banned and only altruistic surrogacy allowed. Very few USA states allow commercial surrogacy.  Therefore, lots of variations are there to pursue surrogacy.

People often interested to know about the relationship between the surrogate mother and the resultant child. Surrogate may be known to intended parents or met through a surrogate agency or mutual friend. The child born through traditional, partial or straight surrogacy has a genetic relationship with surrogate. However, no genetic connection builds up between child and surrogate in gestational surrogacy.

Surrogate acts as a host who carries the child during the gestational period and delivers the child after completion of the full-term. Both genetic and gestational surrogacy are pursuing in IVF clinic with artificial insemination sperm (either from intended father or donor). The embryo can be created by the fertilization of gametes collected from either intended parents or donors in case of gestational surrogacy.

In British surrogacy, the system allows building a strong relationship between the surrogate mother and the intended parents during the surrogacy pregnancy because no commercial surrogacy agency works for them. Surrogate and intended parents have direct contact.

They particularly give strain to maintain the relationship between the surrogate and the intending mother rather than intending father. The positive relationship provides the boost to surrogate mothers to involve in this process morally and seriously serve her job for a successful pregnancy. In certain surrogacy, intended parents continue the relationship with surrogate mothers even after childbirth. 

In 2000, a longitudinal study had conducted to evaluate the quality of the relationship between parent and child by taking follow up to age 10 of a child in 42 families build-up through the surrogacy process.  This study result showed that most children who were aware of their surrogacy conception able to show some understanding of surrogacy by age 7 years. Whereas, children born through gamete donation showed little understanding of surrogacy by age 7 years. This indicates surrogacy is more understandable for children than other assisted reproductive techniques.

Most of the children liked their surrogate mother who had in contact with her and showed a positive attitude towards their born through surrogacy at the age of 10 years. However, children who knew the fact that they are born through donor insemination from their childhood usually had positive or neutral feelings at their age of 8 and continue the same attitude at their adolescent age.

The researcher of this study had found that keeping contact with surrogates maintained a good relationship over 10 years of the child born. But the frequency of contact may decrease over time. But restriction of the intended parents’ family to meet with surrogate mothers may hurt the relationship with the child. In the case of known surrogates like close relatives, or friends may take a deliberate attempt to meet the child, which is especially common in case of genetic-link surrogacy. However, the long term relationship yet now not evaluated.     

Maintain direct contact with surrogate after childbirth is easier in local surrogacy, but this may not be possible in cross broader surrogacy or surrogate belongs to another language in which surrogacy agency is the only bridge of contact.

There is a lot of debate on commercial surrogacy. But the impact of disclosure of non-commercial surrogacy to a child is unknown.  This may create an emotional attachment of the child towards surrogate mothers when he/she aware of only altruistic motivations for helping their parents is the only reason to pursue surrogacy. Above all, experts always suggest disclosing the truth of the birth of a child is always provide a positive impact on the long-term relationship.

Read Also: Surrogacy Pregnancy and Challenges

Reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3442632/

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