By Emma Innes
- Children struggle to cope with the idea that they were carried by a woman other than their mother
- But have less difficulty with the thought that they are not biologically related to the people bringing them up
- Children carried by a surrogate are more likely to display behavioural and emotional problems
But children have less problems coping with the idea that they were conceived using a donor egg and sperm and are not related to their parents.
The study suggests that children find it more difficult to handle the idea that they were carried by another woman than that they are not biologically related to their parents.
For the study, which was carried out by the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge, the researchers followed 30 families who had used a surrogate, 31 that had used egg donation, 35 that had used donor sperm, and 53 that had conceived naturally.
They surveyed the mothers when their children were three, seven and ten in an attempt to establish how well adjusted the children were.
Today reports that the children conceived using donor eggs and sperm were as well adjusted as those conceived naturally, but that children carried by a woman other than their mother struggled more.
Professor Susan Golombok who led the research explained to Today that ‘signs of adjustment problems could be behaviour problems, such as aggressive or antisocial behaviour, or emotional problems, such as anxiety or depression’.
She added: ‘Adolescence is a potentially difficult for those born through egg or sperm donation or surrogacy.
‘We hope to revisit the children next year when they are 14 years-old, as issues to do with identity become important in adolescence. This is also a time when relationships with parents can become more difficult.’
The findings come a time when surrogacy is increasing rapidly.
According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the number of babies conceived in the U.S. using a donated egg increase by more than 30 per cent between 2004 and 2011.
In the same time period, the number of births involving a surrogate rose by 200 per cent from 530 to 1,179.
It is not known how many births result from sperm donations but it is thought there could be between 30,000 and 60,000 a year in the U.S.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2344362/Surrogate-born-children-likely-suffer-depression-carried-real-mother.html#ixzz2YZCyUJmS
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As someone who is searching for studies done about surrogacy, this is the first one that I've seen. I'll be interested to see what information they find as the children of the surrogacies get older. It seems as though it would be prudent for the District of Columbia, as well as any state trying to pass legislation legalizing surrogacy that they should first be doing studies on the products of surrogacy already in the world.