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The psychological wellbeing of ART children: what have we learned from 40 years of research?

Accepted version
Peer-reviewed

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Article

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Abstract

Our understanding of what makes a family has changed dramatically in recent decades due to advances in reproductive technologies accompanied by changing social attitudes. But what has the impact been on children? This article presents a summary of research on parent-child relationships and the psychological adjustment of children in families created by assisted reproduction. The findings show that families with lesbian mothers, gay fathers, and single mothers by choice, and families created by donor conception and surrogacy, are just as likely to flourish as traditional families, and sometimes more so, although the children from these families will sometimes face prejudiced attitudes from others. It is concluded that the quality of family relationships and the wider social environment matter more for children's psychological wellbeing than the number, gender, sexual orientation, or biological relatedness of their parents.

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Keywords

Child adjustment, Donor conception, Gay fathers, Lesbian mothers, Parent-child relationships, Single mothers by choice, Surrogacy, Child, Humans, Mental Health, Parent-Child Relations, Reproductive Techniques, Assisted, Research, Surrogate Mothers

Journal Title

Reprod Biomed Online

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

1472-6483
1472-6491

Volume Title

41

Publisher

Elsevier BV
Sponsorship
Wellcome Trust (208013/Z/17/Z)
Wellcome Trust (097857/Z/11/Z)
Welllcome Trust