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Love and Truth: What Really Matters for Children Born Through Third‐Party Assisted Reproduction

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Abstract: Ever since the birth of the first baby born through in vitro fertilization in 1978, advances in reproductive technologies have raised new concerns about the outcomes for children. In this article, I summarize research on children born through assisted reproduction involving a third party, that is, children born through egg donation, sperm donation, and surrogacy, with particular attention to the findings of a longitudinal study of children born to heterosexual couples in the United Kingdom. The assisted reproduction families generally showed high levels of family functioning and children's adjustment from early childhood through to adolescence, suggesting that biological relatedness is less important than positive parent–child relationships for the well‐being of children conceived by third‐party assisted reproduction. Similarly, studies of families created by third‐party reproduction with two mothers, single mothers, two fathers, and single fathers have shown that these families function well.



Article, Articles, assisted reproduction, donor conception, surrogacy

Journal Title

Child Development Perspectives

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Wellcome Trust (208013/Z/17/Z)