About the Author

Cheryl Miller

Former New Atlantis blogger Cheryl Miller is a writer living in Washington, D.C. A 2007 Phillips Foundation Journalism Fellow, she is also the editor of Doublethink magazine. She can be reached at cmiller [at] thenewatlantis [dot] com.
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Cheryl Millerís Latest New Atlantis Articles

 Donated Generation” (Summer 2008)

 Blogging Infertility” (Winter 2008)

 The Painless Peace of Twilight Sleep” (Fall 2007)

 

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From our Winter 2008 issue


Cheryl Miller discusses her new article about infertility patients who have turned to blogs for medical advice and emotional support.

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Monday, July 7, 2008

Two Studies About Donor-Conceived Offspring 

Much ado about nothing? A study by scientists at Cambridge University found that children conceived by a surrogate mother or by donor conception are as "psychologically well" as their naturally-conceived counterparts. The children were only seven years old at the time so I'm skeptical as to how much this survey really tells us. What's more, most of them don't know they are donor-conceived:

In a press release, Casey added that she found a majority of parents of children born through assisted reproduction delayed telling the child about how he or she was conceived.

"At the time of the child's seventh birthday, only 39% of egg-donation parents, 29% of donor-insemination parents and 89% of surrogacy parents had told their children about the nature of their conception."

These figures contrast markedly with what the parents said they would do when they were questioned at the child's first birthday.

Another Cambridge study suggests that these seven-year-olds might not be so "psychologically well" in the future:

The children of sperm donors should be told of their origins as young as four, a new study suggests.

[...] 

Scientists at Cambridge University found that those who were told as adults were three times more likely to feel angry than children.

In total 38 per cent of adults characterised their feelings as anger, compared to 12 per cent of four to 11-year-olds.

Three times as many adults also said that when they found out they were shocked, compared to 27 per cent of children.

posted by Cheryl Miller | 5:05 pm
File As: Assisted Reproductive Technologies, Surrogacy, Egg Donation, Sperm Donation, Third-Party Reproduction