Surrogate-born children suffer from more emotional issues than other children
U.K. study examines emotional adjustment of children at ages three, seven and 10
Children born to a surrogate mother have more emotional difficulties than those carried by their biological mother, according to a study conducted in the United Kingdom. The Center for Family Research at the University of Cambridge 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. The results were surprising.
The study suggests 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.
This suggests 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.
The Center for Family Research surveyed mothers when their surrogate children were three, seven and 10 years old in an attempt to establish how well adjusted the children was at that point.
It was learned that 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 behavior problems, such as aggressive or antisocial behavior, or emotional problems, such as anxiety or depression.
"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 rise of 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. At the same time period, the number of births involving a surrogate rose by 200 percent 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.
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