The importance of a genetic link in mothers commissioning a surrogate baby in the UK

Van den Akker, Olga (2000) The importance of a genetic link in mothers commissioning a surrogate baby in the UK. Human Reproduction, 15 (8). pp. 1849-1855. ISSN 0268-1161

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/humrep/15.8.1849

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Abstract

Reproductive technologies have enabled genetic and gestational links between parents and children to become separate from social relationships and inter-personal ties within families. The meaning of family is discussed, by drawing on research with infertile women who become parents as the result of surrogacy. The complexities of family are highlighted by addressing the consequences of babies carried and delivered by women who are not the biological parents of the child, or by women who are the biological mother of the child but who relinquish their genetic material to another woman. In all, 29 women completed a questionnaire on various aspects of their infertility, surrogacy, and the importance of a genetic link. The study identified some characteristics of women who have become mothers as a result of surrogacy, and some of their reactions to this way of creating families. In general, women who could use their own genetic material tended to believe a genetic link was important. Those who could not use their own genetic material were less uniform in their beliefs about the importance of a genetic link. The cognitive dissonance observed in this population has implications for the future of reproductive technology assisting couples in becoming a family with or without genetic relatedness.

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:School of Health and Education > Health & Education
Citations on ISI Web of Science:17
ID Code:3192
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Deposited On:24 Nov 2009 06:22
Last Modified:22 Oct 2013 12:34

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