Genetic and gestational surrogate mothers' experience of surrogacy

Van den Akker, Olga (2003) Genetic and gestational surrogate mothers' experience of surrogacy. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 21 (2). pp. 145-161. ISSN 0264-6838

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The psychological characteristics, motivations and experiences of surrogate mothers have not received much research attention, yet their reproductive role has significant psychological, social, theoretical and politico-legal implications. Questionnaire data are presented for 24 surrogate [11 gestational (IVF), 13 genetic (AI)] mothers. Semi-structured and open-ended questions relating to motivations, experiences, support, knowledge, information, confidence, concerns, genetic link, disclosure and relinquishment issues, and standardized questionnaires assessing quality of life and psychopathology were included. It was hypothesized that genetic and gestational surrogates would differ on these measures, but few differences between groups were observed. The importance of a genetic link differed significantly between groups, substantiating the belief that surrogacy type specific cognitive restructuring is taking place to prepare them for the relinquishment process. Worries and concerns differed somewhat between genetic and gestational surrogates. In general, the experience of surrogacy was important and very positive for most surrogates, though some negative experiences were also reported. One surrogate reported some psychopathology but no significant differences in quality of life were apparent between the groups. The implications of the lack of substantial differences between these two types of surrogates are discussed, and provide some of the evidence needed to support current debates informing legislation, information and counselling.

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology > Applied Health Psychology group
Citations on ISI Web of Science:12
ID Code:3197
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Deposited On:24 Nov 2009 07:18
Last Modified:26 Mar 2015 15:55

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