Happy Donor Family

Families created with donor sperm reported to be ‘just as happy’

The results of a recent study conducted by the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS), and published in the journal Human Reproduction, suggest that compared to other kinds of families, those created with donor sperm function equally as well. These families are headed by parents that are just as loving and psychologically healthy as parents whose children are 100% genetically related to them. The study was conducted as part of the larger Child and Family Study at AIFS.

The researchers responsible for the study – Drs. Gab Kovacs, Sarah Wise, and Sue Finch -surveyed 79 families created through donor insemination, as well as 987 couple families, 364 single-mother families, and 112 stepfather families. All families had children between the ages of 5 and 13 years of age. Several aspects of family functioning were examined, including parents’ psychological adjustment, quality of spousal relationships, quality of parent-child relationships, parenting, and family functioning.

Overall, the results suggest that families with children conceived through donor insemination functioned equally as well as other families. In addition, mothers of children conceived through donor sperm were equally as nurturing and had lower levels of psychological distress compared to other families. Similarly, and perhaps even more significant was the fact that the fathers of children conceived through the use of donated sperm were found to be more nurturing and less restrictive in their style of parenting, and experienced less conflict with their children, than fathers in other types of families. Relationships between parents and their children were found to be equally as close, if not closer, in donor insemination families when compared to other families with genetically-related children.

In the donor insemination families in this study, one third of the children had been told about being conceived via donor sperm. One of the most commonly reported concerns for infertile men who are faced with using donor sperm, is whether they will love the child and whether the child will reject them in the future if she or he is told about the donation. The findings of the AIFS study are particularly significant in helping to counter these common fears.

To read more about this study, click here:

Donor sperm families just as happy [The Daily Mail Online]

Read the study abstract here.

Many people considering using donor sperm, eggs, or embryos worry about being able to bond with a child that isn’t genetically related. Read more about this issue here.

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