The European study of assisted reproduction families: the transition to adolescence

Hum Reprod. 2002 Mar;17(3):830-40. doi: 10.1093/humrep/17.3.830.


Background: Findings are presented of the second phase of a European longitudinal study of families created by assisted reproduction. The present investigation reports on data obtained during the child's transition to adolescence.

Methods: A total of 102 IVF families, 94 donor insemination (DI) families, 102 adoptive families, and 102 families with a naturally conceived child were compared on standardized interview and questionnaire measures of parenting and children's psychological well-being.

Results: The assisted reproduction families were similar to the adoptive and natural conception families for many of the measures of the quality of parent-child relationships. To the extent that differences were found between the assisted reproduction families and the other family types, these reflected mainly more positive functioning among the assisted reproduction families, with the possible exception of the overinvolvement with their children of a small proportion of assisted reproduction mothers and fathers. The assisted reproduction children were functioning well and did not differ from the adoptive or naturally conceived children on any of the measures of psychological adjustment. However, only 8.6% had been told about their genetic origins.

Conclusions: IVF and DI families with an early adolescent child appear to be functioning well.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent*
  • Adoption / psychology
  • Child
  • Child Development*
  • Disclosure
  • Emotions
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro*
  • Humans
  • Insemination, Artificial, Heterologous*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parenting*
  • Reference Values