Children of the new reproductive technologies: social and genetic parenthood

Patient Educ Couns. 2010 Dec;81(3):429-35. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2010.09.012. Epub 2010 Oct 14.


Objective: To review empirical studies on families created by new reproductive technologies (NRT) in which only one parent has a genetic link to the child.

Methodology: Literature search was conducted among computerized databases. Inclusion criteria were that studies should focus on childrearing or parenting, as well as on the psychological adjustment of children in: heterosexual families formed through artificial insemination with donated semen (AID), single-mother AID families, oocyte-donation families, planned lesbian-mother families, planned gay-father families, and partial surrogacy families.

Results: Compared to natural-conception parents, parents in these NRT families have better relationships with their children, and their children are functioning well.

Conclusion: Although several studies show that parents in NRT families are more emotionally involved in their parenting than are parents in naturally conceived families, no empirical evidence was found that the psychological adjustment of children in NRT families differs from that of their counterparts in natural-conception families. PRACTICAL IMPLICATION: The results inform counselors and infertile couples that concerns regarding the use of NRT in relation to negative consequences for the parent-child relationship or the psychological adjustment of the child are till now unfounded.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Family / psychology*
  • Family Characteristics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infertility / psychology
  • Infertility / therapy
  • Insemination, Artificial, Heterologous / psychology
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Personality Development
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted / psychology*
  • Surrogate Mothers / psychology