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The kids are OK

9 July 2001
By BioNews
Appeared in BioNews 115

Professor Susan Golombok, director of the City University Family and Child Research Centre spoke at the ESHRE (European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology) meeting last week about new data on children born following assisted reproduction techniques (ARTs). The data comes from the next stage in an ongoing European study of assisted reproduction families and looks at the emotional wellbeing of the children.

In 1996, an earlier stage of the study looked at the emotional progress of IVF children, those conceived using donated sperm (DI) and adopted children between the ages of four and eight compared to children of the same age conceived naturally. Over 100 families were in each group. Conclusions drawn from this study were that concerns about ART children's emotional wellbeing were unfounded.

This latest follow-up study revisited 400 of the same families - the children are now aged 11 or 12. The data is based on interviews and questionnaires with both parents and children. The researchers found that over 90 per cent of the couples were still together and no evidence of emotional problems was apparent. Professor Golombok said to the conference that 'in general, ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology) families with an early adolescent child appear to be characterised by stable and satisfying marriages, psychologically healthy parents, a high level of warmth between parents and their children, accompanied by an appropriate level of discipline and control and well-adjusted children'.

Another finding was that there was no difference in 'warmth' given by DI fathers in comparison with IVF fathers. Professor Golombok said that 'this suggests that the absence of a genetic link between the father and the child does not interfere with the development of a positive relationship'. However, it was also found that only one in 10 DI children had been told about their origins.

Family ties stronger for test-tube children
The Daily Telegraph |  4 July 2001
Fertility treatment and happy children
The Guardian |  4 July 2001
World-first study allays fears over emotional health of assisted reproduction children
Alphagalileo |  3 July 2001
7 July 2008 - by Dr Kirsty Horsey 
BioNews reporting from ESHRE conference, Barcelona:By Dr Kirsty Horsey: Researchers from the Centre for Family Research at Cambridge University in the UK say that families created by the use of sperm donation, egg donation and surrogacy are doing well, particularly in terms of their psychological well-being. The data, presented...
18 April 2006 - by BioNews 
Research published in the journal Fertility and Sterility has shown that the quality of parenting and psychological adjustment of egg donation families is generally on a par with that of donor insemination (DI) and IVF families. Mothers and children from 17 families created by egg donation, 35 families created by...
3 November 2005 - by BioNews 
Babies conceived using fertility treatments, including IVF, are at no more risk of birth defects than naturally conceived infants, a large US study shows. Researchers at Stamford Hospital in Connecticut looked at data from over 36,000 pregnancies, around five per cent of which arose following fertility treatments. But their findings...
17 January 2005 - by Dr Jess Buxton 
The wellbeing of children conceived using assisted reproduction - and the suitability of their prospective parents - has triggered debate in the UK media this week. First came the launch of the Human Fertilisation Authority (HFEA)'s consultation on the Welfare of the Child, entitled 'Tomorrow's Children', the results of which it...
24 November 2004 - by BioNews 
The UK's Medical Research Council (MRC) has published a report highlighting the need for 'improved monitoring and evaluation of assisted reproduction technology (ART)'. Called 'Assisted reproduction: a safe, sound future', the report follows a request from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) asking the MRC to review the evidence...
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