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Donor children just as healthy as general population

17 July 2017
Appeared in BioNews 909

Children conceived from donor sperm have a similar health and wellbeing to the general population, according to a recent study in Australia.

Researchers from the Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) in Melbourne, compared physical, psychosocial and mental health development between 224 donor conceived children and the general population.

'For prospective parents, the decision to use donor sperm can seem like a step into the unknown,' said lead author Professor David Amor of MCRI. 'The results should provide peace of mind for parents of donor conceived children.'

The study, which was published in Reproductive BioMedicine Online, focused on school-aged children between the ages of 5 – 11 years, and used questionnaires answered by their mothers to measure their health and wellbeing. When compared with children within the Australian general population, the results showed similarity between the two groups.

The study also showed that the type of family structure (same-sex couples, heterosexual couples and single women parents) did not influence the health and wellbeing of the children.

Professor Amor is confident that the study’s results are representative of the donor-conceived population, however further studies within other populations around the world would be useful to confirm these findings. He also stated that researchers would now focus on studying the health of donor conceived children that have reached child-bearing age.

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