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Host Dawn Davenport interviewed renowned researcher Dr. Susan Golombok, Director of the Centre for Family Research, University of Cambridge, and author of Modern Families: Parents and Children in New Family Forms; and Dr. Martha Rueter, Associate Professor of Family Social Science at University of Minnesota.

 

Highlights of the show (click to expand)
  • What does research show on how families that do not have a genetic connection between parent and child are doing?
  • How applicable is long standing research we have on other non-genetic parenting—adoption?
  • What does the research show about if children are not told—does secrecy negatively affect the kids?
  • One of the biggest concerns is how the failure to tell children that they were conceived via sperm or egg donation will affect children. How many parents tell their children?
  • Are there specific characteristics of families that do tell vs those that choose to not tell?
  • What are the motivations of parents that decide to tell their children about their conception via sperm donation, egg donation, embryo donation, and surrogacy?
  • What are the motivations of parents that decide not to tell their children about their conception via sperm donation, egg donation, embryo donation, and surrogacy?
  • Why are more parents of children conceived by egg donation telling rather than those of children from sperm donation?
  • Are parents that decide not to tell more insecure of their role as the “real’ parent or shame about infertility affecting parent’s decision to tell?
  • For those that want to tell, there seem to be two general approaches: the planting the seeds and building approach or the right time approach. Does the age that a child is told affect how the child receives and processes this information? Is there any evidence to support one approach over the other?
  • Creating a Family show with a panel of donor conceived adults.
  • One of the concerns we hear is that the parents fear telling their child because they don’t want their child to be confused about who the “real” parent is. How do kids and adolescents and young adults view their donor?
  • Surrogacy- need to separate traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy. How do children of traditional surrogates feel about their conception?

 

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Image credit: Aikawa Ke

 

Show originally aired in 2014.