Marital stability and quality in families created by assisted reproduction techniques: A follow-up study

11 Sep 2017

An increasing number of children are being born with the use of assisted reproduction techniques such as donor insemination, egg donation and surrogacy. There have been concerns that the use of these third-party reproduction techniques may have a negative effect on the quality of the relationship between the mother and father. Marital stability and quality was examined in a UK sample of donor insemination, egg donation and surrogacy families and families in which children were naturally conceived. Interview and questionnaire assessments of marital stability and quality were collected from mothers and fathers over five time points, when the children in the families were aged 1, 2, 3, 7 and 10. Of those families who participated when children were 10 years old, a minority of couples in each family type had divorced/separated and few differences emerged between the different family types in terms of mothers' or fathers' marital quality. Despite concerns, couples in families created by donor insemination, egg donation and surrogacy were found to be functioning well. An increasing number of children are being born with the use of assisted reproduction techniques such as donor insemination, egg donation and surrogacy. There have been concerns that the use of these third-party reproduction techniques may have a negative effect on the quality of the relationship between the mother and father. Marital stability and quality was examined in a UK sample of donor insemination, egg donation, and surrogacy families and families in which children were naturally conceived. Interview and questionnaire assessments of marital stability and quality were collected from mothers and fathers over five time points, when the children in the families were aged 1, 2, 3, 7 and 10. Of those families who participated when children were 10 years old, a minority of couples in each family type had divorced/separated and few differences emerged between the different family types in terms of mothers' or fathers' marital quality. Despite concerns, couples in families created by donor insemination, egg donation and surrogacy were found to be functioning well.