CAD.20.023 – The rise of new families: how can we help them flourish?

Route: Child and adolescent development, upbringing and education

Cluster question: 059 How can we help children and adolescents grow up safe and healthy?

The rise of new families: how can we help them flourish?

Although many children are born and raised in a traditional nuclear family consisting of a heterosexual couple with biologically related children, nowadays around a third of all children in the Netherlands are raised in different family constellations (Staatscommissie Herijking Ouderschap, 2016). Some of these children are raised in new families, in which the parents used assisted reproductive technologies with sperm/egg donation and/or surrogacy, and as such represent a more fundamental shift away from traditional nuclear families (Golombok, 2020). Previous studies on two-mother, single-mother by choice, and mother-father families that used sperm donation showed that children in these families are developing well, but that donor conception is not without psychological implications (Visser, 2018). Parents have concerns about the bond between the child and the non-genetic parent, about how to inform their child about their genetic origin, about stigmatizing reactions of society. They also wish to receive counseling and support on these issues (Visser, 2018). Less is known about gay father, transgender parent, and mother-father families who used a surrogacy procedure (with or without an egg donor). Especially there is a gap in knowledge about the development of children born after surrogacy, as well as on the counseling and support needs of all persons (parents, children, gamete donor, and surrogates) involved in this procedure. Therefore, we aim to investigate among these family types the family functioning (e.g., wellbeing, parenting, parent-child relationship, and child development), counseling and support needs of (prospective) parents, surrogates, gamete donors and children from a longitudinal perspective starting before conception. Empirical knowledge on these issues is highly needed to offer the best possible guidance to all involved people in (prospective) gay father, transgender parent, and mother-father families who used a surrogacy procedure.

Keywords

child development, family functioning, gay father, Mother-father families who used a surrogacy procedure, transgender parent

Other organisations

Amsterdam UMC

Submitter

Organisation University of Amsterdam (UvA); Research Institute of Child Development and Education
Name Prof. dr. H.M.W. (Henny) Bos
E-mail h.m.w.bos@uva.nl