Embryo Donation: Psychological Aspects

  • Lindsay Childress-BeattyEmail author


Embryo donation shares characteristics of, and is also distinct from, other forms of family building. Yet research on the psychological aspects of embryo donation is characterized by its very absence. Research that does exist involves small sample sizes, homogenous demographic characteristics, the use of self-reports, and a non-longitudinal focus. Significant research is lacking concerning the reasons recipient couples use donated embryos. Limited research to date suggests positive, rather than adverse, outcomes for embryo-donation children. The use of donated embryos also does not appear to impact negatively the parenting or psychological adjustment or marital relationship of the couple. Currently, limited research suggests that embryo-donation parents are less likely to disclose the information concerning conception and genetic origin to their child than parents of adoptive or IVF children, but no research has compared the psychological functioning of embryo-donation children based on disclosure status. Similarly, little has been written on the impact of donation on donor couples and their existing families, including their attitudes and experiences regarding donation over time. More research specific to embryo donation is clearly needed.


embryo donation donated embryos disclosure child adjustment parent-child relationships embryo relinquishment 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ethics Office, American Psychological AssociationWashington, DCUSA

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