Handbook of Parenting - Vol. 3

By Marc H. Bornstein | Go to book overview

11
Parenting and Contemporary
Reproductive Technologies
Susan Golombok
City University, London

INTRODUCTION

The reproductive technology that resulted in the birth in 1978 of Louise Brown, the first “test-tube” baby (Steptoe and Edwards, 1978), has led to the creation of families that would not otherwise have existed. This procedure, more appropriately described as in vitro fertilization (IVF), has not only allowed many people who would have remained childless to become mothers and fathers but has also had a fundamental impact on the way in which parents may be related to their children. With IVF, when the mother's egg and the father's sperm are used, both parents are genetically related to the child. When a donated egg is used, the father is genetically related to the child but not the mother; and when donated sperm are used, the mother is genetically related to the child but not the father. When both egg and sperm are donated, both parents are genetically unrelated to the child, a situation that is like adoption except that the parents experience the pregnancy and the child's birth. In the case of surrogacy, neither, one, or both parents may lack a genetic link with the child, depending on the use of a donated egg, sperm, or both. As Einwohner (1989) has pointed out, it is now possible for a child to have five parents: an egg donor, a sperm donor, a birth mother who hosts the pregnancy, and the two social parents whom the child knows as mom and dad. In addition, an increasing number of lesbian and single heterosexual women are opting for assisted reproduction (Patterson, in Vol. 3 of this Handbook), particularly donor insemination, to allow them to conceive a child without the involvement of a male partner. In these families, there is no father present right from the start, and many lesbian families are headed by two mothers.

In this chapter families created by the different types of contemporary reproductive technology are examined, with particular attention given to the issues and concerns that have been raised by these procedures and to the findings of research on parenting in these new family forms. Although there is a growing body of empirical research on families created by assisted reproduction, many investigations have focused on children and not on parents. Only those studies that have addressed parenting are discussed in this chapter.

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Handbook of Parenting - Vol. 3
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents of Volume 3: Being and Becoming a Parent vii
  • Preface xi
  • Contents of Volume 1: Children and Parenting xv
  • Contents of Volume 2: Biology and Ecology of Parenting xvii
  • Contents of Volume 4: Social Conditions and Applied Parenting xix
  • Contents of Volume 5: Practical Issues in Parenting xxi
  • About the Authors in Volume 3 xxv
  • Part I - The Parent 1
  • 1 - Mothering 3
  • References *
  • 2 - Fathers and Families 27
  • References *
  • 3 - Coparenting in Diverse Family Systems 75
  • References *
  • 4 - Single Parenthood 109
  • References *
  • 5 - Grandparenthood 141
  • References *
  • 6 - Adolescent Parenthood 173
  • References *
  • 7 - Nonparental Caregiving 215
  • References *
  • 8 - Sibling Caregiving 253
  • References *
  • 9 - Parenting in Divorced and Remarried Families 287
  • References 310
  • 10 - Lesbian and Gay Parenthood 317
  • References *
  • 11 - Parenting and Contemporary Reproductive Technologies 339
  • References *
  • Part II - Becoming and Being a Parent 361
  • 12 - The Transition to Parenting 363
  • References *
  • 13 - Stages of Parental Development 389
  • References *
  • 14 - Personality and Parenting 415
  • References *
  • 15 - Parents' Knowledge and Expectations: Using What We Know 439
  • References *
  • 16 - Parental Monitoring and Knowledge of Children 461
  • References *
  • 17 - Parent Beliefs Are Cognitions: the Dynamic Belief Systems Model 485
  • References *
  • 18 - Parental Attributions 509
  • References *
  • 19 - Parental Attitudes Toward Childrearing 537
  • References 559
  • 20 - Psychoanalysis and Parenthood 563
  • References *
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