Surrogate mothers have no doubts about handing over the baby

Madrid, Spain: Surrogate mothers do not suffer major emotional problems during or after their pregnancy, or when they hand over the baby to the commissioning parents, researchers told the annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology today (Wednesday 2 July).

The latest results from a long-running study into surrogacy by researchers from City University, UK, led by Professor Susan Golombok, found that, contrary to anecdotal reports in the media, none of the 34 surrogate mothers interviewed for the study reported any misgivings about handing over the baby. Any emotional problems that the women did experience after the birth appeared to lessen with time. The majority of surrogate mothers enjoyed good relations with their commissioning couples and did not suffer adverse reactions from their own friends and family.

In the largest and most representative study of surrogate mothers so far, the researchers interviewed 34 women approximately one year after they had given birth. The women gave information on their reasons for deciding to become a surrogate, the reaction of others to this decision, their relationships with the commissioning couple before and during the pregnancy, their experiences of handing over the baby, and how they felt towards the child.

Five of the women had been surrogate mothers more than once. Seven were "known" surrogate mothers (i.e. they were doing it for a sister, friend or child), and 27 were previously unknown to the commissioning couple.

The majority of the women (31 or 91%) said their main reason for being a surrogate was "to help a childless couple". Five (15%) gave "enjoyment of pregnancy" as a reason, two (6%) said they were doing it for "self-fulfilment" and only one said she was doing it for money[1].

Before the pregnancy all the mothers said they had a good relationship with the commissioning couple. At the start of the pregnancy, one woman reported "ma

Contact: Emma Mason
European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology

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