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Experience and psychological well-being of surrogates

Vasanti Jadva surrogacy

Dr Vasanti Jadva is a Cambridge psychologist, specialising in research examining the psychological well-being of parents and children in families created by IVF, egg donation, sperm donation and surrogacy.

In this interview, Dr Jadva first describes different types of surrogacies – traditional surrogacy, where the surrogate uses her own egg, and gestational surrogacy, where the surrogate is implanted with an embryo unrelated to her.

Dr Jadva then describes research done on the experiences of intending parents and surrogates. These are long-term follow-up studies, where it is possible to see the outcomes years after the event.

In terms of experiences, she discusses factors like attaining a Parental Order for the new-born (when a court assigns the legal parental responsibility for the child, to the exclusion of everyone else, including the surrogate), the role of surrogacy agencies, the impact of surrogate child knowing about the surrogate, and the challenge of repeat surrogacies.

In terms of psychological well-being, Dr Jadva found that surrogates usually do well psychologically, regardless of whether the surrogate child is genetically linked to the surrogate or not.

Finally, she elaborates on the structure and quality of the relationship between intended parents and the surrogates in the UK, USA and India, and emphasises the need for more research on experiences of surrogates and intended parents.

For your discussion: Imagine yourself in the role of the surrogate. What do you think would be the most difficult parts of the contract? What would you like to see put in place in order to make the situation better?

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Making Babies in the 21st Century

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