April 17, 2024


Parents who have children via embryo donation or adoption have just as good relationships with them as IVF parents. But more than half of all embryo donation families try to keep the origins of their children’s birth a secret.

Dr Fiona MacCallum and Sarah Keeley of the University of Warwick claimed that the quality of parenting does not depend on a genetic link between parent and child, nor is the experience of pregnancy and childbirth vital for parents to bond with their child – as is the case with donated embryos.

The only difference between the three types of family is that embryo donation families are more likely to keep the method of family creation a secret from their child. Only 41% of the couples they surveyed said that they planned to tell their children how they were conceived, compared to 89% of IVF families. All of the adoptive families said they would reveal their child’s history.

This finding could have uncomfortable implications because the British government has recommended that children born from donated sperm or eggs should have this fact recorded on their birth certificates.