Study: Surrogate Mothers Don't Suffer From Mental Health Problems After Giving Child Away

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A decade after giving birth, surrogate mothers don’t appear to suffer from any mental health problems from giving away the babies they delivered, according to a new study.

A research team surveyed some 20 surrogate mothers one year after they gave birth, and again 10 years following that birth.

The women were interviewed in their homes and asked in detail about their relationship with surrogate parents and children. The surrogate mothers also completed mental health assessments.

The group included nine genetic surrogacies; the rest were gestational surrogacies.

“Findings from the current study suggest that in the longer term surrogates do not experience psychological problems as a result of being a surrogate,” Dr. Vasanti Jadva, the study’s lead researcher, said. “Given that the majority of surrogates still felt very positive about the surrogacy it is not surprising that they were not found to be experiencing psychological problems.”

Researchers found that each of the women had normal or above average self-esteem and no signs of depression. The majority of the surrogates remained in contact with the child, and all but one of those who reported that still had contact with the child admitted to having positive relationships.

Because of the small study size, the researchers admitted that it’s unclear how the findings could be relevant to other surrogacy arrangements. Additionally, the findings might not be applicable outside the United Kingdom, where the study was conducted and where surrogacy is legal. Despite this, Dr. Andrea Braverman of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, argued that the study proves how well surrogacy can work.

“When I talk to surrogates after they deliver, they don’t look at it as giving up their baby, because it was never theirs to begin with,” Braverman said. “It is an amazing, personal life experience that people go through together.”

Braverman said he isn’t surprised by the findings.

Source: KFGO / Photo Credit: Flickr


 
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