Attitudes of IVF Parents Regarding the IVF Experience and Their Children
Greenfeld, Dorothy A.
Ort, Sharon I.
Greenfeld, David G.
Jones, Ervin E.
Olive, David L.
Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics. 1996 Mar; 13(3): 266-274.
PURPOSE: to assess parental attitudes regarding the IVF experience, the IVF pregnancy, and issues associated with raising their IVF child(ren). METHOD: parents (184 couples) of IVF children born between 1982 and 1992 were mailed individual anonymous questionnaires. RESULTS: (31%) parents responded: 62 mothers and 41 fathers. One hundred-three (41%) of the mothers felt that our staff could have been more helpful during their pregnancy. Half the women subjects (52%) stated that they wished they had contact with other IVF couples during pregnancy. Fifty-two percent of the mothers reported that IVF created special feelings of attachment to the child, causing some difficulty with their initial separation. This was comparatively less an issue for fathers, with only 19% reporting similar difficulties (chi 2 = 8.39, P less than 0.01). Ninety-eight percent of the subjects have told someone else about the IVF experience. Interestingly, 25% of the parents remained uncertain about whether they would tell the child. Sixteen couples (15%) had already told the child, and of the 57 (66%) who intended to tell the child later, they varied greatly in their views about which age would be appropriate (mean, 7.3 years; SD, 6.5 years; range, 2-21 years). CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that women undergoing IVF might profit from greater contact with staff during pregnancy and, again, later when dealing with issues of separation. A substantial proportion of couples expressed some concerns about the issue of disclosure to the child and might profit from counseling when they feel the issue is current.
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