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Role of a Psychologist in Third Party Reproduction

Role of a Psychologist in Third Party ReproductionSince the first child from third party reproduction was born, many studies have been done to evaluate and ensure the welfare of that child, as well as all children conceived using the same means that have followed. Studies have examined not only the physical well-being of these children, but also the emotional and mental well-being. Research has shown that these children are doing well psychologically and developmentally.

But what about their parents?

Whether the intended parents used a sperm donor, egg donor, gestational surrogate or any combination of those, there is stress put on the relationship. There are many decisions to be made, there are emotionally charged dilemmas, and a lot of unknowns. Because of this, it is recommended that all intended parents meet with a mental health professional, preferably one who is experienced with third party reproduction, and talk these things through.

These consultations are informative for the intended parents and evaluative to the mental health professional. It is informative because patient preparation for the complex decisions and potential hurdles of the process is essential. It is evaluative because it provides the mental health professional an opportunity to assess the intended parents’ mental health and stability. The mental health professional can then determine how likely the intended parents will be able to handle the stress and demands of third party reproduction.

The biggest benefit I hear from patients who have had their evaluation is that the mental health professional brought up discussions that they had not even considered. Are you going to tell your family that you used third party reproduction? How you do expect them to respond? Are you going to tell the child conceived through third party reproduction how they were conceived? How are you going to handle their response? If yes, when is the right time to disclose this information to them?

Another very important part of this evaluation is to ensure that, if the intended parents are a couple, that they are a good support system to each other. If the intended parent is single, it’s also important to ensure that they have a stable support system through their family and friends.

Sometimes it is recommended that the intended parents come in for more than one session. They may be given “homework”, which is just topics to talk about together and to come to a decision on together, and then they will need to come back for a follow up consultation. What’s most important is that everything is out in the open and discussed prior to starting, so that there are no unresolved issues once pregnancy is achieved.

To see a fertility specialist who will help guide you through your third party reproduction journey, make an appointment at one of InVia four Chicago area fertility clinics.


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Egg donation InVia Fertility Specialists

Vicki Meagher

Vicki Meagher

Vicki Meagher has worked with InVia Fertility Specialists since 2006. She is our Third Party Coordinator, so she works with our patients that need an egg donor, sperm donor, gestational surrogate, or any combination of the above. She recruits and screens the egg donors for our in-house donor program as well. She loves working with intended parents and is passionate about third party reproduction and the important role it plays in helping patients achieve their dream of starting or extending their family. She is a member of SEEDS - the Society for Ethics for Egg Donation and Surrogacy.

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