Thirty-one children of gay single fathers and 28 children of heterosexual single fathers, all born through surrogacy, were compared with 31 children of gay partnered fathers through surrogacy and 30 children of heterosexual partnered fathers through in-vitro fertilization on their perceptions of self-worth and their father- and caregiver-reported internalizing and externalizing behaviors. For children of single fathers, the study also examined associations between aspects related to their surrogacy conception, feelings about their family arrangement, and behavioral adjustment. All children (47.5% girls) were aged 6–12 years (Mmonths = 97.84, SD = 20.50) and living in Italy; all fathers (Myears = 43.79; SD = 6.42) identified as cisgender, reported a medium-to-high socioeconomic status, and were White (with the exception of one gay partnered father). No differences were found across the four family groups in any behavioral outcome, with children demonstrating, on average, high levels of self-worth and low levels of internalizing and externalizing problems. In single-father families, regardless of the father’s sexual orientation, children with a weaker understanding of surrogacy, lower satisfaction with their contact with the gestational carrier, and lower comfort with their family arrangement were associated with more externalizing problems. Furthermore, children’s female gender and lower satisfaction with their contact with the gestational carrier were associated with more internalizing problems, whereas children’s male gender and greater understanding of surrogacy were associated with higher self-worth. Taken together, these findings do not support the commonly held assumption that the combination of surrogacy conception and single fatherhood is detrimental for children’s behavioral adjustment.

Factors Associated With Behavioral Adjustment Among School-Age Children of Gay and Heterosexual Single Fathers Through Surrogacy / Carone, N.; Barone, L.; Lingiardi, V.; Baiocco, R.; Brodzinsky, D.. - In: DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY. - ISSN 0012-1649. - 57:4(2021), pp. 535-547. [10.1037/dev0001155]

Factors Associated With Behavioral Adjustment Among School-Age Children of Gay and Heterosexual Single Fathers Through Surrogacy

Carone N.;Barone L.;Lingiardi V.;Baiocco R.;
2021

Abstract

Thirty-one children of gay single fathers and 28 children of heterosexual single fathers, all born through surrogacy, were compared with 31 children of gay partnered fathers through surrogacy and 30 children of heterosexual partnered fathers through in-vitro fertilization on their perceptions of self-worth and their father- and caregiver-reported internalizing and externalizing behaviors. For children of single fathers, the study also examined associations between aspects related to their surrogacy conception, feelings about their family arrangement, and behavioral adjustment. All children (47.5% girls) were aged 6–12 years (Mmonths = 97.84, SD = 20.50) and living in Italy; all fathers (Myears = 43.79; SD = 6.42) identified as cisgender, reported a medium-to-high socioeconomic status, and were White (with the exception of one gay partnered father). No differences were found across the four family groups in any behavioral outcome, with children demonstrating, on average, high levels of self-worth and low levels of internalizing and externalizing problems. In single-father families, regardless of the father’s sexual orientation, children with a weaker understanding of surrogacy, lower satisfaction with their contact with the gestational carrier, and lower comfort with their family arrangement were associated with more externalizing problems. Furthermore, children’s female gender and lower satisfaction with their contact with the gestational carrier were associated with more internalizing problems, whereas children’s male gender and greater understanding of surrogacy were associated with higher self-worth. Taken together, these findings do not support the commonly held assumption that the combination of surrogacy conception and single fatherhood is detrimental for children’s behavioral adjustment.
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