Introduction Very little is known about the attachment figures of children born to parents with minoritized sexual identities who used assisted reproduction, despite the importance of attachment for healthy child development. The present study examined the identification and utilization of attachment figures (e.g., parents, siblings, teachers, friends, cousins) for general attachment and companionship needs, as well as in context-specific and emotion-eliciting attachment situations, by donor-conceived children of lesbian mothers in middle childhood. Methods Thirty-six children 6–12 years of age (Myears = 9.20, SD = 2.50; 47.22% assigned females at birth) of lesbian mothers through donor insemination, all residing in Italy, completed an open-ended interview to identify their attachment figures. Results Children first sought parents for general attachment needs, context-specific attachment situations, and emotion-eliciting situations at school, and demonstrated no preference between the biological and the non-biological mother or the primary and the secondary caregiver. Also, children first sought peers (i.e., siblings, friends, cousins) as much as parents for general companionship needs, while they first sought parents for context-specific companionship. Conclusion In middle childhood, lesbian mothers continue to function as safe havens and secure bases for their children. However, it cannot be excluded that children first turn to their biological mother for context-specific attachment situations. Also, children seek out peers more in specific companionship situations (e.g., sharing secrets, playing). Policy Implications As lesbian mothers through donor insemination effectively meet children’s attachment needs, regardless of their biological status and caregiving role, the lack of legal recognition of these families in Italy is empirically unfounded.

Attachment Figures among Donor-Conceived Children of Lesbian Mothers in Middle Childhood / Mirabella, Marta; Quintigliano, Maria; Carone, Nicola; Manzi, Demetria; Antoniucci, Chiara; Brumariu, Laura; Kerns, Kathryn A.; Speranza, Anna Maria; Lingiardi, Vittorio. - In: SEXUALITY RESEARCH AND SOCIAL POLICY. - ISSN 1868-9884. - (2023). [10.1007/s13178-023-00923-y]

Attachment Figures among Donor-Conceived Children of Lesbian Mothers in Middle Childhood

Marta Mirabella;Maria Quintigliano;Nicola Carone;Demetria Manzi;Chiara Antoniucci;Anna Maria Speranza;Vittorio Lingiardi
2023

Abstract

Introduction Very little is known about the attachment figures of children born to parents with minoritized sexual identities who used assisted reproduction, despite the importance of attachment for healthy child development. The present study examined the identification and utilization of attachment figures (e.g., parents, siblings, teachers, friends, cousins) for general attachment and companionship needs, as well as in context-specific and emotion-eliciting attachment situations, by donor-conceived children of lesbian mothers in middle childhood. Methods Thirty-six children 6–12 years of age (Myears = 9.20, SD = 2.50; 47.22% assigned females at birth) of lesbian mothers through donor insemination, all residing in Italy, completed an open-ended interview to identify their attachment figures. Results Children first sought parents for general attachment needs, context-specific attachment situations, and emotion-eliciting situations at school, and demonstrated no preference between the biological and the non-biological mother or the primary and the secondary caregiver. Also, children first sought peers (i.e., siblings, friends, cousins) as much as parents for general companionship needs, while they first sought parents for context-specific companionship. Conclusion In middle childhood, lesbian mothers continue to function as safe havens and secure bases for their children. However, it cannot be excluded that children first turn to their biological mother for context-specific attachment situations. Also, children seek out peers more in specific companionship situations (e.g., sharing secrets, playing). Policy Implications As lesbian mothers through donor insemination effectively meet children’s attachment needs, regardless of their biological status and caregiving role, the lack of legal recognition of these families in Italy is empirically unfounded.
2023
Lesbian Mothers; Donor Insemination; Attachment Needs; Middle Childhood; Primary Attachment Figure; Biological Parenthood; Minoritized Sexual Identities
01 Pubblicazione su rivista::01a Articolo in rivista
Attachment Figures among Donor-Conceived Children of Lesbian Mothers in Middle Childhood / Mirabella, Marta; Quintigliano, Maria; Carone, Nicola; Manzi, Demetria; Antoniucci, Chiara; Brumariu, Laura; Kerns, Kathryn A.; Speranza, Anna Maria; Lingiardi, Vittorio. - In: SEXUALITY RESEARCH AND SOCIAL POLICY. - ISSN 1868-9884. - (2023). [10.1007/s13178-023-00923-y]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1696568
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