ART - Talking to Children About Assisted Reproductive Technology

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A growing number of parents have children conceived and born through assisted reproductive technology (ART). As these children grow, parents often wonder how to talk to them not only about the science that helped them, but the emotional issues involved as well. These emotional issues change as the child grows older.

This website can help. In it you can read and hear the stories of a variety of families who have examined and discussed the roles ART has played in their lives. You will also hear from professionals who specialize in this field.

Because ART is so new, longitudinal research on children is limited. But the initial reports are encouraging. Children conceived by ART seem to have good relationships with their parents, even when they lack a genetic link to one or both.

Children born through the newer technologies are just beginning to reach adolescence. What issues arise as these children become preteens and teens? Does having been born through ART complicate their adolescent search for identity? Are they more (or less) attached to their genetic or non-genetic parents? Do they feel weird?

Some of the answers may surprise you.

This website includes Audio Clips and Written Transcripts. Here are the icons that will guide you through this material.

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This website was developed by the Harvard Medical School Center for Mental Health and Media, a division of the psychiatry department at Massachusetts General Hospital, as an educational tool for parents and children who are interested or involved in assisted reproductive technology. Our goal is to provide information, perspective and real-life stories that will encourage conversation and understanding.

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