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The importance of genetic parenthood for infertile men and women.
Hum Reprod 2017; 32(10):2076-2087HR

Abstract

STUDY QUESTION

Do men and women beginning to attend a fertility clinic prefer genetic over non-genetic parenthood?

SUMMARY ANSWER

Nearly, all infertile men and women prefer genetic parenthood.

WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY

Clinicians assume that all infertile couples prefer genetic parenthood over non-genetic parenthood and, therefore, consider treatments with donor gametes an option of last resort. Previous studies of the desire for parenthood identified 30 motivations for genetic parenthood, and 51 motivations for which having a genetically related child is not strictly necessary but might be deemed required. The exact strength of the preference of infertile men and women for genetic parenthood remains unclear, as does the importance of the various motivations.

STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION

A questionnaire was developed based on a literature review. It was assessed by professionals and pilot tested among patients. The coded paper-pencil questionnaire was disseminated among both partners of 201 heterosexual infertile couples after their first consultation at one of two Belgian fertility clinics between October 2015 and May 2016.

PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS

The survey addressed: (i) the preference for genetic parenthood for themselves and for their partner, (ii) the importance of 30 motivations for genetic parenthood and (iii) the importance of 51 other motivations for parenthood and whether these motivations require being the genetic parent of their child to be fulfilled. To simplify presentation of the results, all 81 motivations were grouped into reliable categories of motivations using psychometric analyses.

MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE

The survey was completed by 104 women and 91 men (response rate: 49%). Almost all respondents (98%) favored genetic over non-genetic parenthood for both their partner and themselves. One-third of the respondents stated they only wanted to parent their own genetically related child. Achieving genetic parenthood for their partner was considered significantly more important than achieving genetic parenthood for themselves. Within couples, men had a stronger preference for genetic parenthood (P = 0.004), but this was not significant after correction for educational level, which was significantly associated with the preference of both men and women. The 30 motivations for becoming a genetic parent clustered into 11 categories of which 'to experience a natural process' was deemed most important. The 51 motivations for becoming a parent for which having a genetically related child is not strictly necessary clustered into 14 categories of which 'to contribute to a child's well-being' and 'to experience the love of a child' were most important. Respondents deemed they would need to be the genetic parent of their child to fulfill nearly all their motivations for parenthood.

LIMITATIONS REASONS FOR CAUTION

We included couples that visited the fertility clinic for the first time, and the preference for genetic parenthood might change throughout a fertility treatment trajectory. Moreover, what prospective parents expect to be important for their future well-being might not really define parents' well-being.

WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS

The presumed preference of couples for genetic parenthood was confirmed. Resistance against using donor gametes is more likely among lower educated individuals. Researching whether non-genetic parents actually feel they cannot fulfill the 51 motivations for parenthood, could be a basis for developing patient information.

STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S)

Funded by the Parkes Foundation, the University of Amsterdam and the Leuven University Hospital. No conflict of interest.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Center for Reproductive Medicine, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands.Leuven University Fertility Centre, Leuven University Hospital, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium.Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Research Institute of Child Development and Education, University of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Achtergracht 127, 1018 WS Amsterdam, The Netherlands.Center for Reproductive Medicine, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands.Center for Reproductive Medicine, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Leuven University Fertility Clinic, Department of Development and Regeneration, KU Leuven-University of Leuven, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium. Research Foundation Flanders, Brussel, Belgium.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

28938731

Citation

Hendriks, S, et al. "The Importance of Genetic Parenthood for Infertile Men and Women." Human Reproduction (Oxford, England), vol. 32, no. 10, 2017, pp. 2076-2087.
Hendriks S, Peeraer K, Bos H, et al. The importance of genetic parenthood for infertile men and women. Hum Reprod. 2017;32(10):2076-2087.
Hendriks, S., Peeraer, K., Bos, H., Repping, S., & Dancet, E. A. F. (2017). The importance of genetic parenthood for infertile men and women. Human Reproduction (Oxford, England), 32(10), pp. 2076-2087. doi:10.1093/humrep/dex256.
Hendriks S, et al. The Importance of Genetic Parenthood for Infertile Men and Women. Hum Reprod. 2017 10 1;32(10):2076-2087. PubMed PMID: 28938731.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - The importance of genetic parenthood for infertile men and women. AU - Hendriks,S, AU - Peeraer,K, AU - Bos,H, AU - Repping,S, AU - Dancet,E A F, PY - 2017/03/19/received PY - 2017/07/25/accepted PY - 2017/9/24/entrez PY - 2017/9/25/pubmed PY - 2018/6/7/medline KW - Assisted KW - Decision Making KW - Reproductive Techniques KW - Surveys and Questionnaires KW - attitude to health KW - family KW - genetic parenthood KW - infertility KW - motivation KW - parents KW - reproduction SP - 2076 EP - 2087 JF - Human reproduction (Oxford, England) JO - Hum. Reprod. VL - 32 IS - 10 N2 - STUDY QUESTION: Do men and women beginning to attend a fertility clinic prefer genetic over non-genetic parenthood? SUMMARY ANSWER: Nearly, all infertile men and women prefer genetic parenthood. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Clinicians assume that all infertile couples prefer genetic parenthood over non-genetic parenthood and, therefore, consider treatments with donor gametes an option of last resort. Previous studies of the desire for parenthood identified 30 motivations for genetic parenthood, and 51 motivations for which having a genetically related child is not strictly necessary but might be deemed required. The exact strength of the preference of infertile men and women for genetic parenthood remains unclear, as does the importance of the various motivations. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: A questionnaire was developed based on a literature review. It was assessed by professionals and pilot tested among patients. The coded paper-pencil questionnaire was disseminated among both partners of 201 heterosexual infertile couples after their first consultation at one of two Belgian fertility clinics between October 2015 and May 2016. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: The survey addressed: (i) the preference for genetic parenthood for themselves and for their partner, (ii) the importance of 30 motivations for genetic parenthood and (iii) the importance of 51 other motivations for parenthood and whether these motivations require being the genetic parent of their child to be fulfilled. To simplify presentation of the results, all 81 motivations were grouped into reliable categories of motivations using psychometric analyses. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: The survey was completed by 104 women and 91 men (response rate: 49%). Almost all respondents (98%) favored genetic over non-genetic parenthood for both their partner and themselves. One-third of the respondents stated they only wanted to parent their own genetically related child. Achieving genetic parenthood for their partner was considered significantly more important than achieving genetic parenthood for themselves. Within couples, men had a stronger preference for genetic parenthood (P = 0.004), but this was not significant after correction for educational level, which was significantly associated with the preference of both men and women. The 30 motivations for becoming a genetic parent clustered into 11 categories of which 'to experience a natural process' was deemed most important. The 51 motivations for becoming a parent for which having a genetically related child is not strictly necessary clustered into 14 categories of which 'to contribute to a child's well-being' and 'to experience the love of a child' were most important. Respondents deemed they would need to be the genetic parent of their child to fulfill nearly all their motivations for parenthood. LIMITATIONS REASONS FOR CAUTION: We included couples that visited the fertility clinic for the first time, and the preference for genetic parenthood might change throughout a fertility treatment trajectory. Moreover, what prospective parents expect to be important for their future well-being might not really define parents' well-being. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: The presumed preference of couples for genetic parenthood was confirmed. Resistance against using donor gametes is more likely among lower educated individuals. Researching whether non-genetic parents actually feel they cannot fulfill the 51 motivations for parenthood, could be a basis for developing patient information. STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S): Funded by the Parkes Foundation, the University of Amsterdam and the Leuven University Hospital. No conflict of interest. SN - 1460-2350 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/28938731/The_importance_of_genetic_parenthood_for_infertile_men_and_women_ L2 - https://academic.oup.com/humrep/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/humrep/dex256 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -