This study explored gay fathers’ experiences disclosing to their children about the role of a gestational surrogate in their child’s birth. Content from semi-structured interviews conducted with a sample of nine gay male fathers, who had at least one child with the aid of Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART) and a gestational surrogate, after coming out, was analyzed using a thematic analysis. The ART procedure to create their families involved an ovum donor, who provided the ovum, and a gestational surrogate; both individuals were previously unknown to the prospective father. The interview protocol explored gay male parents’ experiences relating to telling their children about the role of surrogacy in their child’s birth, that included: a) reasons and motivations for deciding to tell or not tell their children about the surrogacy; b) dilemmas they faced; c) questions and the context in which they were asked by their children; d) what information parents told or planned/not planned to tell; e) how this newly shared information was received by their children; f) the parents' subjective experiences surrounding disclosure. A total of four organizing themes and twelve primary themes were identified. Analysis revealed overall participants were mindful of the complexity and potential sensitivity of the topic and purposefully cultivated an approach of age-appropriate discussions. The fathers viewed transparency with their child as essential to enhancing their children’s self-esteem and confidence, and for developing a solid sense of self and belonging in the family. They also sought to normalize their child’s experience and develop openly communicative parent-child relationships. Study results can be used to help potential same-sex parents understand dynamics of surrogate options and what to consider in disclosing their family story. Health workers can use results to better understand nontraditional families considering ART and help surrogates gain an understanding of they fit within these families and may be integrated into the family story.
|Commitee:||Browne, Dillon, Casey, Shannon|
|School:||Alliant International University|
|Department:||San Francisco, CSPP|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-B 80/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Clinical psychology, LGBTQ studies|
|Keywords:||Art egg donor, Disclosing surrogacy to children, Gay fathers, Gestational surrogate, Same-sex families, Surrogacy|
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