Journal of Basic and Clinical Reproductive Sciences

Journal of Basic and Clinical Reproductive Sciences
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Desire to have a child: Possibilities of the digital age and it`s consequences for reproductive medicine and psychosomatics

Author(s): Christiane Eichenberg

Introduction: 

Background: A lot of fertility treatments are existing and research consider also psychological aspects of artificial insemination and surrogacy. But there is little known about the role of the Internet, which delivers diverse options for having a child, e.g. initiation of egg– or sperm donation or co-parenting via websites. All these options have a special meaning for psychological counseling in context of family planning and reproductive health. Research questions: What are the intersections between the desire to have a child and the Internet? Which motives and usage scenarios can be identified with regard to current state of research?

Method: Systematic literature research in the relevant medical and psychological literature databases (e.g. Pubmed, PsycInfo), search period: last 10 years; from 2008—2018. Sperm donation via connection website Private search for a sperm donor online. There are more donors on websites registered than in clinics

• Motives of women: Searching for a donor with specific characteristics e.g. appearance, intelligence, personality or looking for a person having a “deeper connection”. Motives of single-women: Greater sense of family and children, desire to act, living without partner, age, present social support

• Motives of donors: A donation initiated online is more informal and the recipient can be selected by the donor. Having a child conceived by sperm donation which was initiated by a connection-website can facilitate a family structure which is alike a traditional family where each parent is known. Most donors are heterosexual, aged 18-69. The most men have seen a photo of the child they conceived. Egg donation via Internet agencies Initiation of egg donation via Internet agencies, which are connecting donors and recipients. Most agencies are using marketing instruments to get attention and emphasize the mutual benefits between donors and recipients.

• Motives: cost-effective (compared to clinics), wider variety of donors, partially not anonymous.

Surrogacy

Surrogates can be find online via websites or online agencies. Despite surrogacy is controversial, there is a huge online-community (e.g. surro_moms_online.com) for surrogates and women, who are looking for a surrogate or wants to become one. Online they chat with each other, get information’s e.g. about surrogacy, pregnancy, legal constraints, experiences and can offer help if needed.

Motives of donors: A donation initiated online is more informal and the recipient can be selected by the donor. Having a child conceived by sperm donation which was initiated by a connection-website can facilitate a family structure which is alike a traditional family where each parent is known. Most donors are heterosexual, aged 18-69. The most men have seen a photo of the child they conceived. Egg donation via Internet agencies Initiation of egg donation via Internet agencies, which are connecting donors and recipients. Most agencies are using marketing instruments to get attention and emphasize the mutual benefits between donors and recipients. Motives: cost-effective (compared to clinics), wider variety of donors, partially not anonymous.


Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research Journal of Basic and Clinical Reproductive Sciences is a peer-reviewed online journal with Semiannual print on demand compilation of issues published.
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