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Family Formation and Assisted Reproductive Technologies Essay

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Updated: Feb 16th, 2021

The contemporary western society is associated with a great deal of liberty when it comes to family formation. Homosexual couples are seen as something accepted, though unwelcome. The problem of infertility is solved with the help of Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART). Nevertheless, the society is still based on the concept of biological ties which leads to a number of difficulties (Dempsey, 2010). As far as legal aspect of the issues is concerned, homosexual couples are not allowed to adopt children in many countries. Besides, people tend to want to have their own children, i.e. to be biological parents due to the existing societal beliefs. People often think that even bad biological parents should be given a chance as it is believed that biological ties are stronger. However, I know several families which can be regarded as a proof that biological ties may have a negative impact on the family’s well-being.

In this regard, homosexual couples are more likely to be affected by the focus on biological ties. These couples are not seen as totally biological parents as at least one of parents is not biological. More so, even heterosexual married couples who face problems associated with fertility may become victims of the societal emphasis on biological ties in such religious traditions as Islamic and Jewish (Benagiano, Carrara & Filippi, 2012). These families and especially children in such families may become even social outcasts (to certain extent).

This intolerance is also based on the assumption that families with no (or partial) biological ties are worse than conventional families in many respects. However, it is possible to note that there is no evident correlation between biological ties and well-being of the family. Thus, Bracks-Zalloua, McMahon and Gibson (2011) stress that many fathers find parenthood enjoyable. At the same time, Hammarberg, Fisher and Wynter (2008) state that many mothers who had to resort to ART felt disappointed and experienced distress. Therefore, biological ties are not essential factors that affect the well-being of the family as there are many more relevant factors to take into account when considering ‘happiness’ of a family.

Reference List

Benagiano, G. Carrara, S., & Filippi, V. (2012). Social and ethical determinants of sexuality: 4 Sexuality and families. The European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care, 17(5), 329-339.

Bracks-Zalloua, P., McMahon, C., & Gibson, F. (2011). IVF-Conceiving fathers’ experiences of early parenthood. Journal of Relationships Research, 2, 1-9.

Dempsey, D. (2010). Conceiving and negotiating reproductive relationships: Lesbians and gay men forming families with children. Sociology, 44(6), 1145-1162.

Hammarberg, K, Fisher, J. R. W., & Wynter, K. H. (2008). Psychological and social aspects of pregnancy, childbirth and early parenting after assisted conception: A systematic review. Human Reproduction Update, 14(5), 395-414.

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