University of Sussex
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Assisted reproduction and the legal recognition of multiple parents: a comparative analysis

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posted on 2023-06-08, 21:41 authored by Philip Bremner
Assisted reproduction technology (ART) creates an opportunity for the creation of co-parenting arrangements involving donors and surrogates. Donor and surrogate involvement in the lives of children born using ART has received increased media attention recently and is a matter of considerable social significance. This dissertation attempts to test the law’s restriction to two parents in light of the potential for co-parenting arrangements. In order to do this, it adopts a socio-legal approach by considering the law within its social context and using empirical research methods to canvass opinion in relation to this from appropriate purposively selected research participants. The study employed a mixed methods approach, using an online questionnaire and telephone interviews, to collect empirical data on the views of people who have become (or intend to become) parents using ART, in relation to donor/surrogate involvement and legal recognition. These data were analysed using a constructivist grounded theory approach in order to generate theory from data and explore how participants construct and interpret their own social reality. This was necessarily a small-scale project that nevertheless successfully captured a range of views in relation to donor/surrogate involvement and legal recognition. The overall impression from the data was that co-parenting may not be a particularly attractive concept for heterosexual couples but it might be something that same-sex couples would seek. The study also highlighted the need for further research in this area, particularly in relation to same-sex couples.


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  • masters

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  • eng


University of Exeter

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