Dr Robertson (Sydney, Australia) discussed the changing pattern of couples requesting AID. Highlighted was the dramatic change in circumstances surrounding the requests for help over the last 20 years. 20 years ago, artificial insemination was hardly drawing-room conversation and practitioners of it were themselves considered quasi-ethical by their colleagues. The adoption of healthy babies was facile so there existed an outlet for the frustrations of infertility. The requests in 1960 for AID originated from clearly defined self-motivated couples who were generally ‘strong, stable, law abiding people of the community’. With the changes in the law relating to abortion, the cult of the single mother and the increasing scarcity of babies for adoption, the scene changed. Fears have existed that frustrated, impatient couples demanding AID might not allow the best long-term decisions. Dr Robertson allayed such fears by showing that the skills of parenting were still strong. He admitted that the guidelines for AID used by his own clinic were conservative by comparison with some regions of the world but perhaps liberal by others. They included the requirement for two parents of different sex having entered into a marriage contract or who had a long-term stable de facto relationship. Requests for surrogate motherhood were not currently acceptable. Dr Robertson indicated other concerns, including the mixing of natural and donor children and the increasing but still small percentage of couples referred for genetic reasons. Dr Robertson believed that the length of treatment should be decided by mutual decision between the doctor and the couple and that the presence of minor infertility factors in the female played an important role in the success or otherwise of the programmes.
KeywordsSingle Mother Artificial Insemination Surrogate Motherhood Semen Donation Artificial Reproduction
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