Psychic problems in the medically assisted procreations

Publié le 31 Jan, 2008

A recent study by P. Revidi and B. Beauquier-Maccotta, child psychiatrists, one in the CECOS of Cochin, the other at Necker Hospital, took stock of the actual situation of the medically assisted procreation (MAP) and psychic problems it generates1. It proposes orientations to understand the construction of the link within the new totally or partially non-genetic filial status modes and tackles the psychic pain due to sterility as well as the important stress and anxiety generated by the resort to MAP (linked to techniques, waiting period, the fear to be not adapted to the child and to major sexual disturbances induced by technical restrictions).


Insufficient studies


International studies on the psychological development of children up to 12 years old are relatively reassuring and methodologically questionable because they treat about few children and these are not directly assessed. Gaps persist in the knowledge of the psychological development of children at the adolescence and at the adult age. One of the fundamental problems to assess will be the accession to the parenthood of these children and the conflicts or questions that this development step could raise. It is advisable to also assess the consequences of the oocyte and embryo donations.


Secret of origins


The disclosure of the “secret of origins” is subject to a debate. Some people reproach CECOS for preventing the children, who would want it, to know the identity of the gamete donor they biologically come from. This secret of origins would generate psychological pains. Nevertheless, the requests from young people regarding CECOS to know the identity of the donor are very rare (less than ten in Paris). The rate of disclosure by the parents does not exceed 20% of children born by artificial insemination by donor (AID), to protect the child and the father’s position. Finally, the relationship between a psychological pain and the non-knowledge of the identity of the donor is difficult to establish. The relationship between the parents and the child can be at the origin of the problem. Others reasons can also been researched. This question has to been dealt with prudence. 



1. Revidi P., Beauquier-Maccotta B., Problématiques psychiques dans les aides médicales à la procréation, EMC (Elsevier Masson SAS, Paris), Psychiatrie/Pédopsychiatrie, 37-204-G-40, 2008

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