What is it about?

About one in 10 fathers suffer from distress, but we don't know much about gay fathers and their experiences of childbirth and early fatherhood. This study explored gay fathers’ experiences of having a baby by surrogacy. We interviewed 15 Israeli men and found that fathers came to see surrogacy as a perilous quest. Parenthood could be joyful but also real strain on fathers. Actual connections with others (e.g. partners, surrogates, wider families) and the potentials for links (e.g. with infants), shaped men's experiences of surrogacy. These connections were important in not only creating distress, but also in how men overcome distress (including depression) involved in fatherhood.

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Why is it important?

By acknowledging that fathers (and not just mothers) also suffer from distress, it becomes possible to new fathers.


Interestingly, our study shows how relationships can be not only the cause of distress, but also the cure for distress.

Damien Ridge

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: A relational investigation of Israeli gay fathers’ experiences of surrogacy, early parenthood, and mental health in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, PLoS ONE, February 2023, PLOS,
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0282330.
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