Current Views on Creating Families
The purpose of this study was to explore young adults' views on building their future families; methods of having children including adoption, in vitro fertilization (IVF), donor insemination, egg donation, and surrogacy; disclosure of these methods to children; and the importance of children's contact with extended family. The sample consisted of 82 Boston College students, 41 males and 41 females, with a mean age of 20.67 years. Participants completed a questionnaire and an open-ended interview. The majority of the participants expected to have a life-long partner, raise at least one child, and help their children build relationships with extended relatives. Males and females did not differ on most questions; however females reported thinking about their future families more often than did males (p = .01), and females expected to start their families earlier than did males (p = .02). Participants were more open to adoption than to assisted reproduction technology (ART). IVF was the most preferred among the methods of ART (p < .001). Participants reported they would be most likely to disclose information to their child had they used adoption or ART and were the genetic parent. Some participants emphasized the importance of disclose to a child had they used ART and were not the genetic parents; approximately one-fourth of participants affirmed that a child has a right to know. Participants reported it would be easier to answer their children's questions about adoption or ART than to initiate a discussion on these topics with their children (p < .001). The majority of participants reported that it was important to help their children build connections with extended family and they planned to accomplish this through visiting and preserving family traditions. The findings provide insight into young adults' expectations for creating their families.