1. Becoming a parent or carer
Types of parents and carers
Pregnancy is the result of male and female intercourse or artificial insemination. If a sperm finds and fertilizes the ovum in the fallopian tubes, conception occurs.
On the 8th week of pregnancy the embryo becomes a fetus and fetal organs such as, the heart and kidneys begin to work independently.
During delivery time (between 38-40 weeks) the mother experiences uterine contractions around her back and in front of her abdomen. These contractions become stronger and more rhythmic, as this occurs the cervix dilates and the fetus moves down the birth canal.
Forceps may have to be used to assist the delivery, or hormones to artificially begin the process of birth. Alternatively, a caesarean section may take place, which is an incision in the abdomen wall and uterus.
Planned children provide parents with an increased ability to restructure and positively adapt to the new family member compared to unplanned children.
Preconception planning can assist the parents by ensuring they’re psychologically and physically ready, allowing parents to discuss parenting styles, child-care, discipline, finances and housing arrangements.
Unplanned pregnancies often cause difficulties for parents in managing the altered structure of their family and the changes associated with the biological structure, emotional needs and social relationships of both parents.
The emotional, economic and social problems associated with unplanned pregnancies may lead to family hardships and strains that are difficult to overcome.
Unplanned pregnancies leave women with choices, including adoption, abortion or keeping the child and raising them.
Factors that negatively impact on a teenage mother’s ability to parent include inadequate family environment and support, low levels of parenting skills and life skills, low socio-economic status and marital success.
Methods for infertile couples
A process when the woman is able to conceive and the main is not.
Requires the injection of the partner’s sperm (AIH) or donor sperm (AID) into the cervix or uterus during ovulation.
In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
A process that requires an ova and a sperm to be obtained and fertilized in vitro (in a fertilisation dish or tube).
48 hours after fertilisation, the fertilized egg is implanted into the woman’s uterus and continues to develop naturally.
Gamete Intra-fallopian Transfer (GIFT)
Where a mixture of ovum and sperm are injected into the woman so that contraception can occur naturally inside the fallopian tubes.
This procedure is useful for couples where the woman suffers endometriosis or when the male causes infertility. Also useful for catholic couples as contraception occurs naturally as the procedure doesn’t involve the creating or destroying of embryos.
Zygote Intra-fallopian Transfer (ZIFT)
A mixture of IVF and GIFT where the ovum is fertilized in a fertilisation dish, however the fertilized egg is immediately implanted into the fallopian tubes.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
A variation of IVF, in which the egg is directly injected with a single sperm through a microscopic needle.
Social parents are people who may or may not contribute to a child’s genetic information and in majority of cases are not involved in the conception of the child.
Legal and social issues, as well as technological change can have varying influences or impacts on social parenting. This includes factors such as legislation, reproductive technology/technological change (positives and negatives) as well as community beliefs and attitudes (positives and negatives).
A permanent legally binding arrangement, transferring parental rights and responsibilities from the biological parents to the adopting parents. Official records, such as birth certificates are changed to reflect this act.