Canadian Counsellors’ Views of Working with Individuals Considering Third Party Reproduction
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Assisted Human Reproduction has altered the way people can achieve parenthood; individuals, families and nations have had to adjust. In Canada the lack of legislation for this rapidly growing area of privatized medicine has meant there are complex issues that must be grappled with by both donors and prospective parents. Many Canadian fertility clinics require people who consider participating in third-party reproduction see a counsellor before they proceed. The focus of this research is to understand how Canadian counsellors view the role they play in their work with third-party pre-treatment clients. This question was explored through a qualitative study. The data gained through interviews and email surveys were analyzed using thematic analysis. The study found that counsellors see themselves in a role that requires specialized skills they use to create a forum for discussion in which they educate, broaden clients’ context and reluctantly have influence on whether or not clients proceed with treatment. They face pressures from a poorly regulated system. The counsellors balance the needs of their clients for information and support with those of the physicians to whom they report.