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More “Octomom” Fall-Out, should her doctor lose his license?

October 16, 2010 | By: | Filed under: Check This Out, Current Affairs, In the News, Infertility on Television, Personal Musings, Thinking Out Loud

According to a report in a Los Angeles newspaper today, the Octomom’s doctor is facing a hearing on Monday where he may lose his license.  Personally, I think what he did was malpractice and showed tremendous lack of forethought regarding the impact on this woman’s life and her family.  I don’t know that he could have predicted the societal impact and the repercussion in the reproductive medical industry.  But I wanted to know what you think!

With all the recent emphasis on single embryo transfer, and avoidance of multiple pregnancy (a twin pregnancy is now considered a management failure at some IVF Clinics), should patients in consultation with their doctors be the ones to choose to how many embryos to transfer or should doctors face regulation or possible loss of their medical license for listening to their patient when she asks to have multiple embryos transferred when it might be advisable to limit the number transferred?

Here’s the link to the article for more info:#mce_temp_url#

(in case the link doesn’t work, cut and paste this URL  http://www.whittierdailynews.com/news/ci_16351124)

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Why does Jennifer Aniston’s quest to be a mother inspire me so?

August 19, 2010 | By: | Filed under: Current Affairs, Egg Donation, Faith and Infertility, In the News, Infertility In The Movies etc., Peace to Parenthood, Personal Musings, The Journey to Parenthood, Thinking Out Loud, Uncategorized, visualization

Everyone knows that I am fan of Jennifer’s.  I actually probably wouldn’t be married to my DH if it wasn’t for some advice her mom gave me a long time ago.  But seriously, Jennifer is an extraordinary woman in all respects, and from my perspective even more so for the way she is approaching her quest to be a mom.

At 41, most of know that Jennifer is likely to be facing some fertility issues (although with her health conscious lifestyle and yoga-bod maybe she’s found the way to turn back time, she sure looks it anyway!).  While most of us would be doing a little freak-out dance now, and panicking about the ticking time bomb that are our ovaries, Ms. Aniston seems anything but panicked.  In fact, she seems rather Zen about it all.  And that is exactly my point and what inspires me.

First, the woman KNOWS she is going to be a mom.  One way or another the woman has total and complete faith that she will become a mom.  Rather than spiraling into depression (as I did and many of us do), Jennifer has seemed to have found a way to let go and TRUST.  This is, I think, the gateway to success.

I really truly believe that it is when you completely accept and embrace the concept that you will be a mother, no matter what and no matter how (IUI, IVF, IVF donor egg, gestational surrogacy, adoption, whatever is your path), that fertility treatments have the highest success rates.  Study after study shows that the mind-body connection cannot and should not be ignored.  Women who are able to be in the place that Jennifer Aniston seems to be in, are the women who are more likely to succeed with fertility treatments.  It’s fact not fiction.  I know — as does JA — that she’s got an edge on success that I wish more of my friends and clients had: The inner-knowingness of the inevitability of their impending state of motherhood.

Another thing that I think sets her apart from many of us (and I include myself in this group when I was in the first 4 or 5 years of treatment), is that by all media accounts, she seems fairly open to many different paths to parenthood.  I am not privy to her conversations with her BFF’s but I am guessing that there isn’t much she isn’t considering about how she’s going to become a mom.  That too puts her on the fast track to “mommydom”.  Not all of us can be as enlightened and confident as she is, and I am not saying that she doesn’t have her moments of . . . doubt  . . . but I really think that the confidence and openness that Jennifer Aniston is talking about whenever she is interviewed about becoming a mom is something that tells me it ain’t gonna be long before she’s announcing the arrival or the impending arrival of a little baby Aniston.

And for what its worth, I think she’s a fantastic role model for every woman, single or married, over the age of 35 who’s trying to become a mom.

ASSUME IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN, AND IT WILL.

p.s. and when you can’t totally assume it will happen, fake it, fake it until you make-it  . . . because that’s another sure fire way to get your mommy-Zen fire burning.

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Law and Order Disappoints by Getting the Law WRONG on egg donation and the law as it pertains to same sex couples in NY!

May 13, 2010 | By: | Filed under: adoption, Egg Donation, Infertility on Television, Same Sex Parenting and Reproductive Law, Thinking Out Loud

I rarely watch television anymore.  I am lucky if I get time late at night to watch something and then I usually elect to watch a re-run of The West Wing.  However, the other night DH and I decided to stay up late and watch some television and he put on one of my favorite shows, Law and Order.  This episode may have been a re-run but I am not certain; we were watching it on NBC during it’s regular time slot 10-11 pm ET.  We only caught the last half hour, the part that always deals with the trial.  This fact pattern was very convoluted and revolved around a conspiracy by a doctor and a family to cause someone’s death of cancer at a certain time so that specific amounts of money would pass to certain descendants and not to other people or organizations (I didn’t catch the fact pattern well and it was really intricate).  Had the guy died of cancer on his own before some date the defendant and her partner would have inherited ten million dollars.

In the story, the prosecutor decided to use the fact that one of the defendants (who was a daughter of the guy who died and who was supposed to inherit ten million dollars) had conceived a child with her lesbian partner using an egg donor (at least I think it was an egg donor, it could have been that the defendant female partner had donated her eggs to her lesbian partner so that her partner could carry the baby for them to raise together . . . however, the prosecutor kept using the term “egg donor” so I assumed that the couple had used an egg donor and were planning on raising the baby together).  To further complicate matters, the lesbian couple had entered into an adoption whereby one partner had adopted the other so that they could obtain insurance together etc. and more relevant to the Law and Order story line, to inherit money together.

The prosecutor wanted to use the fact that the baby, because it was conceived via an egg donor, was not really their child (biological or otherwise) to cut off any inheritance rights the baby might have to the ten million dollars, and thus deny the defendant her right to benefit from the baby inheriting the money.

This had to be  a recent episode of Law and Order as the prosecutor is someone new, and Sam Waterston (sp?) is now the District Attorney or is in a more senior role and not trying cases.  The law as it pertains to same sex couples in NY has been pretty well established for several years.  Adopting an adult for purposes of a establishing a legal relationship between same sex partners is extremely difficult to do, and I believe there are and have been enough other laws that protect or recognize same sex marriages in NY that the adoption aspect of the story line was just plain stupid and offensive (if not legally wrong)!  I don’t believe that one adult can adopt another adult.  But . . .

Second and more to the point.  Law and Order got the law wrong on egg donation!!!!!!!!!!!

Let’s assume first that it was a true egg donation whereby this couple used an egg donor to conceive a child they would parent together (and not that one partner was donating her egg to the other for purposes of conception).  In NY, although there is no statute, there is a case that specifically states that woman who gives birth to a child or children conceived via egg donation is the legal and natural mother of that child or children.  McDonald v. McDonald, 196 A.D.2d 7, 12, 608 N.Y.S.2d 477 (App. Div. 2d Dep’t 1994) (finding woman who gave birth to child conceived through egg donation to be “the natural mother of the children. . . .”).  Indeed, this case and a long line of other cases in NY deal with the presumption that a woman who gives birth to a child in NY is the legal and natural mother of that child.

Law and Order usually has lawyers that check the facts and the law on its episodes.  I am absolutely dumbfounded that they got this so wrong.  Regardless of whether one member of this partnership donated an egg to her partner or whether they used an egg donor, that baby was the legal child of the woman who was going to give birth to it.  Assuming the two members of this partnership had a legal relationship that could be recognized in NY (and maybe I am wrong on the adoption thing, but it seems that in 2010 it is easier to go to MA or Canada and get married than to try and adopt an adult (???) to create a legal union), that baby was a baby of their partnership and their love for one another, and if the baby was delivered in New York City or any of the five boroughs and they were legally married, then both of their names would go on the birth certificate.

This manipulative and legally inaccurate representation of same sex partnership laws, same sex parentage laws, and egg donation is staggeringly offensive and WRONG.  Where were Law and Order’s lawyers in this?  Do they no longer check that their story lines are factually and legally correct?  And if they have lawyers, may I take a guess that their lawyers are 80 year old homophobic men and that the show’s writers must have been on acid when they wrote this episode.

I am anxious to watch a re-run of this show and figure out what the facts were, and to determine just how wrong Law and Order got the law and order of reproductive law.

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What do the Academy Awards and the Dixie Chics have to teach us about Infertility?

March 8, 2010 | By: | Filed under: Thinking Out Loud

I have decided that the Dixie Chics have the best infertility anthem ever; the song “So hard”.  Actually that entire album is great when you are down on your child bearing capabilities or waiting for a baby.  I was listening to it this morning at the dog park and I was thinking about the comments Celine Dion got on her story in People Mag, and on an unsolicited series of communications I received from a partner at a law firm I used to work for.  He linked to me in Linked In and proceeded to accuse me of committing all sorts of sins by helping people have babies through IVF and even domestic adoption.   Much as one reader criticized Celine Dion for not adopting internationally, this man accused of me “moral relativism” (whatever that is) and said that IVF was conceited.  Yeah, well, to each his own I guess.  Quite frankly, to all those people on high horses thinking they have done something god like because they rescued a child from an orphanage somewhere like Russia, I ask what about all the children in foster care in this country?  I think The Blind Side (the movie Sandra Bullock won her oscar for last night) is an incredibly eye opening story about what Americans are not seeing in their own country, and how children are suffering here.  And Precious.  OMG.

I mean really, you want to accuse me of moral relativism for going through 7 IVF cycles, 10 miscarriages, and three domestic adoptions (only two of which resulted in permanent placements, and my gorgeous beautiful babies), fine so be it, but don’t give me some holier than thou BS, you want to do good and say you are superior to me, adopt an older child from the foster care system, someone who has been abused or abandoned.  Sandra Bullock thanked all those very wise and strong people who have loved a child that was otherwise left without hope.  Indeed two of the Best Picture nominees, The Blind Side and Precious, would be movies I suggest the people who criticized Celine Dion and the gentleman who accused me of having poor morals, watch and think about.

Do you really think that any single one of us has the right to judge the other?  Especially when it comes to something so intimate like family building.  I don’t believe it’s conceited to want to feel a baby grow inside me.  I don’t believe it’s conceited to want to adopt a newborn, nor do I think the vast majority of birth mothers in the US are “coerced” (as that gentleman alleged) by other people into placing their child for adoption.  They may be economically coerced, they may be coerced by the life they are stuck in, but any birth mother that can make the self sacrificing choice to place her child with another family to give that child a better life (whether in this country or another) is someone truly worthy of being called a hero.  And the international adoption community was until recently (and may still be) rife with black market baby stealing, and ethical issues that the Hague was designed to prevent.  No system of child bearing, family building, whatever you want to call it is better than another.  None of us are morally superior to the other.  None of us.  We all have to walk our own path.

And as the Dixie Chics understand very well, for most of us infertile people, that path is So hard.

So do me a favor.  Lay off Celine Dion for trying to have another baby through IVF.  Lay off me for trying to help people have children however they choose to do so.  My goal is to build families and to return the gifts that have been given to me by Dr. Chung (a gift to his patients and reproductive science), all the amazing people at Cornell (M. and L., Dr. Rosenwaks and Dr. Spandorfer), my husband, my children’s birth parents, just to name a few of the people who have blessed me.

And know this, my office, my practice, my agency, are and will always hopefully be a safe haven for my clients.  I promise never to judge you.  I promise to help you achieve your dreams (even if that means working with another agency, lawyer, whatever) . . . I am paying my blessings forward (as another great movie would say).  Moral relativism or not.

And what the hell is moral relativism anyway?

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Is there really finally a movie about infertility?

February 22, 2010 | By: | Filed under: Check This Out, Infertility In The Movies etc.

Okay, Jennifer Aniston and Johnny Depp do not star in this film but it was posted on a friend’s FB page and I watched the trailer.  And I think you should too.  I want to watch the entire movie . . . but more importantly, as I continue on my review of movies from Hollywood with an infertility theme (latest was Julie and Julia) I really think that someone other than a physician with connections needs to do a movie on this.  Or a television show.  Something.  not to get on my soapbox too many times but seriously, 12 million Americans have infertility.  You don’t think some screenwriter out there could come up with a realistic screenplay for a movie on infertility?????  Or hey, what about reality tv?  We have 16 and pregnant, the duggars, a baby story, stories of adoptees reuniting with their birth families, survivor, an adoption story, why on god’s green earth don’t we have a tv show documenting what we go through to become parents???????

In the meantime, watch this.  It’s worth it.  Infertility Movie

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