Fertility Musings, Questions & Answers and News

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The arrangement

So, a few posts back I wrote about someone I know of* (I don't actually know her, I'm in close touch with a member of her family) who has chosen to try to conceive using the sperm of one partner of a homosexual couple. They've now tried a natural (unmedicated) IUI cycle and a medicated IUI which were both unsuccessful. Currently the third cycle is underway (also medicated).

It is interesting to hear about the relationship developing between the two families, in preparation for the future child... some members of the extended families have met and the future mother and fathers(?) have actually decided to buy apartments in the same building, so that they will be close to each other. In many ways, their commitment to each other seems even more solid than a marriage - and she never has to worry about him leaving his smelly socks on the floor, while he never has to worry about her spending too much money on make-up... And, perhaps as a single mom, it's really very responsible to think of what will happen to the child should something ever happen to her.

I guess the next step is to actually get pregnant. I'll keep you posted.

*She knows (and doesn't mind that) I am writing about her.

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Monday, January 04, 2010

Single-joint motherhood by choice

Someone I know of is currently in her 2 week wait. She's very near 40 and has spent the past many years building her career, but hasn't found Mr. Right. So about two years ago, she decided she was going to have a baby whether she got married or not (with it being fairly obvious that she wouldn't)... and after contemplating her options, she decided that she would like to find a homosexual couple who wanted to have a baby, so that her baby wouldn't grow up without knowing his/her biological father. After asking her friends and talking to a lot of people, someone suggested a couple. They hit it off & spent the next many months working out all of the details with a lawyer. I know very few of the details, but do know that she will have full custody for the first two years - and that after that, they will share custody.

I can't stop thinking how complicated this is - maybe even more than a divorce, in which (in Israel, at least) usually one parent has custody and can therefore move away. With joint custody, they've got to stay where they are. And they've got to agree on all sorts of things that are really hard to agree on... on the other hand, they'll each have a few free days a week. And every other weekend. And two sides to pay the expenses... I also wonder what happens if she does find a partner. How will that fit into the picture?

What are your thoughts?



Sunday, August 23, 2009

PCOS, Acupuncture, Surrogacy & Donor Gamete Babies

In this article published by NewsMax (which my dad sent me), they discuss a recent study performed by Elisabet Stener Victorin at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. In it, they studied women diagnosed as having polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

During the study, one group of women with polycystic ovary syndrome received acupuncture regularly for four months. They received a type of acupuncture known as “electro acupuncture”, in which the needles are stimulated with a weak low frequency electric current, similar to that developed during muscular work. A second group of women were provided with heart rate monitors and instructed to exercise at least three times a week. A control group was informed about the importance of exercise and a healthy diet, but was given no other specific instructions.

The results showed more normal menstruation and significantly lower testosterone levels in the group who received acupuncture.

My mom sent me this article (yeah, sounds like I no longer have to do any of my own research) about children born via surrogacy, egg donation and sperm donation. Polly Casey from the Centre for Family Research at Britain's Cambridge University studied nearly 200 families – 128 with children born using assisted reproduction of one of the types mentioned above and 70 conceived without ART. She found that “the family types did not differ in the overall quality of the relationship between mothers and their children and fathers and their children”.

The article also discusses parents’ intentions as to revealing donor and surrogacy issues to their children and what they actually chose to do by the time the children were seven years old.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

How much of us is our genes?

In 7th grade in Israel, the kids spend the entire year researching their families. They interview them one-by-one, create family trees, and discuss traditions and recipes handed down from generation to generation. The grand finale is an evening in which everyone prepares a family recipe and brings it to the school and then listen to a whole lot of speeches about what our roots mean to us.

Some of the speeches annoyed me. I know that there's a girl in the 7th grade who was adopted shortly after birth and there could be others, so statements like, "If we don't know our past we will never know our future" just sounded wrong to me. Do adoptees feel that the parents who raised them had no impact on their lives? And how about kids born from sperm or egg donation? How do they feel when they hear things like this? And then we can go to an even simpler example - what about a child who grew up in a single parent home because one parent just walked out one day? (I can think of several readers of this blog who were in that situation.) Does the fact that a parent was far from perfect mean that they don't have a chance to be amazing people?

I realize that schools can't ignore the fact that most children have two pretty-much-OK biological parents, both of whom they have contact with on a regular basis, but is there some way to make everyone feel like they're OK even if they don't know exactly what their genetic heritage is? Thoughts?

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