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Archive for the ‘Surrogacy’ Category

The Egg Donor and LGBT Family-Building

By Tracey Minella

July 20th, 2017 at 12:07 pm


Despite making decades of progress, obstacles, frustrations, and inequities are still part of daily life for the LGBT community. And for same-sex couples who want to build a family, having to seek medical attention to do so is an unwelcome but necessary reality. It’s particularly frustrating when simple biological necessity–rather than an infertility diagnosis–lands the couple in the fertility doctor’s office.

Depending on the particular couple’s situation, the “missing piece” they seek could be anything from the relatively inexpensive and easy intrauterine insemination (“IUI”) with donor sperm to the more involved and costly in vitro fertilization (“IVF”) using an egg donor and sometimes a gestational carrier. Very often, egg donation is needed in LGBT family-building.

What is egg donation?

In egg donation, a healthy young woman (the egg donor) agrees to undergo what is essentially an IVF procedure that ends at the egg retrieval stage when her eggs are turned over to a person/couple (the egg recipient/s) who uses them to create their family. The egg donor undergoes hormonal injection treatments over a couple of weeks designed to make her ovaries produce multiple mature eggs, rather than the single egg generally produced each monthly cycle.

As in IVF, the egg donor’s mature eggs will be retrieved, but instead of keeping the eggs for her own use, she donates them to another person/couple. Her role is done upon retrieval of the eggs. The donated eggs are then fertilized with the sperm of a male partner or a sperm donor and the resulting embryos are transferred to the uterus of the female partner or gestational carrier.

When is an egg donor needed?

The simple answer is: Anytime a single person or couple–heterosexual or homosexual–needs an egg to create a baby. That’s either because the woman trying to become pregnant can’t or doesn’t want to use her own eggs or because the single person or couple seeking parenthood is male. Gay men, lesbians with egg-related challenges, and some transgender people will need an egg donor.

How does it work for LGBT family-building?

A gay man or couple could have all the love in the world to give a child, but still needs an egg from a woman in order to make a baby. And a uterus, too. The embryo created from the egg donor’s egg and the sperm of the gay man/men or sperm donor needs to be transferred into the uterus of yet another woman –a gestational carrier – – who will carry the pregnancy to term. The gestational carrier, who has no biological tie to the baby, turns it over to the proud daddy or daddies at the time of birth.

Lesbian couples (or single women) using a sperm donor may be able to conceive with an IUI or through IVF using their own eggs. But sometimes, they may need an egg donor if there is an issue with egg-quality, genetic, or other concerns. (If there are uterine issues, a gestational carrier may also be needed to carry the baby.)

In certain situations, transgender people will need an egg donor. It is important to note that transgender people who transition from female-to-male can have their own eggs retrieved and frozen for future use (and male-to-female transgender people can their freeze sperm for future use) — if done prior to taking any medical or surgical steps on the transgender transition or sexual reassignment journey. Be sure to see a reproductive endocrinologist to discuss these options before it’s too late.

If you would like more information on LGBT parenting options  or would like to schedule an initial consultation with a reproductive endocrinologist, the doctors and staff at Long Island IVF have been helping build LGBT families for decades and would be happy to help you. With several offices throughout Long Island and one in Brooklyn, we’re conveniently located near you.

As a partner of the LGBT Network on Long Island, Long Island IVF is committed to continuing to build families for the LGBT community through cutting-edge medical technology, complementary holistic therapies, and sensitivity to all patients’ individual needs.

Long Island IVF, along with the LGBT Network, offers free LGBT family building seminars every June and periodically throughout the year.

Register here for our next free “Building Families in the LGBT Community” event, which will be held on October 26, 2017 at the LGBT Network at 34 Park Avenue, Bay Shore, NY. Follow our blog, Twitter, and Facebook for more information.

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National Coming Out Day and Reproductive Options for the LGBT Community

By Tracey Minella

October 11th, 2016 at 6:29 pm


Long Island IVF has been proudly building families for the LGBT community for decades and we are mindful and supportive of LGBT rights and days of significance to the community.

Today, we mark National Coming Out Day—a day to support the men, women, and gender-fluid among us who are, in some cases, summoning the courage to “come out” to their friends, families, and others and begin to live their lives in an open and true to themselves way. Some of these people are teens, or even younger and sadly, the threats against them from various sources are very real. Laws may change, but people often do not…or at least not as quickly.

Long Island IVF is a long-time friend to the LGBT community, and has partnered with the Long Island’s LGBT Network to present seminars specifically designed to address the unique family-building needs of the LGBT community. The next free seminar will be on October 25, 2016 at the Long Island IVF Melville office. Register here.

Reproductive options for lesbian couples will be discussed including topics such as donor sperm insemination, in vitro fertilization, reciprocal IVF, use of gestational carriers, donor eggs, and more. The limitations and the workup for women wishing to donate eggs and/or carry a pregnancy will be covered. Surrogacy and gestational carriers for gay male couples will also be addressed. In addition, the fertility preservation options available to transgender people prior to transitioning will be covered. The social, legal, financial, and medical issues will be discussed.

If you are…or love…a member of the LGBT community, you won’t want to miss this information–packed seminar.

Long Island recognizes that your needs and rights to parenthood are universal, but that the approach to your care and particular fertility obstacles is unique. Our staff, some of whom are members of– or parents of –the LGBT community themselves, is sensitive to your needs and eager to help you build your family.

You may have come out today. Why not come meet us in two weeks?

If you would like to attend our next seminar, please register here.

 

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A Long Island IVF Rainbow Baby Story

By admin

September 27th, 2016 at 7:36 am

image:wpclipart.com

This beautiful story of light after loss was shared by and printed with the permission of one of our patients, Susan:

“Rainbow Baby is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it does not mean the storm never happened or that the family is still not dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy, and hope”. – Anonymous

 

 

Our storm began April 23,, 2013, when at 23 weeks pregnant, we lost our beautiful twin boys James and Logan. There was no reason, no cause given, just that we lost them. We never got to hear them cry or breathe or hold living babies in our arms. To save me, the doctors took our babies and my uterus, eliminating my chance of ever carrying another baby. When you lose a baby in utero, you don’t get a birth certificate or even a death certificate – in the eyes of the law they never existed.

Leaving the hospital with only their footprints and memory boxes was the worst possible feeling I could have ever imagined. The days, weeks, and months that followed were dark and stormy. Every day we questioned how we could ever go on. Would we ever feel the love and happiness we experienced the day we learned we were pregnant with James and Logan?

I have to believe that our baby boys led us to our rainbows. As sad and distraught as we were, we felt drawn to find another option to complete our dream of becoming parents, of someday hearing the words “mommy” and “daddy”.

Through our fertility clinic, Long Island IVF, we were sent to an agency where we were matched with a surrogate. Little did we know that she would become our angel on Earth – she would bring our rainbow babies to us. Her due date was April 20th, my birthday and almost three years to the date we lost our baby boys.

On March 28, 2016, Alexa Grace and Ashley Hope– our rainbow babies– entered our world and we felt the love and joy we doubted we would ever know. Losing James and Logan was the worst possible storm we will hopefully ever have to weather, but with them watching over us we became a family. As the quote says, the rainbows don’t take away the storm clouds but these little girls make us cherish what we have here on Earth and what we have in Heaven.

In an effort to help others who may be struggling in a similar way, I wanted to share our story–including a piece about the struggles and decisions we made that only people going through similar situations would understand. Our journey to have Ashley and Alexa was not easy – there were many times we wanted to give up, but we always came back to the belief that we were MEANT to be parents.

Our first attempt with our surrogate resulted in a miscarriage – another devastating loss, but we still had embryos remaining so we had those genetically-tested and we had one, genetically normal, male. We did that transfer in April 2015 and it didn’t take. Mark and I took some time to reflect and think of other options – adoption, donor egg, or live childless.

We met with Vicky Loveland, the nurse in charge of the Donor Egg Program at Long Island IVF, and decided the best choice for us would be donor egg. Vicky and her staff were wonderful, they walked us through each step of the process and made me feel like a “mom”. Don’t get me wrong, I did grieve – the loss of ever carrying a child and the loss of ever having a genetic child of my own, but it always came back to knowing I was meant to be a mom and Mark a dad. With Vicky’s help we quickly found a donor that we felt most matched me and the process began. We ended up with four embryos and decided to put two in for transfer.

The moment we held Alexa and Ashley I sighed and smiled – my babies were here and we were finally a family. We have brought the girls in to the clinic to meet all the amazing people that made our girls possible. Mark and I were blessed to find Long Island IVF and all the caring individuals who gave us hope.

-Susan and Mark

 

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Dr. Kreiner Hosts Talk on Fertility Preservation and Reproductive Options for the LGBT Community

By Tracey Minella

November 1st, 2015 at 1:24 pm

Dr. David Kreiner, reproductive endocrinologist and co-founder of Long Island IVF, is excited to be presenting an interactive lecture and Q&A session on Fertility Preservation and Reproductive Options for the LGBT Community at the 20th Annual Long Island LGBT Conference.

The conference will be held at the Charles B. Wang Center at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York, on Tuesday, November 17th, from 8:30 am- 2:00 pm. The conference is sponsored by the LGBT Network and any questions or registration should be directed to them. Admission is free to SBU students and is available for $20-30 for other age groups.

Dr. Kreiner will introduce the medical options available to assist LGBT family-building with special emphasis on the importance on advance planning for fertility preservation. Topics will include:  donor sperm insemination, in vitro fertilization, reciprocal IVF, use of gestational carriers, and also fertility preservation in the transgender community. The social, legal, financial, and medical issues will be discussed.

Reproductive options for lesbian couples will also be discussed. The limitations and the workup for women wishing to donate eggs and/or carry a pregnancy will be covered. The legal, medical and financial issues involved with surrogacy and gestational carriers for gay male couples will also be addressed. In addition, the fertility preservation options available to transgender people prior to transitioning will be covered. If you are…or love…a member of the LGBT community, you won’t want to miss this information–packed seminar.

Long Island IVF has been a supportive provider of assisted reproductive family-building services for the LGBT community for decades. We recognize that your needs and rights to parenthood are universal, but that the approach to your care and particular fertility obstacles is unique. Our staff, some of whom are members of the LGBT community themselves, is sensitive to your needs and eager to help you build your family.

If you would like to attend Dr. Kreiner’s lecture, please register by contacting the LGBT Network. http://bit.ly/1N77BrP

 

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Do you have any questions you would like Dr. Kreiner to address either before or at the lecture? If so, please comment below.

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Donor Egg Recipient Seminar at Long Island IVF

By Tracey Minella

October 6th, 2015 at 12:11 pm

Do you think you might need an egg donor in order to build your family…but have a lot of questions about the process? Then you won’t want to miss this exciting event!

On Tuesday, October 13, 2015, at 7:00 pm, Long Island IVF will host a free event that could potentially change the course of your family-building journey. Everything you could ever need to know about egg donation will be covered. It should last about 2 and a half hours.

There are many reasons women ultimately choose to use donor eggs to build their families. Women whose eggs have been compromised by advanced age, cancer treatment, poor general quality, or other factors, have many ways to build a family through the donor egg and donor embryo programs at Long Island IVF. For many of these women, a healthy egg is their only obstacle to pregnancy. Gay men wanting biological children also need donor eggs.

Admittedly, conceiving with donor eggs or embryos is rarely the first choice, but often is an acceptable alternative after weighing many personal physical, emotional, psychological, and financial considerations. Decades of happy moms agree that using donor eggs was the best decision they ever made. In fact, you can ask one yourself at the seminar as one of our successful recipient moms will be on hand to share her experience!

It’s okay if you may not be ready to act on all the information you’ll receive. You won’t be pressured in any way. We’re just here to offer information… and emotional support. So why not come out and just listen to our team discuss the many different egg and embryo donation options?  Victoria Loveland, RN & Donor Egg Nursing Coordinator, Aviva Zigelman, LCSW & Donor Egg Program Director, Steven Brenner, MD, and other key members of our Donor Egg team will all be there to answer your questions, privately if you prefer.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised when we tell you about how affordable and stream-lined our programs can be, especially our embryo donation program. And how competitive the success rates can be, as well.

Long Island IVF offers several different egg donation options, including Sole Recipient Fresh Egg Donation, Shared Recipient Fresh Egg Donation, Frozen Egg Donation, and Frozen Embryo Donation cycles. Each option offers its own unique benefits, costs, and other considerations. We have young, healthy, pre-screened egg donors representing multiple ethnicities ready to help you build your family.

Take that first step, even if you’re hesitant. We look forward to seeing you and answering your questions about the exciting option of egg donation. Light refreshments will be served. Bring a friend.

Please RSVP to Debra Mathys at dmathys@longislandivf.com and say you’ll be there, but walk-ins are always welcome. There is no cost to attend.

Location: Long Island IVF 8 Corporate Center Drive, Suite 101, Melville, NY

Date: Tuesday October 13, 2015

Time: 7:00 pm

 

LONG ISLAND IVF: WINNER “BEST IN VITRO FERTILITY PRACTICE” in the Long Island Press’s “Best of Long Island 2015″ contest. We are humbled and excited by the honor! Can we help you build your family as well?

 

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Will you be there? If you’d like to attend but can’t, please call anyway so we can make other arrangements.

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Donor Egg Recipient Seminar at Long Island IVF

By Tracey Minella

July 10th, 2015 at 12:05 pm

Thinking you might need an egg donor in order to build your family…but have a lot of questions about the process? Then we’ve got the event for you!

On Tuesday, July 14, 2015, at 7:00 pm, Long Island IVF will host a free event that could potentially change the course of your family-building journey. Everything you could ever need to know about egg donation will be covered. It should last about 2 and a half hours.

There are many reasons women ultimately choose to use donor eggs to build their families. Women whose eggs have been compromised by advanced age, cancer treatment, poor general quality, or other factors, have many ways to build a family through the donor egg and donor embryo programs at Long Island IVF. For many of these women, a healthy egg is their only obstacle to pregnancy. Gay men wanting biological children also need donor eggs.

Admittedly, conceiving with donor eggs or embryos is rarely the first choice, but often is an acceptable alternative after weighing many personal physical, emotional, psychological, and financial considerations. Decades of happy moms agree that using donor eggs was the best decision they ever made. In fact, you can ask one yourself at the seminar as one of our successful recipient moms will be on hand to share her experience!

It’s okay if you may not be ready to act on all the information you’ll receive. You won’t be pressured in any way. We’re just here to offer information… and emotional support. So why not come out and just listen to our team discuss the many different egg and embryo donation options?  Victoria Loveland, RN & Donor Egg Nursing Coordinator, Aviva Zigelman, LCSW & Donor Egg Program Director, and Steven Brenner, MD will all be there to answer your questions, privately if you prefer.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised when we tell you about how affordable and stream-lined our programs can be, especially our embryo donation program. And how competitive the success rates can be, as well.

Long Island IVF offers several different egg donation options, including Sole Recipient Fresh Egg Donation, Shared Recipient Fresh Egg Donation, Frozen Egg Donation, and Frozen Embryo Donation cycles. Each option offers its own unique benefits, costs, and other considerations. We have young, healthy, pre-screened egg donors representing multiple ethnicities ready to help you build your family.

Take that first step, even if you’re hesitant. We look forward to seeing you and answering your questions about the exciting option of egg donation. Light refreshments will be served. Bring a friend.

Please RSVP to Debra Mathys at dmathys@longislandivf.com and say you’ll be there, but walk-ins are always welcome. There is no cost to attend.

Location: Long Island IVF 8 Corporate Center Drive, Suite 101, Melville, NY

Date: Tuesday July 14, 2015

Time: 7:00 pm

 

LONG ISLAND IVF: WINNER “BEST IN VITRO FERTILITY PRACTICE” in the Long Island Press’s “Best of Long Island 2015″ contest. We are humbled and excited by the honor! Can we help you build your family as well?

 

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Will you be there? If you’d like to attend but can’t, please call anyway so we can make other arrangements.

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The Male Biologic Drive to Parent

By David Kreiner MD

July 7th, 2015 at 3:01 pm

Photo credit: Valentina, proud wife and mom of Devin and Danny

Fatherhood comes in many different varieties that as a reproductive endocrinologist specializing in family building I see on a regular basis.  Whether the man is involved in a traditional heterosexual relationship or is attempting to build a family with his male partner or by himself, man… like woman… feels a biologic drive to parent.  As such, although adoption is a wonderful way to create a family, surrogacy and egg donation is appealing to male-only prospective parents because it affords them the opportunity to have a biological connection to their baby.

 

There are two types of surrogates: traditional and gestational.  A traditional surrogate supplies her own eggs and carries the baby to term.  Gestational carriers do not supply their own eggs and therefore a separate egg donor is utilized.  Unlike donated sperm, donated eggs require the in vitro fertilization (“IVF”) process involving hormonal stimulation of the female egg donor, monitoring during the 2 weeks of stimulation, and transvaginal egg retrieval which is performed under anesthesia.  Typically, the intended male father supplies the sperm and the fertilized eggs or embryos are placed into the uterus of the gestational surrogate.  Surrogates carry the pregnancy to term then surrender the baby and their parental rights to the father or male couple.  The process involves the use of assisted reproduction attorneys, and/or a donor/surrogacy agency. The entire process including IVF with egg donation, surrogacy, and obstetrical care has a cost that can be insurmountable for many men desiring to start a family, estimated to cost between $125-150,000.

 

There have been a few ways some men have successfully cut this expense.  First of all, the fee agencies charge to supply the donated eggs and the surrogates ranges from $10,000-$40,000 independent of the fee the reproductive attorney charges or the cost of psychological screening.  Some IVF programs will supply these services at a much lower cost.  In addition, these IVF programs have relationships with lesbian partners who may be interested in becoming surrogates after they have completed their own families.  Also, some income-based grants exist for male couples in need of surrogates.

 

Whatever your situation, Long Island IVF has the history, the means, the skills, and the desire to assist you in your family building journey.  We can assist you in finding the best agencies/donors/surrogates, reproductive attorneys and counselors to insure that you have the greatest chance of achieving your goal for the family of your dreams.

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How important is it to you to have a biological child and what is the greatest obstacle to you’re facing/faced in achieving that dream?

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Gay Rights Taking Baby Steps Towards Family Building

By David Kreiner MD

July 3rd, 2015 at 10:13 am

 

photo credit: Sarah Allison Photography


Today, same sex marriage is a constitutional right.

It was a long time coming with much frustration, discrimination and actual blood, sweat and tears but thanks to the recent Supreme Court landmark ruling, equal rights is now protected by the law of the nation.

Now that SCOTUS has declared same sex marriage legal in every state, what affect will that decision have on alternative family building for the LGBT community? And how quickly will any changes be implemented?

Currently, insurance companies require that lesbian couples go through 6-12 cycles of inseminations without offering their insurance benefit because they “have not been proven to be infertile”…hint-you need sperm to make a baby.  Allowing lesbian partners access to their insurance for fertility treatment without first spending thousands of dollars on inseminations to “prove infertility” would seem to be a right that follows from such legislation.

And don’t get me started on the inaccessibility of insurance for fertility for gay male couples. Currently, depending on where they live, they must obtain surrogates who receive about $25,000 as compensation and pay additional $35-60,000 agency and legal fees plus the cost of obstetrical care on top of IVF fees.  This brings the overall cost to an average of approximately $125,000.  Of interest, Apple, Google and some of the other big high tech companies have offered such coverage.

It seems to me that if we recognize that all citizens are equal regardless of sexual orientation that offering equal rights to family building is merely a logical extension of the Supreme Court decision.

Today, we rejoice for the liberating decision regarding gay marriage…tomorrow we work towards equal access to care for family building. In the meantime shall we say we are taking baby steps…

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What changes, if any, in LGBT family-building access/coverage, do you hope will come from the recognition of same-sex marriage? What roadblocks have you faced and how have they affected your family-building?

 

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Long Island IVF-WINNER: Best in Vitro Fertility Practice 2015

It is with humble yet excited hearts that we announce that Long Island IVF was voted the Best In Vitro Fertility Practice in the Best Of Long Island 2015 contest.

The doctors, nurses, embryologists, and the rest of the Long Island IVF staff are so proud of this honor and so thankful to every one of you who took the time to vote. From the moms juggling LIIVF babies… to the dads coaching LIIVF teens…to the parents sending LIIVF adults off to college or down the aisles… to the LIIVF patients still on their journeys to parenthood who are confident in the care they’re receiving…we thank you all.

We love what we’ve gotten to do every day more than 27 years…build families. If you are having trouble conceiving, please call us. Many of our nurses and staff were also our patients, so we really do understand what you’re going through. And we’d like to help.

 

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Long Island IVF Builds Families for GLBT Community

By Tracey Minella

November 4th, 2014 at 6:57 pm

 

credit: david castillo dominici/free digital photos.net


Long Island IVF is so excited to return to the Long Island GLBT Expo this weekend on Sunday, November 9, 2014 at the Long Island Hilton in Melville, New York. We’ll have a raffle again, too, so be sure to stop by.

Long-committed to helping the GLBT community build their families, we love being able to reach out in person in a supportive environment like the expo. It gives you a chance to get a feel for us in a casual, rather than clinical, atmosphere. Some of our staff belongs to the GLBT community, so we understand what you’re feeling. Choosing a fertility practice is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make, so come over to our booth and say hello and ask us some questions.

Here’s a true story: Last year, a couple of guys (let’s call them “Max” and “Larry”~ not their real names) came by our booth at the expo. We talked. We bonded. And today, Max and Larry are a couple of proud new dads!  Their beautiful baby’s birth announcement just recently arrived. And it all started with a conversation at this expo.

There are so many options available and amazing new advances in assisted reproductive technologies that can help resolve your unique family-building challenge. We offer the most cutting edge technologies, including PGS (Pre-implantation Genetic Screening), and EEVA (Early Embryo Viability Assessment), many of which are only available at a handful of fertility centers in the country. We have pre-screened, multi-ethnic anonymous donors ready to help you, if needed. And we offer personal financial representatives to help navigate insurance issues and explain our many grant programs and flexible payment options.

We look forward to welcoming you into our family as we help you build yours.

 

LONG ISLAND IVF was nominated BEST IN VITRO FERTILITY PRACTICE in the Long Island Press’s “Best of Long Island 2015″ contest. If you’d like to vote to help us win, you can vote once per day from now through Dec 15 here: http://bestof.longislandpress.com/voting-open/

 

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Will we be seeing you at the expo on Sunday?

 

Photo credit: David Castillo Dominici/freedigitalphotos.net http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/latin-mother-with-daughter-and-aunt-photo-p200021

 

 

 

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Granny’s Got Game: When Love Brings a Uterus Out of Retirement

By Tracey Minella

August 18th, 2013 at 10:59 pm

 

image courtesy of david castillo dominici/free digital photos.net


Mothers are the most special people on the planet. In fact, they are angels on earth. So are grandmothers. Their devotion to their children’s safety and happiness is mind-blowing. They will stop at nothing when it comes to their children.

That’s why most of us are driven to be mothers ourselves. We’ve likely watched our own moms take care of us and their example feeds our own maternal longing.

So what happens when a woman who desperately wants a baby that’s biologically hers meets a brick wall on her infertility path? A wall with hurtful graffiti that says “Not Gonna Happen in Your Uterus”.

What happens when she relays this news as she sobs in her own mother’s arms?

Sometimes… her mom steps up to the stirrups.

Fueled by the powerful combination of two complementary forces…her child’s happiness and her own desire for grandchildren…and assisted by in vitro fertilization (“IVF”) technology, moms sometimes become gestational carriers for their children.

That means that embryos created through IVF from the eggs and sperm of the grown child and their spouse are transferred instead into the uterus of the grown child’s mother, in the hope that implantation will occur and a healthy pregnancy and baby will result. It is a grandmother giving birth to her grandchild.

Think about it.

Advances in reproductive medicine have made it possible for an older woman to deliver a baby grandchild from the same uterus that hosted one of its parents decades earlier.

This blog was inspired by the news this week of a 53-year-old woman who, wanting to help her daughter and son-in-law build their family, carried and gave birth to her own twin grandchildren. And this is after she already gave birth to another grandchild for them a couple of years earlier. Now that’s a mother’s love.*

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If you were unable to carry a baby for medical reasons, would you ask your mom to carry for you? Would you ask another family member? Would you seek out a stranger? Or would you do something else entirely?

* Source:http://www.scienceworldreport.com/articles/8847/20130815/53-year-old-gives-birth-daughters-twin-babies.htm

Photo credit: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/agree-terms.php David Castillo Dominici

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