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Long Island IVF Presents at Free Public Family-Building Forum

By Tracey Minella

August 13th, 2014 at 10:04 am

Long Island IVF is excited to be part of The Tinina Q. Cade Foundation’s free public event on the afternoon of August 23, 2014 at the Jericho Public Library entitled:

Different Pathways Toward Parenthood: An Educational Panel on Overcoming Infertility

This educational event… designed to further the Cade Foundation’s mission of helping families overcome infertility… will feature a panel of five experts in various fields related to family-building, including:

David Kreiner, MD:  Fertility specialist and Reproductive Endocrinologist, Long Island IVF

Carolyn Berger, LCSW: Mental Health Care Provider

Amy Demma, Esq.: Attorney and expert in third party fertility contracts

Jim Vitale, Suffolk County Acupuncture

Timothy Sutfin, New Beginnings Adoption Agency

 

There are many ways to build a family and if you or someone you know would like to know more, you will want to register for and attend this free event to be held at the Jericho Public Library, located at 1 Merry Lane Jericho, NY from 1:00-3:00 pm on Saturday August 23, 2014. And after learning so much about family-building, you may want to kick back and enjoy a fun night out… so be sure to read the bold message at the bottom of this post!

To register for this free educational afternoon event, visit: https://cadelongislandoutreach.eventbrite.com Questions may be directed to the Cade Foundation at (443)896-6504.

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The fun continues…

In addition, those interested in winning a free IVF cycle from Long Island IVF might want to attend a very special infertility fundraiser that same evening, from 6:00-9:00 pm. Long Island IVF and Cade host “Dancing for the Family” at the beautiful Dance With Me Long Island® studio that is home to Dancing with the Stars® champion dancers, in Glen Head, NY. Have a professional dance lesson and dance the night away, enjoying drinks, hors d’oeuvres, desserts and a silent auction for only $65 (or $100 VIP). One lucky attendee will win a Free IVF cycle, valued at approximately $10,000. The cycle is transferable once (subject to certain restrictions), so bring all your friends and family to increase your odds of winning. Tickets are limited so buy yours today. For details and to purchase your tickets to the evening’s dance event, click here: http://bit.ly/1p8hDZ9

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Will we see you at the free event? Do you have any questions you’d like Dr. Kreiner to answer?

 

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Happy Donors, Happy Families…it’s all good!

By Amy Demma, Esq

November 1st, 2010 at 12:00 am

For the past several weeks, I have used this blogging opportunity to offer encouragement, to give a third-party perspective that utilizing donor eggs can work out beautifully.

This morning, having just returned from the 66th Annual American Society of Reproductive Medicine Conference, I am delighted to be writing to you about donor egg through the voices of both donors and of recipient parents ….and I am delighted to be bringing you good news!

At ASRM, a meeting of some 8,000 professionals who gather every year to discuss varied aspects of assisted family building, I attended as many donor related educational sessions as possible. It is with tremendous gratitude for the work of my colleague, Dr. Andrea Braverman, that I am thrilled to share with you the early results of a study she is conducting on donors and their retrospective thoughts on having donated…it is good news:

 “Up until now we’ve known that donors are by and large very satisfied by their experience when it takes place,’ said study lead author Andrea M. Braverman, director of complementary and alternative medicine at Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey in Morristown. “And now we see that for the vast majority the positive experience persists.”

A year after donation, the women said they seldom worried about either the health or emotional well-being of the children they helped to spawn. They said they only think about the donation occasionally and rarely discuss it.

The donors also reported that financial compensation was not the number-one motive for facilitating another woman’s pregnancy. Rather, a desire to help others achieve their dreams was pegged as the driving force, followed by money and feeling good.

Women who said the donation process made them feel worthwhile tended to be open to the notion of meeting their offspring when they reach adulthood. And most donors were receptive to the idea of meeting the egg recipients and participating in a donor registry.” (As reported by Alan Mozes, a Healthday reporter: http://health.usnews.com/health-news)

As further encouragement, I culled some testimonials from a “parenting after egg donation on-line forum” to also bring to you a parental perspective on raising a donor conceived child…it is even more good news:

“My husband and I feel blessed that (our son) is in our lives and lucky to have had all the medical procedures to help us. Lucky and Blessed.”

“The child who came into my life is the most beautiful, spirited child in the world–he is the child I was meant to have and fills me with love every minute of the day.”

 “….I wouldn’t do anything differently, including having biological children. These are the kids who were meant to be ours and we are lucky to have them.”

And so, once again, I offer to you my most sincere wishes that you should find a sense of peace about collaborative reproduction, that you should know that family building through donor egg can be wonderful and that this is not only the professional perspective but also that of the folks for whom donor egg is a very personal matter…it is, it seems, all good!!!

Amy Demma, Esq

www.lawofficesofamydemma.com

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Eggsploitation: So Very Far From The Truth

By Amy Demma, Esq

October 21st, 2010 at 7:12 am

Last Thursday evening, I attended, along with some colleagues, an event hosted by Harvard Law School. The event was a screening of the documentary entitled: Eggsploitation: The Infertility Industry Has a Dirty Little Secret, the guest speaker was the producer of the film, Jennifer Lahl, Founder and National Director of the Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. After the screening, Ms. Lahl asked of the audience “Don’t you feel better informed?”. I am writing to you this morning to tell you that watching this documentary not only leaves the viewer uninformed but dangerously misinformed. As I viewed the documentary and listened to its allegations of coercion, abuse, human trafficking, egg selling, pillage, walking egg factories (these are all words lifted straight from the film), my worry went quickly from those in the HLS audience to those prospective parents who may be considering egg donation, are currently in an egg donation cycle or who have been blessed with a donor conceived family. My message to you is simple: if you have made the decision that third-party or collaborative reproduction is the right alternative family building effort for you and if you feel confident about your clinic selection as well as the other donor egg professionals you have retained (perhaps you are using an  agency, hopefully you have retained legal counsel for the drafting of your Egg Donor Agreement) then please go into this process with trust, hope and good-faith.

Back in the summer, I wrote an article for Fertility Authority on Eggsploitation. I began the article as follows: “I am writing today to prospective parents considering egg donation, to the parents of donor conceived children and to donor candidates.” I ended the article with: “See the film if you must (and as a side-note, consider the agenda of the organization releasing it) but please do not regard Eggsploitation as authoritative; do not let this documentary dissuade you from a process you otherwise thought might be right for you.” (to read the entire article, visit: http://www.fertilityauthority.com/blogger/amy-demma/2010/08/30)

Frankly, I thought the release of the documentary, earlier this year, was but a blip on my radar. I figured there would be some industry buzz, some of us who were inspired to do so might write or do some public speaking. I assumed it would be reviewed as the vehicle it is intended to be for conservative, faith-based groups to target and ultimately restrict ART.

(Last week The Boston Globe ran an article on Jennifer Lahl. The Globe wrote: “Lahl has become a lone voice for a message that many of her fellow evangelicals are uncomfortable hearing: If embryos are human lives, she argues, then it is time for Christians to be consistent about their moral objections and unite against IVF.”)

Well, Lahl and Eggsploitation are still going…the documentary was recently screened on Capitol Hill and the producer is taking it on the road and  touring the country. And so, here I am, again, writing to prospective parents. I am sending you my empathy, my compassion but also my determination that you should know that egg donation is not as depicted by Lahl and her group, that there are good, passionate, caring professionals from all disciplines (physicians, nurses, attorneys, mental health pros) who will embrace the donor you are intending to cycle with, will care for her as they do you and that collectively, all parties will work in a careful, thoughtful and considerate way so that you may experience the joy of parenting and move forward with your family with good thoughts about your egg donation experience.

 To Learn More About Amy Demma, Esq please visit:

http://www.lawofficesofamydemma.com

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Protect Your Parental Rights With Family Planning

By Richard Vaughn, Esq.

August 18th, 2010 at 12:00 am

Intended parents forming a family through surrogacy face many medical, legal, and family law issues that go beyond the basic surrogacy agreement and the initial family formation, such as:

·       Who will act as the legal guardian of your child(ren) in the event you are unable to act due to death, or temporary or permanent disability, prior to the time a parental order is obtained?

·       Who is authorized to make medical decisions with respect to your child(ren) in the event of your disability or death?

·        Who is authorized to make vital medical decisions for you if you are unable to make those decisions for yourself?  

·       Who is authorized to make decisions with respect to your other legal and financial matters in the event you become temporarily or permanently disabled, including decisions relevant to the surrogacy and birth process?

Family Planning Documents are drafted to clarify your intentions as to who has authority to make these important decisions regarding your and your child(ren)’s health, medical care, and guardianship in the event of your death or incapacity.

Recognizing that our clients find themselves in multiple states both during the course of, and subsequent to, their family creation process NFLC’s Family Planning Documents cover these family-medical-legal issues in a multi-jurisdictional manner drafted with the intent that they be effective in as many states as possible.

These documents include:

Guardianship Designation, Power of Attorney and Consent Signed by Your Surrogate

Your Surrogacy Agreement is an important legal document; however its main purpose is with respect to your arrangement with the surrogate and the parties’ intentions. We strongly recommend protecting your parental rights through more formal guardianship documents; ideally executed at the same time as your surrogacy contract so that they are in place long before the final court order(s) of parentage are issued.

As an intended parent your parental rights are established with a judgment that becomes effective immediately upon the birth of your child(ren). A surrogate Guardianship Designation will protect your parental rights even before the birth of your child(ren), thus ensuring that you are the one who is legally authorized to make all medical decisions regarding your unborn child(ren).

Your Formal Guardianship Designation

Many parents often consider who will be responsible for taking care of their child(ren) if they were to die or become incapacitated. Unfortunately, many parents do not find the time to ensure that this decision is made legally binding. This document will officially name your choice of alternate/backup guardian(s) of the child(ren), while in utero and once born, in the event that you are unable to be there to care for your child(ren). This document is particularly important for families where only one intended parent will be listed on the birth certificate.

Advance Healthcare Directives/Proxies

Advanced healthcare directives establish your rights to have a particular person make healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to do so for yourself.

General Durable Powers of Attorney

Power of Attorney documents establish the right of your designated person to administer your assets and make legal and financial decisions on your behalf (including with respect to the surrogacy) in the event you are unable to do so for yourself.

Your Family Planning Documents can also:

·        Supplement your will or living trust and insure that appropriate legal appointments and expressions of intent are in place prior to the execution of a will or living trust (which are more complex and often require substantial time to develop in conjunction with an overall estate plan);

  • Save you time and money, since many of the Family Planning Documents would ordinarily be part of the suite of documents that you would prepare in connection with a will or living trust.

NFLC’s Family Planning Documents are applicable to all Intended Parents, whether single, married, or in a domestic partnership or civil union. For more information, please call NFLC at 800-558-4009 and ask for Richard Vaughn, or email him at Rich@NFLC.net.

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Considering Future Contact With Your Known or Anonymous Donor

By Richard B. Vaughn, Esq. National Fertility Law Center

August 13th, 2010 at 6:59 am

Choosing an egg donor is an exciting process and one that deserves a considerable amount of thought. Beyond the genetic traits, however, it is crucial to consider from the beginning whether you want an anonymous or known egg donor. This choice is one that will greatly impact the life of you and your future child(ren) and one that should be reflected in your Egg Donation Agreement.

A significant part of choosing an egg donor is deciding whether you will be using an anonymous or known donor.  When making this decision, consider: whether you want to meet with or speak to your donor; whether you wish to have or reserve the possibility of future contact with your donor; and whether you want your child(ren) to have the option of meeting your donor in the future.

Known donors are usually a friend or family member, but they can also be someone you will get to know through the egg donation process.  In known donor situations, you often have the freedom to choose what type of contact or relationship you and your child(ren) will have with your donor.  In fact, present contact between you and a known donor usually has already taken place, or will at some point in the process, and future contact between you, the donor and the resulting child(ren) is either assumed or factored in to the arrangement.

In contrast, the vast majority of egg donation arrangements are anonymous. In an anonymous egg donation arrangement, typically there is no future contact between you, the donor, and your future child(ren).  Most donors wish to be anonymous and don’t expect or want future contact, nor do they want to be part of your child(ren)’s future.  However, intended parents sometimes choose donors who are open to some level of future contact.

If you decide you want to have future contact with your donor, the next thing to consider is what type of relationship you would like to have.  It is important to select a donor who is open to the same type of relationship you are hoping for.  You may only want to meet your donor or speak with her on the phone, or you may wish to establish a longer relationship leaving open the opportunity for your child(ren) to get to know the donor in the future.

Many agencies include in the donor’s profiles whether or not they are open to future contact. If you want to reserve the option of future contact with your donor, make sure to narrow your search to donors who are also open to the same type of relationship.  

                                       

Your Egg Donation Agreement will need to be drafted to include both you and your donor’s intentions for how and in what capacity this relationship will be formed.  It is important to remember that the Agreement can outline the parties’ intentions when it comes to future contact; but the Agreement cannot force a donor to have future contact with you and your child(ren).  

Also keep in mind that if you decide to use a known donor and you are also using a surrogate, you may want to include your donor in the court process confirming your parental rights. In surrogacy cases, you need to obtain a judgment from a court confirming your status as the legal parent(s). A judgment is generally not required in an egg donation case, but if your child is going to be born through surrogacy, adding the known donor to the parental establishment case will serve as an additional safeguard to protect your parental rights.

And as always, seek the advice of legal counsel experienced in these issues as they pertain to your particular situation.

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“I Didn’t Know” Said the Woman.

By Amy Demma, Esq.

July 22nd, 2010 at 12:00 am

As professionals involved in the field of fertility, we often hear our clients say, “I just didn’t know”. They didn’t know about the age at which fertility begins to decline, they didn’t know how expensive advanced fertility treatments can cost, they didn’t know how difficult it can be to adopt, they just didn’t know how significant the road blocks might be to family building.

With respect to fertility preservation, based on data presented recently, younger women tells us that they  didn’t know that sexually transmitted diseases can lead to fertility struggles, that riskier lifestyles as young women can lead to challenges with respect to later family building efforts.

But what else about our reproductive selves do we not know? Recently, my oldest girlfriend (we have been friends for more than 30 years, the sort of friendship that blurred the lines and crossed over to “family’ decades ago) was diagnosed with advanced stage fallopian tube cancer. I cannot tell you how many “didn’t knows” have come up since the diagnosis. The most shocking of all, dear friends, was that she was completely asymptomatic until a minor fender-bender coincidentally led to a scan which then led to the diagnosis of a metastasized and pervasive cancer. My friend “didn’t know” that her reproductive organs had developed a malignancy….she just didn’t know.

It was suggested, by her oncologist, that because my friend is of Ashkenazi Jewish descent that there may be a genetic link to her cancer, it was also suggested that because my friend delayed child-bearing, that she was, therefore, at higher risk. Guess what, despite regular gynecological visits and standard screens, my friend did not know that genetically or with respect to lifestyle choices she was more likely to develop this rare cancer, some have suggested to me that likely, even her gynecologist didn’t know.

Given the connection to the nature of my friend’s cancer and the work that I do, I immediately began to reach out to colleagues. Powerful, well-informed and high-profile folks have responded with exclamations of not knowing, as well. “I’ve never even heard of fallopian tube cancer” said one very well-know known IF professional and another said, “my only guess is that it is related to ovarian cancer”. It is true, even within the oncology community that little is known about fallopian tube cancer. Because it is so rare, little funding is made available for research, minimal, if any, efforts are being undertaken for awareness.

I am pondering, this morning, this big picture question about how much we, as women, just do not know about our reproductive risks and wondering what that means for our girlfriends, our sisters, our daughters, ourselves. “I just didn’t know” cannot be acceptable, particularly with matters like fertility and gynecological cancers because not knowing until it is too late is just, well, it seems, too late.

To learn more about Amy Demma, JD,  Founder, Prospective Families 

Please visit: http://www.prospectivefamilies.com

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