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Archive for the ‘GLBT parenting’ tag

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 Hosts Seminar: “Family-Building the LGBT Way”

By Tracey Minella

June 15th, 2015 at 11:42 am

If you’d like information on family-building from a practice that’s been helping the LGBT community become parents for decades, we’ve got the event for you!

We’ve partnered up with the LGBT Network to bring you a very special seminar on June 25, 2015 from 7-9 pm at the LGBT Network Community Center in Woodbury, NY. http://lgbtnetwork.org/the-center

Long Island IVF’s “Family-Building the LGBT Way” seminar will answer everything you ever wanted to know about today’s LGBT Family-Building options. Two of our reproductive endocrinologists, Dr. Steven Brenner, and Dr. Satu Kuokkanen, along with other key LIIVF team members will introduce you to the fascinating world of assisted reproductive technology and how it’s used to help the LGBT community become parents. In addition, Vicky Loveland, our Donor Egg Coordinator and Melissa Brisman, Esq. owner and founder of Reproductive Possibilities http://www.reproductivepossibilities.com/ will be there. Ms. Brisman is a nationally known reproductive attorney.

LGBT family-building is different in many ways from so-called “traditional” family-building. As a practice made up of both LGBT and non-LGBT employees, we truly understand the nuances that make your family-building adventure unique to you.

Whether you met us briefly at LI Pridefest 2015 and you’d like to learn more about our LGBT Family Building program at Long Island IVF, or this is the first time you’ll be meeting us, we hope you’ll join us at the LGBT Network Community Center to learn about the many ways we can help you achieve your dream of parenthood.

Please pre-register for this free event by emailing lmontello@liivf.com. Light refreshments will be served.

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Will you be attending the “Family-Building the LGBT Way” seminar? Do you have any specific questions or particular topics you want to see covered?

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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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“Synthetic Babies”: The Shot Heard Round the World

By Tracey Minella

March 16th, 2015 at 10:50 pm

 

Credit: Iamnee/freedigitalphotos.net


Can’t we all just get along?

Boycott is the word of the week in the IVF world. In the GLBT world. And the fashion world as well.

Popular gay fashion designers, Dolce and Gabbana (D&G) crossed the line this week with some insensitive comments about GLBT parenting, claiming that children should only be born to a mother and a father.

The comments were apparently made by the designers known for pushing the “traditional family model” (one mom and one dad) as a focus in their fashion campaign. One of the pair reportedly used terms like “children of chemicals”, “synthetic children”, “uterus for rent” and “sperm from catalogs” in slamming the children produced through IVF for the GLBT community.

Leading the boycott charge is pop icon Elton John, who along with his husband David Furnish, are parents of two IVF babies. John responded on Instagram:  “How dare you refer to my beautiful children as ‘synthetic’… And shame on you for wagging your judgemental little fingers at IVF – a miracle that has allowed legions of loving people, both straight and gay, to fulfill their dream of having children.” Then: #BoycottDolce&Gabbana.

Other celebrities, many of whom are gay or lesbian parents who used IVF and/or surrogacy to create their families, quickly jumped on the bandwagon to boycott the designers. Of course, fertility practices and infertility organizations weren’t far behind in expressing their dismay and outrage. The social media world exploded with #BoycottDolce&Gabbana hashtag, and claims that the designers’ mindset was as archaic as their designs. Ouch. People of privilege promised never to buy D&G again.

But what does this mean for the average infertile person who never even heard of D&G before… much less bought their pricey designs or fragrances? Budget-conscious folks, gay or straight, just trying to afford their fertility treatments.

Not much from a practical standpoint.

But let’s look at the silver lining of this storm cloud.

Although it has come a long way over the decades and is widely accepted, IVF has always been… and will always be…criticized by those who feel it is against their religion. Personhood amendments are a threat, but we’re still winning that long, familiar battle. At the risk of being overdramatic, IVF knew who its enemy was. And it was never the GLBT community.

Then D&G happened. To have two openly gay men bash the science that is responsible for giving the GLBT community the ability to become biological parents was just so… unexpected. It caught the breath in our throats. It not only offended heterosexuals, but it outraged the GLBT community. No doubt it felt like a betrayal. And with that handful of insensitive and hurtful remarks, the old sci-fi stigma of “test tube babies” came flooding back to the forefront.

Momentarily.

Until it was promptly and forcefully beaten with a stick into the ground with a vengeance.

The swift and deafening response to the attack on gay parenting via IVF was positively electric! The passionate defense of this science and the countless children it’s responsible for creating was beyond heartening. And the collective protective instincts of the many gays and straights who stepped up against this latest enemy of medically-assisted family-building for all came through with all the ferocity of a pride of lions guarding its cubs.

For better or worse, society places great weight on the opinions of celebrities. So while no one will lose sleep over whether or not the boycott bankrupts D&G, this incident has actually helped IVF. Sad and disgusting as it was, the incident has increased public awareness of infertility and incited a “call to arms”, particularly among the GLBT and celebrity communities, in support of the rights of all people to become parents and in support of the science of IVF. And IVF needs all the support it can get.

Stand united against any threat to the science of IVF and its accessibility to all.

#BoycottD&G today.

Boycott the next threat tomorrow.

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Do you boycott companies that threaten your religious, moral, or political beliefs? What do you think about the D&G scandal?

Do you have D&G items you no longer want? Parents Via Egg Donation had a good suggestion: Rather than throwing D&G items in the trash, consider selling them and donating the proceeds to charity or a fertility-friendly organization.

 

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Beyond Zach Wahls’ Viral Same-Sex Marriage Amendment Speech

By Tracey Minella

December 9th, 2011 at 10:30 pm

This past week, there’s been a video shared wildly through social media, entitled “Two Lesbians Raised a Baby and This is What They Got”. It featured a three minute video by Zach Wahls, a handsome young man of 19, speaking before the Iowa House of Representatives. He was there to oppose a proposed amendment to the Iowa State Constitution repealing same-sex marriage.

The video is impressive on many levels. Whether you are in favor or against the amendment, no intelligent person could deny that this young man delivered one of the most eloquent, thoughtful, impassioned, and persuasive speeches we’ve seen in any political arena in quite some time. If you missed it, see it here: http://front.moveon.org/two-lesbians-raised-a-baby-and-this-is-what-they-got/#.TteLQG8-gyr.facebook

Zach Wahls is the son of a lesbian couple. At only 19, he can already claim to be an Eagle Scout, a business owner, and an engineering student who scored in the top 99% of the ACT exam. You can Google his peer tutoring business “Iowa City Learns”.

He argued that one’s sense of family comes from the family’s commitment to each other, not from the parents’ sexual orientation. And by the time he got to his zinger: “The sexual orientation of my parents has had zero affect on the content of my character,” he surely opened the eyes (and maybe the minds) of many opponents. His speech moved countless people to tears, all around the country.

So what affect did he have? And what more do we know?

Well, many don’t realize that this speech…viral for the second time during this week…was originally made back in February, 2011 before the House of Representatives in Iowa. Zach says in a Reddit thread that he spoke about 4th out of about 40 people addressing the House that day. Despite his famous speech, the House ultimately overwhelmingly voted against his position and in favor of repealing same-sex marriage.

But perhaps due to the speech’s first viral movement, the Iowa Senate declined to take up the measure, effectively killing it. And the House did not revisit it. So, for now, same sex-marriage is alive and well in Iowa.

For those of you who would like to know more about this impressive young man, in his own words, you can read the Reddit thread where he candidly answers tons of questions about all aspects of his life, his upbringing, his “small mom” and “tall mom” and his sister, learning to shave from his best friend’s dad, political views, bullying, religion, starting a business, even porn. Read it here: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/mvhnh/i_am_zach_wahls_the_guy_who_defended_my_two_moms/

And they say one person can’t change the world.

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How do you feel about gay parenting?

Photo credit: http://www.passportmagazine.com/blog/archives/2281-Zach-Wahls-Gives-Powerful-Speech-for-Gay-Marriage-in-Iowa.html

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