June 6, 2014
California is the Place to be for Surrogacy...Again
While we do not always prefer to toot our own horns here in California, the following piece regarding the state of surrogacy in Louisiana again proves that California IS the place to be.
Let’s be honest though, for those of us working in the fertility industry, the decision by Louisiana Governor, Bobby Jindal, to veto legal surrogacy in Louisiana actually dodges that hopes of any prospective intended parents, surrogates, and IVF physicians alike.
But politics is politics, as the Governor stated in his official letter following the veto:
"Despite the good intentions and hard efforts of the author, this legislation still raises concerns for many in the pro-life community," said Jindal.
Unfortunately, politics has trumped these families.
June 2, 2014
IVF and Infertility By The NumbersGreat article from Forbes contributor, David Sable below. Apparently, he is not a fan of IVF or the numbers...thoughts?
As investors we “do the math.” In observance of National Infertility Awareness Week (NAIW), a little IVF math: The latest Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology annual report shows 61,740 babies were born from in vitro fertilization procedures performed in 2012. Since the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports approximately 4 million births per year, that means that between one and two percent of all births in the United States now occur as a result of IVF. How many of us were conceived through IVF? That number is a little harder to find. ESHRE, the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, recently estimated a total of 5 million IVF babies worldwide. Dividing the 61,740 US babies in 2012 by the estimated 350,000 IVF babies born worldwide per year (International Committee for Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies estimate) and applying the resulting 18% to the 5 million figure, there are roughly 900,000 people in the United States who were born from IVF cycles. Dividing 900,000 by the US Census Bureau 2013 population estimate tells us that approximately one in 348 of us is an IVF person. This means that: 100 people in the crowd at Fenway Park last night were conceived using IVF. Every obstetrician in the United States delivered on average three IVF babies last year. (Bureau of Labor Statistics obstetrician numbers) If we assume that half of the visitors to Times Square each year are US residents, then on any given day there are 305 US tourists conceived by IVF bumping into each other on Broadway between 42nd and 47th Streets. A Google search for “IVF stigma” returns 155,000 results in .37 seconds. “Infertility stigma” returns 318,000 results in .39 seconds. “Infertility support” returns 26,800,000. That’s an 84 to 1 support to stigma ratio. Infertility awareness indeed.
May 30, 2014
IVF ‘mix up’: Italian woman pregnant with wrong embryos
A pregnant woman in Italy was shocked to discover that she is pregnant with twins who are not genetically related to her following IVF (as reported in the English and Italian press). The woman, who is now 3 months pregnant found out that the wrong embryo had been implanted and that the twins possess different DNA to her and her husband at a pre-natal check.
The mix-up reportedly occurred at the Sandro Pertini Hospital in Rome, Italy in December last year as the woman underwent IVF treatment alongside three other women of which one had a very similar surname. A lawyer representing the woman has confirmed that she will continue with the pregnancy. The genetic mother of the twins reportedly miscarried following her IVF treatment. It is not clear if any other women have become pregnant with the wrong embryo. In Italy, as under English law, the birth mother is recognized as the child’s legal mother. The only means to transfer parentage from a birth mother to a genetic mother under English law is to apply for a parental Order following a surrogacy arrangement, and the birth mother must give consent.It is reported that she intends to keep the twins with the genetic mother having no rights to them at all. A very sad story indeed. Read more here and here.
May 29, 2014
Court Orders Embryos Created by Woman & Boyfriend to be given to Woman over Boyfriend’s ObjectionsIn a case that we have seen before in Texas, aka Roman v. Roman, a Chicago court is heating up the issue again with another embryo dispute. In this most recent case, the Chicago woman is now allowed to use the embyros despite the boyfriend's desire not to procreate.
What are your thoughts on this? It appears that the case matches the Roman case that went all the way to the US Supreme Court via writ, but was rejected.
Read more below from the Chicago Tribune article excerpt:
A Cook County judge this morning awarded custody of frozen embryos to a 42-year-old Chicago woman over the objections of her ex-boyfriend who said it violates his right to not procreate. In 2009, Karla Dunston, a doctor who lives in the city, began dating Jacob Szafranski, a 32-year-old firefighter, paramedic and nurse from Elgin. A few months into their relationship Dunston was diagnosed with lymphoma and had to undergo chemotherapy that would ultimately destroy her fertility.Read more here.
She testified that she longed to have a biological child and asked Szafranski to provide his sperm so embryos could be frozen prior to her treatment, and he did so, despite neither of them thinking the relationship had long-term prospects. A co-parent agreement giving Dunston control of the embryos was never signed, though.
The couple broke up in May 2010. Szafranski said he changed his mind about being a father after friends and a girlfriend reacted negatively, according to court documents. Judge Sophia H. Hall said this morning in a written ruling that oral agreements between Szafranski and Dunston concerning use of the embryos stand and added that Dunston’s desire to have a child outweighs Szafranski’s desire to not procreate.
“Karla’s desire to have a biological child in the face of the impossibility of having one without using the embryos outweighs Jacob’s privacy concerns, which are now moot,” the judge said in the ruling, “and his speculative concern that he might not find love with a woman because he unhesitatingly agreed to help give Karla her last opportunity to fulfill her wish to have a biological child.”