Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Gay Couple Challenges IRS over Medical Deductions

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Gay Couple Challenges IRS over Medical Deductions

A gay couple in Florida is suing the IRS for denying their medical deductions for surrogacy and IVF.
According to Tampa Online,

Is being gay, in a long-term committed relationship, the same as being biologically infertile?

That’s the argument being made by a Stetson law professor in a lawsuit against the federal government.

Joseph F. Morrissey, who teaches constitutional and business law at Stetson, is seeking to overturn a ruling by the Internal Revenue Service that denied him and his partner a tax deduction. The deduction would have been for costs associated with their use of in-vitro fertilization and a surrogate who gave birth to their twin sons.

An IRS revenue agent who denied the claim said Morrissey’s sexual orientation was a “choice,” according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Tampa.

Although there have been unsuccessful legal challenges to these deduction denials for gay men, Davis told The Tampa Tribune that Morrissey’s lawsuit makes a different legal argument — that being gay and in a committed relationship is the same as being medically infertile.

“I think it pushes the issue more clearly than perhaps was argued in (a previous case). It’s going to push the (IRS) to address this issue of, ‘Look I may not be infertile as defined by your standards historically or even as defined by medical textbooks, but the bare reality is that I can’t have a child without some type of costs that derive from the opposite gender.’ ’’

We also think that it is about time that the IRS catch up with the realities of real life – gay or straight.

Read more here about the gay couple suing the IRS over medical deductions.

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News Gay Couple Sues IRS

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News Gay Couple Sues IRS

Sad Surrogacy News for Million Dollar Listing Agent Fredrik Eklund

Sad Surrogacy News for Million Dollar Listing Agent Fredrik Eklund

It looks like a sad ending to wonderful news from Fredrik Eklund of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing.  Eklund, who announced earlier this year that his surrogate with husband, Derek Kaplan, was expecting twins now has some unfortunate news – his surrogate miscarried.

At Conceptual Options we know that miscarriage is a sad reality in our daily life, but that still does not lessen the blow when it happens to you.  Best wishes to Fredrik Eklund and his husband, Derek.  We certainly hope that the future holds a little girl for you both.

Conceptual Options Sad Surrogacy News

Conceptual Options Sad Surrogacy News

Egg Donation – Becoming an Egg Donor Explained

Egg DonationBecoming an Egg Donor Explained

One of our concerns here at Conceptual Options is whether or not we have provided enough information to a prospective egg donor when she contacts our office.  In response to these concerns, we included information on our site that will help women of all ages understand the Conceptual Options’ Egg Donation Process.

In addition, we have also included Informational Egg Donation Videos and informative Egg Donation Newsletters that help explain to what it actually takes to become an egg donor and how to explain your decision to others.

Feel free to contact our office directly or via our website at the Egg Donor Application.  Let us know what you think!

Conceptual Options Become an Egg Donor

Conceptual Options Become an Egg Donor

Conceptual Options IVF & Surrogacy News: China’s Ban on Egg Freezing Becoming National Debate

Conceptual Options IVF & Surrogacy News: China’s Ban on Egg Freezing Becoming National Debate

Many women in China are in a outrage over the Chinese government’s ban on egg freezing for single women who want to preserve their fertility.  As they rightly should be, if you ask us.

According to Quartz,

If only it were equally simple for women in China to store their eggs—a hot topic since local media reported on several celebrities who, concerned about their age or the quality of their ova, have had their eggs frozen to allow them to delay motherhood. Of particular concern to Chinese women: The celebrities traveled abroad to escape strict laws on egg freezing; in China, married women face many restrictions on freezing their eggs, and the process is entirely closed to single women.

China’s ban on freezing eggs is officially in place to prevent an illegal ova trade but—unfortunately for many—freezing eggs is also against the interests of the state. In recent years the government has been trying to encourage women to give birth, rather than to put off motherhood, and freezing eggs could act against that…

The ACWF also ended its report on the topic with quotes from a gynecology doctor at the respected Fudan University, who detailed the dangers of storing eggs, and added: “I would suggest that healthy women have children rather than store eggs as an ‘insurance policy.’”

Interesting discussion on the concept of egg freezing, and one that we are also dealing with here in the US on a different level – not one that includes a ban, but one that questions if a woman should delay childbirth for her career. Read more here about China’s Ban on Egg Freezing.

Conceptual Options News: Egg Freezing Ban China

Conceptual Options News: Egg Freezing Ban China

Conceptual Options Egg Donation News: Considering Egg Donation?

Conceptual Options Egg Donation News: Considering Egg Donation

With the increase of the use of egg donors for helping couples/women/men create their families, we thought it would be helpful for women considering egg donation to read the following information from the Colorado Center for Egg Donation.

Highlighting Possible Risks and Considerations of Egg Donation

If you are considering becoming an egg donor for an infertile couple, you should be aware of certain risks that it might bring to your health and well-being. It is of course a rewarding experience; however, the egg donation process takes several months and includes time consuming appointments with the doctors, the staff, therapists and counselors. The medical procedure that follows could turn out to be uncomfortable physically and brings about emotional turmoil to the donors. The process is tiresome. Some good egg donation centers are upfront and are willing to answer to the queries raises by the applicants.

To Consider:

  1. If you are thinking of becoming an egg donor, understand that there is a specific criterion such as specified age range, good health, non smoker and suitable weight that must be met. The screening process involves several steps in order to verify if the possible donor fits the required portfolio and are healthy enough to undergo through the procedure.
  1. However, there are other aspects of the process that must be considered. Physical exam that includes submission of blood test and cervical cultures. This initial medical examination is mandatory to screen for any inheritable diseases or disorders. The ability to pass a physical exam determines if the applicant will be able to develop and carry the eggs without problems.
  1. The candidate must also pass a psychological test usually administered on a computer. The examination also includes evaluation by a psychologist to provide the patient with detailed information of mental stress that could be involved with the entire process. This also helps the doctors to understand if the possible donor will have the mental capacity to take on the commitment.
  1. The donor must maintain a flexible routine so that weekly appointments could be scheduled. During these visits, blood test is carried to check the health of the donor and their reaction to the prescribed medications.
  1. The procedure also requires self inject medication to stimulate growth and health of the eggs.

Prior to beginning an egg donor cycle, we suggest egg donors to discuss the potential risks and side effects involved with a fertility physician.

Read more here if you are considering egg donation.

Conceptual Options Egg Donation Considerations

Conceptual Options Egg Donation Considerations

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News Update: Domenico Dolce Finally Apologizes for Comments on Surrogacy & IVF

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News Update: Domenico Dolce Finally Apologizes for Comments on Surrogacy & IVF

As we discussed here almost six months ago about Dolce & Gabbana’s comments against IVF and Surrogacy, Domenico Dolce caused a stir, with celebrities such as Ricki Martin, Elton John and others calling for a boycott of the company.

According to Cosmopolitan,

Six months ago, Domenico Dolce (or the Dolce half of design duo Dolce & Gabbana) surprised and offended many with his views on family: “We oppose gay adoptions,” he said in an interview with the Italian magazine Panorama. “The only family is the traditional one. No chemical offsprings and rented uterus: life has a natural flow, there are things that should not be changed.​”

Dolce went on to say, “You are born to a mother and a father — or at least that’s how it should be. I call children of chemistry, synthetic children. Uteri [for] rent, semen chosen from a catalog​.”

….

Elton John even started a hashtag of #boycottDolceGabbana.

But the article continued,

Now, after a period of “soul-searching,” Dolce is opening up about his feelings to Vogue“I am so sorry,” he said. “It was not my intention to offend anyone.”

Dolce claims he has since changed his mind about this subject. “I’ve talked to Stefano [Gabbana] a lot about this,” Dolce said. “I’ve realized that my words were inappropriate, and I apologize. They are just kids. You don’t need labels, baby labels.”

Hmmm….baby labels?  Well, we certainly hope that he continues on his journey to understanding.

Read more here about Domenico Dolce’s apology.

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Dolce & Gabbana

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Dolce & Gabbana

Conceptual Options Egg Donor News: The Egg Donor Class Action Against ASRM, etc. Heats Up

Conceptual Options Egg Donor News: The Egg Donor Class Action Against ASRM, etc. Heats Up

Many in this industry have been following this case, Kamakahi v. American Society for Reproductive Medicine, for some time regarding whether or not the actions of the ASRM and its affiliate doctors were considered price fixing pursuant to the Sherman Antitrust Act or not.  It looks as if it may go to trial next year.

According to the News & Observer,

If nothing is beyond reach of the law, then we shouldn’t be surprised that the Sherman Antitrust Act is being invoked in a potentially game-changing California case centered on the price of … human eggs.

Two women who object to the generally accepted $10,000 cap for an egg donation say the market should set the cap, not two professional fertility organizations that dominate donors’ compensation.

If the women win, they will turn the fertility trade upside down. That has big implications for fertility clinics such as the one at Duke Medical Center and some 15 other providers in the Triangle area….

Legally, there is no cap on what a woman can charge for her eggs. In this respect, the United States is unusual among the world’s nations because it has allowed a market for eggs to thrive.

However, the donor compensation amounts recommended by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the alpha male of the egg business, are $5,000 and cap at $10,000. The larger amount must be “justified” by ASRM guidelines…

It sounds off-key to haggle over the price of DNA, which is the core of the issue in the California case, but think about this brave new world.

Should the price of an egg be capped at $10,000 by organizations that write the guidelines? Or should the price be determined by what the market will pay?

The Sherman Antitrust Act suggests the latter, and I agree.

What are your thoughts on this case?
Read more here about Egg Donation Price Fixing Case.
Egg Donation Agency Conceptual Options

Egg Donor Case & ASRM – Conceptual Options News

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: More Women in China are Turning to Egg Freezing – Especially Celebrities


Conceptual Options
Surrogacy News: More Women in China are Turning to Egg Freezing – Especially Celebrities

More and more women reaching their 40’s are turning to egg freezing in order to give themselves more time to consider having a family.

As is being reported in Your Health Online Magazine,

Top Taiwanese model-actress Lin Chi-ling made the news recently after it was reported that she had frozen her eggs secretly at the National Taiwan University Hospital.

A friend had revealed: “After Lin Chi-ling turned 39 last year, her mother got very anxious about her getting married and having kids. In order to lessen her worries, Chi-ling went… for egg-freezing.”

Furthermore, as was just reported today in Asia One Women,

Chinese actress Michelle Ye revealed that she has frozen her eggs, not once but twice to ensure she can have a baby at a later date, My Paper reported.

With the topic of egg-freezing among China’s female celebrities a hot topic in the Chinese media recently, Ye revealed that she has done two operations to retrieve her eggs, with the first retrieval performed three years ago…

The 35-year-old Hong Kong-based actress, who is known to be dating renowned Chinese stylist “Mr Xiao Mo”, added: “To guarantee success, I’ve done the operation twice. Now women can be released from the pressure (of bearing children) and enjoy their life and work, I think it’s great.”

Read more here about Chinese celebrity women freezing their eggs.

Conceptual Options News: Egg Freezing Michelle Ye

Conceptual Options News: Egg Freezing Michelle Ye

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Understanding your period.

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Understanding your period.

How much do you know about your menstrual cycle? A recent poll done by yours truly, indicated that many of us do not really understand what happens to our bodies every month.

I recently had a conversation with a woman in her 30’s about her fertility and menstruation. I was shocked by her lack of education about her own body. I was curious to know if this was an individual case or if other women lacked this knowledge as well. I started asking other women questions about their body’s – specifically about their periods. I was again surprised by how little women seemed to know about what was happening inside their own body.

So for this week’s blog topic, I want to discuss your menstrual cycle.

Your menstrual cycle has four distinct phases:

1. Follicular
2. Ovulation
3. Luteal
4. Menstruation.

1. Follicular phase
The follicular phase lasts about two weeks. The last 5 days are considered your fertile window. As an aside, a woman is only able to conceive on six days out of her entire cycle. So, women can only get pregnant on the day of ovulation or during the five days before ovulation.  Amazing!

Back to the follicular phase. During this phase your endocrine system specifically your pituitary gland, (a pea-sized structure located at the base of the brain), releases a hormone called follicle-stimulating hormone better known as FSH. This hormone stimulates the growth of ovarian follicles.

Ovarian follicles are cells that each contain one immature egg. Although anywhere between 10 and 20 ovarian follicles may initially develop, by the end of the follicular phase, only one will remain. This means that you will only have one mature egg which will be released during the ovulation phase.

During this time the lining of your uterus (known as the endometrium) begins to thicken so it can be ready to receive a fertilized egg.

2. Ovulation
The day before you ovulate, your estrogen levels peak, triggering the lutenizing hormone (LH). The rise in LH causes your ovarian follicle to burst and release the egg. The egg moves into the fallopian tube and towards the uterus. If the egg is not fertilized, the egg will disintegrate.

 3. Luteal phase
During this phase the follicle that released the egg releases large amounts of hormone known as progesterone, this is to maintain the thick endometrium in case fertilization occurs. If fertilization does not occur, the progesterone levels will decline and the lining will disintegrate.

4. Menstruation
Menstruation occurs when the disintegrated endometrium flows out of the vagina.

There you have it, the 4 phases of your menstrual cycle.
Read more here about understanding your period.

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Understanding your Period

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Understanding your Period

Conceptual Options Surrogacy & IVF News: “Test Tube” Baby No Longer a Rarity

Conceptual Options Surrogacy & IVF News: “Test-Tube” Baby No Longer a Rarity

There are reports that now claim that “Test tube babies” are not that rare these days.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1.5% of babies born in the US are conceived using what’s called Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), of which the most common procedure is in vitro fertilization (IVF).

According to Business Insider UK,

Though thousands of IVF cycles are done every year in the US, it’s tricky to get a sense of an individual woman’s chance of conceiving with the procedure. Graphs from the CDC show exactly how often IVF resulted in a baby for women who went through the costly treatment using their own eggs, not donor eggs. A single IVF cycle costs an average of $12,400, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), and women often need multiple tries to get pregnant.

About 36% of IVF cycles result in pregnancy, and 29.4% of cycles result in a baby…

A live birth rate of about 30% for IVF cycles is really pretty respectable. A healthy, fertile 30-year-old woman has about a 20% chance of getting pregnant without assistance every month that she tries, according to the ASRM. That decreases to 5% chance each month for women aged 40.

For couples who try to conceive through IVF, a lot more is at stake financially, emotionally, and physically, even if the success rate is often better than the traditional method.

While looking at the national averages for IVF success rates is a good start for dispelling misconceptions, pregnancy and live birth rates differ from clinic to clinic, and the data don’t tell the whole story. There are many different causes of infertility, and IVF does not address the direct problem for every cause. Only a doctor can say what chance IVF has of success for a particular couple.

Conceptual Options News: Test Tube Babies

Conceptual Options News: Test Tube Babies