Conceptual Options LGBT News: Egg Donors, Sperm Donors & LGBT Families Achieve Fairness in New California Bill AB 960

Conceptual Options LGBT News: Egg Donors, Sperm Donors & LGBT Families Achieve Fairness in New California Bill AB 960

The Equal Protection for All Families Act, authored by Assemblymember David Chiu and co-sponsored by Equality California, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Our Family Coalition, passed the California Assembly May 18 with unanimous support. The bill updates California assisted reproduction laws to help ensure that all families are protected equally under California law.

Conceptual Options applauds the efforts of Assemblymember David Chiu and those sponsoring this bill to ensure fairness to egg donors, sperm donors and the families that they help create in the great state of California.

According to LGBT Weekly,

AB 960, the Equal Protection For All Families Act, updates the state’s assisted reproduction laws to ensure all couples using assisted reproduction are fully recognized as parents as intended. Specifically, AB 960 would allow unmarried people using assisted reproduction to be fully recognized as parents on the same terms as married parents. Further, this bill would remove the requirement from family law that couples must involve a doctor when using assisted reproduction in order to ensure that the donor is not recognized as a parent. AB 960 also provides clear direction for how egg donors should be treated under California law. These important changes in the law will increase access to family building options by eliminating economic barriers.

Read more here about AB 960.

Conceptual Options LGBT News: AB 960

Conceptual Options LGBT News: AB 960

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Surrogacy & Religion

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Surrogacy & Religion

Surrogacy is a hot topic by itself, but when you add religion to the mix it’s like a blazing inferno. This is because many religions are against Surrogacy. For example, in the Catholic religion, it is generally not permitted because it is considered to be against God’s will. While in other religions, such as the Jewish religion, it is generally not considered to be against God’s will and is not shameful to talk about.

Everyone has their own religious views, and they are absolutely entitled to them. And when it comes to the topic of Surrogacy, everyone is also entitled to his or her feelings and views on it. Yet, religious beliefs and other people’s views on the subject of Surrogacy should never be the reason that a person or a family does not fulfill their dream to have a family, especially because those people are not the ones who have to live their lives feeling incomplete or as if their family is missing a piece. Additionally, those people do not consult you when they decide to have a child, and you do not scoff when they tell you that they are going to be adding to their family, so why should they be able to judge you for using a different method to have a child?

Besides, most religions are about forgiveness and family and not judging others, so don’t you think that God or Allah or another higher power would forgive a person or a family who decided to use Surrogacy to complete their family and make them whole by using Surrogacy to have a child. After all, generally speaking children in all religions are considered to be the greatest gift and ought to be cherished.  These children are the next generation who will carry on your teachings and beliefs.  Without children to carry on the beliefs of a religion, that religion would eventually die out because there would be no one to carry on its teachings.

Thus, when it comes to having a child through Surrogacy, do speak to your Rabbi, Priest, Pastor, etc. to understand what your religion feels about Surrogacy. But when it comes down to it, you are the one that has to choose whether or not to have a child using Surrogacy and that will be a decision that you personally will have to deal with for the rest of your life. Your Pastor, Priest, or Rabbi is not the one that will have to deal with that decision, you will. And remember, generally religions preach forgiveness, and if having a child through Surrogacy is what makes you or your family whole you have to believe that you with find forgiveness from your higher power.

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Surrogacy & Religion

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Surrogacy & Religion

 

 

Conceptual Options Surrogacy Update: In the Defense of Surrogacy Part II

Conceptual Options Surrogacy Update: In the Defense of Surrogacy Part II

Last week we posted Perez Hilton’s announcement on the birth of his second child via surrogacy, and how he felt that surrogacy should be legalized all over the country.   So, today, we wanted to take it a step further and post some thoughts written by one of our awesome employees here at Conceptual Options.

There are those that say that Surrogacy is not only morally wrong, but it should be outlawed because it exploits women, specifically women that are Surrogates. They say that Surrogates are not being treated as people, but as “breeders” or “wombs for sale.” In essence, they are saying that Surrogates are being exploited for their bodies.

However, what these critics fail to realize is that Surrogacy is about helping someone have the child(ren) that they always wanted and were unable to have on their own. Surrogates are not being exploited for their wombs, quite the opposite actually. These women are giving these infertile people the gift of life, the family that they have always wanted and could never have.

Of course, these critics do not see it that way, because they are being paternalistic and believe that women who want to become Surrogates do not understand the gravity of their actions and need to be “protected” from being used. If this were a third world country that argument might have merit, but here in the United States Surrogates are not destitute women doing anything they can to get by; in the United States Surrogates are smart, caring mothers who want to help people or couples who are unable to have children of their own experience the joy and unconditional love of a child.

And yes, there have been negative aspects to Surrogacy in the United States, but that is a small minority of experiences far outweighed by all of the good that Surrogacy and the women who are Surrogates have brought about. But all these critics want to talk about is the small minority, the negative, instead of looking at any of the positive aspects of Surrogacy.

We should be championing the heartening aspects of Surrogacy, giving the same if not more weight to all of the good that Surrogacy and Surrogates have done. Lets think of those now…Think of all of the children and families that have been created through the help of Surrogate mothers. Think of all of the dreams that have come true because a family is finally complete. Think of all the heartbreak and heartache that has been eased because a Surrogate helped the ultimate dream come true, a child. Think of the swell of unconditional love that a parent feels upon first meeting their child. Think of the wholeness that a child brings to a family. For some families, these thoughts would not be a reality without a Surrogate.

We hope you enjoy.

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News - Defense of Surrogacy

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News – Defense of Surrogacy

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Perez Hilton & the Defense of Surrogacy

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Perez Hilton & the Defense of Surrogacy

Perez Hilton, celebrity blogger, is certainly not the first celebrity to have his child via surrogacy; but, this week’s announcement of the birth of his daughter, Mia Alma, brought him front and center to the defense of surrogacy.  We applaud his decision to make certain that those against surrogacy hear his voice.

According to Perez Hilton,

This is what I’ve dreamed of my whole life.

This dream of being a parent is something that many Americans share. Gay AND straight Americans both use surrogacy to start or add to their families. Yet, in many states, surrogacy is illegal.

As the Supreme Court is ready to make their landmark decision on same-sex marriage, I feel the need to get political and urge all politicians to please make surrogacy legal nationwide.

The dream I’m living is one that everyone should be able to live!

Having said that, my brain is mush right now. I am blissfully afflicted with baby brain and so relieved that my soul, Mia Alma, is here.

My son was born 4 weeks prematurely in 2013. So for the last month I’ve been living on edge and filled with a lot of anxiety.

That anxiety has not completely gone away, but my heart has been filled with so much more love!

Love is what matters most!

Well, said Perez!!

Conceptual Options & the Defense of Surrogacy

Conceptual Options & the Defense of Surrogacy

Conceptual Options IVF & Surrogacy News: German Grandmother Pregnant with Quadruplets

Conceptual Options IVF & Surrogacy News: German Grandmother Pregnant with Quadruplets

A 65-year-old German woman is set to become the world’s oldest mother of quadruplets.

According toBioNews,

Annegret Raunigk, a language teacher and mother of 13, went to a Ukrainian fertility clinic to undergo treatment using donated gametes because egg donation is illegal in Germany. It took over a year and a half to conceive and she is now in her 21st week of pregnancy, reports RTL.

In an interview with the German news broadcaster, Raunigk dismissed questions over whether her age would make caring for four infants difficult. ‘I’m healthy now, why wouldn’t I be in five years time?’ she said.

Raunigk also said she was not concerned about being judged by others. Although she did not say in the interview exactly why she decided to have more children, RTL quoted her as explaining that it was because her youngest daughter wanted a new brother or sister.

Raunigk’s oldest child is 44 and her youngest is nine years old – a birth that made headlines in Germany at the time. She also has seven grandchildren. Her children have five different fathers.

What are your thoughts?  Is 65 too old?  Who decides the age that is appropriate?

Conceptual Options Surrogacy & IVF News

Conceptual Options Surrogacy & IVF News

Conceptual Options IVF & Surrogacy News: The Ethics of Sofia Vergara’s Embryo Dispute

Conceptual Options IVF & Surrogacy News: The Ethics of Sofia Vergara’s Embryo Dispute

Interesting video on Fox News regarding Sofia Vergara.  Click on link below to view.

Sofia Vergara Embryo Dispute

Conceptual Options IVF

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Sofia Vergara & Embryo Debate

Conceptual Options IVF & Surrogacy Agency News: Hawaii Legislation Needs Work for Same Sex and Single Families

Conceptual Options IVF & Surrogacy Agency News: Hawaii Legislation Needs Work for Same Sex and Single Families

Hawaii is one of the few states that cover IVF for families; however, the current legislation only applies to married, heterosexual couples.  With so many others being left out, legislation is now being introduced that will close that gap.

According to the Associated Press,

…same-sex couples and single women are left out because the coverage rules only apply to married, heterosexual couples. That’s because the Hawaii law states that a patient’s eggs must be fertilized by her spouse.

Advocates are calling the practice discriminatory. They’re hoping to change the law.

A bill is pending in the Hawaii Legislature that would remove the spousal sperm requirement.

The infertility association Resolve says Maryland and Arkansas have similar coverage mandates for heterosexual couples. An effort to update Maryland’s law passed the Legislature but hasn’t yet been signed into law by the governor.

Barbara Collura of Resolve says Hawaii’s law desperately needs to be updated.

Read more here about current Hawaii IVF Legislation.

Conceptual Options Hawaii IVF Legislation

Conceptual Options Hawaii IVF Legislation

Conceptual Options Surrogacy & Fertility News: Egg Freezing – a Dilemma or a Gift?

Conceptual Options Surrogacy & Fertility News: Egg Freezing – a Dilemma or a Gift?

Egg freezing certainly seems like an option for many women who want to put off their child bearing years while they further their career – which is why we have seen some big companies offering that as a benefit to their employees, like Facebook and Apple.

However, is egg freezing the wonder drug of sorts to extend our fertility?  We found this interesting article on Nautilus entitled Why Egg Freezing is an Impossible Choice, and we thought you would enjoy.

Last fall, I went to an egg freezing cocktail hour. The downstairs bar of the glossy SoHo hotel was thronged with women in heels and sleek business attire. Club music thumped, cameras flashed, and I narrowly missed being hit by a videographer angling a tripod over the crowd. The evening was hosted by Eggbanxx, a startup that sells financing for egg freezing, framed as fertility insurance for the forward-thinking urban professional woman.

At the bar, where they were serving up free “Banxxtini” cocktails, I spoke with a 27-year-old who was “95 percent sure” she would freeze her eggs and a 36-year-old data scientist who claimed to be “skeptical.” Together, we filed into a screening room adjoining the bar, where three New York-area endocrinologists lectured us on a new technique that, they claimed, could freeze our reproductive chances in time. Female fertility declines sharply at 37, due to a decline in the quantity and quality of eggs. But when women use fresh eggs from a young donor in an in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle—a process in which fresh eggs are harvested from the donor, fertilized, and transferred to the uterus—live birth rates rise across ages to 56 percent.1 Now, thanks to a new freezing technology, women could become their own future egg donors, rather than relying on the fresh eggs of another, younger donor. “It’s good to be empowered as a woman,” beamed Janelle Luk, a doctor at Neway Fertility.

Read more here about Why Egg Freezing is an Impossible Choice.

Conceptual Options  & Egg Freezing

Conceptual Options & Egg Freezing

 

Conceptual Options IVF News: How One Woman Judged Other Women Using IVF

Conceptual Options IVF News: How One Woman Judged Other Women Using IVF

We just found this deeply touching article in Time magazine that explains how one woman chose to go through IVF so soon after her mother died of cancer.  In fact, she also talks about the stigma that goes along with IVF by describing her own judgment against those using IVF.

According to Times Magazine and Beth Ford Roth,

Word gets around when you’ve had IVF, and I often get asked for advice from friends, and friends of friends, whether in vitro is really worth it – worth the steep price tag, the physical pain, the emotional roller coaster. Despite my less than ideal experience with IVF, I tell these women it is their opportunity to take control of their bodies and their desire for a family.

I cringe at the thought of how judgmental I used to be toward women who had their children through IVF. In my 20s, I viewed celebrities as terribly selfish to undergo expensive fertility treatments when (I believed) there were so many adoptable babies who needed homes.

But there are no guarantees with adoption. A birth mother can change her mind. With international adoption (an avenue we pursued for a year) timetables change and foreign governments can alter the rules in the middle of the process. There’s also the completely natural desire to have a child that carries on your family’s traits. I often dreamed that my baby would have my mother’s warm, cat-shaped brown eyes, or my husband’s fierce intellect.

It is funny how experience changes one’s perspective.

Read more here about Beth Ann Roth and her past judgment against IVF.

Conceptual Options IVF News

Conceptual Options IVF News

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Dolce and Gabbana Boycott for Their Controversial Views

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Dolce and Gabbana Boycott for Their Controversial Views

Italian designers, Dolce and Gabbana caused quite a stir this week when they were quoted as saying that children should only be created out of love between a man and a woman and that children created via IVF and surrogacy were synthetic. In fact, the quote is detailed here,

“You are born to a mother and a father. Or at least that’s how it should be,” Dolce said. “I call children of chemistry, synthetic children. Rented wombs, semen chosen from a catalog.”

And Elton John, Madonna and many others celebs have fired back at their “archaic thinking.”  John stated the following,

“How dare you refer to my beautiful children as ‘synthetic,'” John wrote in an Instagram post on Sunday. “And shame on you for wagging your judgmental little fingers at IVF – a miracle that has allowed legions of loving people, both straight and gay, to fulfill their dream of having children.”

What do you think?  Do they all have the right to give their opinions?  Is a boycott in order?  Elton John certainly thinks so.

Read more here about the boycott heard around the world.

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News - Dolce and Gabbana Boycott for Synthetic Babies

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News – Dolce and Gabbana Boycott for Synthetic Babies