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 Surrogacy News: To Bank or Not to Bank your Baby’s Cord Blood?

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: To Bank or Not to Bank your Baby’s Cord Blood

We were recently asked by a couple if they should bank their baby’s cord bloodor not? They had heard about it, but really did not know much about it. They had done some research on-line and their delivering doctor didn’t really tell them much that they hadn’t already read about. They wanted to know what is it, why should they do it, and if they decide to do it, how should they do it?

In order to answer their questions about cord blood, we need to start from the beginning.

When a baby is developing in it’s mother’s womb, the umbilical cord connects from an opening in the baby’s stomach to the placenta. During pregnancy, the placenta which is an oxygen and nutrient rich organ, is attached to the lining of the womb. This organ sends all the oxygen and essential nutrients that your baby needs to develop via the umbilical cord. Basically, the umbilical cord is your baby’s life line.

When your baby is born, the umbilical cord is cut  (no it does not hurt as the cord is similar to your nails or hair, so neither you nor your baby will feel anything) and some of that blood from the placenta remains in the umbilical cord. This extra blood is what is known as cord blood.

What is so special about this extra blood?

This cord blood is full of stem cells and stem cells can save lives.  Stem cells are the building blocks of  blood and are also the foundation of our immune system. Not only that, these particular stems cells have the unique ability to divide and form into other types of cells such as more blood cells, muscles or bones. By having this unique ability, they can help repair tissues, organs and treat  diseases. According to the Mayo Clinic, “cord blood stem cells have been used successfully to treat more than 70 different diseases, including some cancers, blood disorders, and immune deficiencies. Among these are leukemia, aplastic anemia, thalassemia, Hodgkin’s disease, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.”

The umbilical cord isn’t the only place where we can harvest stem cells.  We can find stem cells from other  sources as well such as bone marrow and circulating blood. Bone marrow and circulating blood are found in all healthy adults. However, unlike these two sources, cord blood can only be harvested and stored at birth.

So why bother with cord blood when we can still collect it from bone marrow and regular blood?

Well, one of the main reasons is because unlike cord blood cells which have the unique ability to form into other types of cells, adult stem cells do not and this limits how adult stem cells can be used to treat diseases.

Also, it is much easier to match transplant patients with cord blood than with adult donors. For example, according to research only 30% of people who are in need of a stem cell transplant have someone in their family who is a match. In other words, 70% do NOT have a match..within their own family. So finding a match outside of their family, is pretty near impossible. But when using cord blood stem cells, if a first degree relative (parent, sibling or child) needs a stem cell transplant and you have cord blood banked, it is pretty much a guarantee that those stem cells will be a match.  Further, people who receive transplants from stem cells that come from someone they are related too versus someone they are unrelated too, have a better chance of recovering and recovering faster from the procedure. Also, because of scientific research, new therapies now exist whereby children can use their own cord blood stem cells to help their body repair itself.  Amazing.

We think it is pretty obvious that there is tremendous value in harvesting and collecting cord blood. Regardless of the value, there are still people who are not interested in doing so, in fact, more than 95% of all newborn cord blood is discarded. But if you are not interested in discarding or banking, you can also have the ability to donate the cells and potentially help save someone else life. With all the wonderful research being conducted, who knows what other life saving treatments  science will discover.

Now if you decide to save your cord blood, make sure to do your research. Finding a  bank that is reliable and credible is essential. If the cord blood is not handled and / or stored correctly, you may never be able to even use it. So talk to your delivering doctor or hospital and ask for a recommendation.  Seek out friends or family who have done this. Who have they worked with before? Research the different companies on-line and speak to a live person and ask questions.

Although cost maybe a factor in your decision regarding which bank you chose, don’t let that be your only deciding factor.  After looking through the various banking websites, I found that on average, banking for 20 years is approximately $4,000 or $200 a year. That’s it. Considering all that can be done using the stem cells, $200 a year does not seem like much of a cost.

There is a great site we found, a non-profit called Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood Foundation that tells you everything you need to know about cord blood. It is a great place to start your own research .

So to answer the questions for the couple who asked us if they should bank their child’s cord blood:

1. What is it:  Cord blood is the blood that remains in the umbilical cord and the placenta after the birth of a baby. It contains stem cells that may be cryopreserved for later use in medical therapies, such as stem cell transplants or clinical trials of new stem cell therapies.

2. Why should you do it: it can save lives.

3. How should you do it? Do your research, ask questions BEFORE your baby is born.

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News - Cord Blood Banking Benefits

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News – Cord Blood Banking Benefits

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 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 IVF & Surrogacy News: Sofia Vergara and the Great Embryo Debate

Conceptual Options IVF & Surrogacy News: Sofia Vergara and the Great Embryo Debate

Apparently, Sophia Vergara from the show Modern Families is now being sued by her ex-fiancee, Nick Loeb, over the disposition of their remaining two frozen embryos.

According to CNN,

She’s one of the hottest and most successful Latinas in Hollywood, but now Sofia Vergara is playing defense in a legal battle initiated by her ex-fiance: He wants to keep the two frozen embryos from their relationship, both female…

Loeb is suing the Colombian-born actress in Los Angeles to prevent Vergara from destroying their two embryos conceived through in vitro fertilization in November 2013, according to published reports by New York Daily News and In Touch magazine.

The lawsuit cited by the two publications, however, lists the plaintiff as “Joe Doe” and the defendant as “Jane Doe.” The suit doesn’t identify the names of the actual litigants.

According to the legal paperwork, the ex-couple had already used two surrogate mothers, one being a close friend of Jane Doe’s, in an attempt to have children.

However, neither of the implantations was successful….

Owen says the lawsuit reportedly filed by Loeb will now open new issues, and a California court will have to decide to whom the embryos belong.

“These embryos are not inside her body,” he said. “They are in a nitrogen tank in a clinic in Beverly Hills, so there the Planned Parenthood of Central Missouri vs. Danforth case cannot be used by the Sofia Vergara team to allege that the (embryos) would present some danger to her health as they did in that case.”

Read more here about Sofia Vergara and the Great Embryo Debate.

Conceptual Options IVF

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Sofia Vergara & Embryo Debate

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: China Cracking Down on Illegal Surrogacy

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: China Cracking Down on Illegal Surrogacy

According to Xinhua News Agency, the official press agency of the People’s Republic of China, China will be commencing a multi-department crack down on the illegal surrogacy industry in China.  Concerned that the industry has been operating in a grey area since 2006, China vows to confront surrogacy head on.
In fact,

Internet website, TV, radio and print media that carry surrogacy ads will also be cleansed, while the authorities will step up supervision over the sale and circulation of assisted reproductive technology (ART) drugs and medical equipment, it said.

Read more here about China’s crackdown on illegal surrogacy.

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: China

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: China

Conceptual Options Surrogacy Agency News: India Surrogacy Industry Dark Side Shown on HBO Vice

Conceptual Options Surrogacy Agency News: India Surrogacy Industry Dark Side Shown on HBO Vice

According to the Daily Mail,

When journalist Gianna Toboni traveled to India to explore the country’s rapidly growing, yet unregulated, gestational surrogacy industry for HBO documentary series Vice, she didn’t anticipate ‘how dark’ the story would get.

For nearly two years, the producer and host has been reporting on current issues across the globe and has covered everything from the detention center at Guantanamo Bay to the effect of climate change on polar bears – but nothing could have prepared her for the moment when someone offered to sell her a baby over dinner while she was working undercover in India. 

‘It was the most heartbreaking experience that I ever had,’ Gianna told Daily Mail Online.  

But the heartbreak did not end there.

As Gianna quickly learned during her time working on the Outsourcing Embryos documentary, surrogacy in India is a multi-million dollar business, and one which is made all the more lucrative by the high number of American couples traveling to the country in order to use the services provided by one or more of the ‘embryo outsourcing’ agencies featured in the Vice documentary.

Here at Conceptual Options, we hate to see this sort of story, but it is important for Intended Parents to understand that saving money is not always the best route to take when creating your family via third party reproduction.
Conceptual Options Surrogacy News - India Surrogacy Industry

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News – India Surrogacy Industry

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