Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Woman Gives Birth to Her Identical Twin’s Baby

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Woman Gives Birth to Her Identical Twin’s Baby

Gotta love these stories!  We wanted to share this heart-warming story with all of those women thinking about becoming a surrogate for another woman – sister or not!

According to Fox News,

After finding out her identical twin sister was unable to have a baby, a Long Island, New York, woman offered to carry her sister’s baby. On Wednesday, August 5, she gave birth to a healthy baby boy, who will be referred to as her nephew, Patch.com reported.

In 2009, Allison Ardolino Dinkelacker was 30 weeks pregnant with her first child when she learned she had stage 3 breast cancer. She needed to start chemotherapy immediately, and her son Dylan was born by emergency caesarean section at 31 weeks.

Cancer-free but unable to conceive again because her cancer was brought on by hormones, Allison wanted another child to grow her family. Her twin sister, Dawn Ardolino Policastro, came with her to a doctor’s appointment, where they were told that were Allison to survive a pregnancy, she’d be unable to carry another child.

Read more here about the identical twin who carried her sister’s baby.

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Identical Twins Surrogacy

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Identical Twins Surrogacy

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: Surrogate Support & Our Surrogate Community

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Surrogate Support & Our Surrogate Community

At the end of last month, Conceptual Options was honored to show our gratitude while spending quality time with our community of surrogates.  This summer’s party was attended by all and was a huge success (see party photo below).  Children, spouses and significant others also attended, and there were gifts and prizes for everyone.

Feel free to come join us for our monthly support group meetings and our Summer and Holiday Parties that are thrown twice a year for the spectacular women and their families who mean so much to all of us here at Conceptual Options.  Join our community of surrogates that understand that they are a community of empowered women making the world a better place for families, including their own families.  Thank you!!!

Conceptual Options is a Premier Southern California Surrogacy Agency that is focused on the whole person experience for both the Intended Parents and their Surrogates.

Surrogate Community and Surrogate Support: Conceptual Options

Surrogate Community and Surrogate Support: Conceptual Options

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: The Real Face of Surrogacy

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: The Real Face of Surrogacy

At Conceptual Options all of us have come across friends and family that know nothing about surrogacy.  But, we have also found out over the years that what we often come across people who could really benefit from surrogacy but were always to afraid to ask – until now.  Well, that just happened to one of our staff members last week.  She sat down with friends for dinner that she hasn’t seen in almost a year, and they got right down to business, so to speak.

A little back story on this couple, they have been trying to have a baby for over 10 years. They have tried it all from holistic medicine to IVF. Their savings is quickly dwindling, as fertility treatments can be quite expensive, and they are tired. They are over it. They just want a baby. They wanted to know if Conceptual Options could do to help.

They were ready to start today. They weren’t afraid of the cost, they understood all the medical risks .. what they were afraid of was related to all the negative stories they have been seeing the last few days about Baby Gammy. Could the surrogate decide to keep their baby? Could she prevent them from being with their child?

She told them, just as with anything in life, there are never any guarantees, however there are certain precautions they can take to ensure a safe, healthy and happy surrogacy journey. Not all surrogacy stories are negative, in fact I can list hundreds of positive stories as well.

Deciding to use a surrogate to build your family is the hardest part. Once you decide, you need to start doing your research. Find an agency that you feel comfortable with, ask yourself what type of relationship do you want with your surrogate, what type of experience are you looking for – do you want to be fully involved or do you want to take a hands off approach? And understand that the process is costly. Agency fees, surrogate compensation, psychological evaluation fee, health insurance, IVF costs, attorney fees, court fees.. they all add up. So be prepared.

Our recommendation to them was to interview three different agencies, speak to three different reproductive attorney’s and three different IVF doctors. Then go with the agency they feel most comfortable with, one that matches their style and aligns with their values.

Do your research, ask questions, be involved and be patient. Surrogacy is and can be a beautiful, life changing event for everyone. We all just need to work together to make sure it stays that way.

*Note that all parties approved of our disclosure of their story.

Conceptual Options Surrogacy Options

Conceptual Options Surrogacy Options

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: A Royal Sickness – an Update

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: A Royal Sickness – an Update

As we all know, Princess Charlotte was just born to the royal couple, Kate and William, last month.  But, Kate’s morning sickness was the original media story – for both Charlotte and George.  Instead of speculating on the gender and possible name of the new royal baby, all news outlets had been focusing on Kate’s horrendous battle with morning sickness.  Now, that the worst is behind Kate, we wanted to remind everyone about morning sickness, and how you can counter the effects to provide you a safe and healthy (and happy) pregnancy.

As was with her first pregnancy, the Duchess has once again been diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG). Unfortunately, this isn’t just your regular “I feel a tad nauseous” type of morning sickness, we are talking about a sickness so severe that it can cause hospitalization and even death if not properly treated.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, more than 50% of all pregnant woman experience some sort of morning sickness during their first trimester. Whereas only a very small percentage of women (1% – 2%) are diagnosed with HG.

What is the difference between your typical morning sickness and HG? Below is a chart by the American Pregnancy Association, detailing the differences:

Morning Sickness: Hyperemesis Gravidarum:
Nausea sometimes accompanied by vomiting Nausea accompanied by severe vomiting
Nausea that subsides at 12 weeks or soon after Nausea that does not subside
Vomiting that does not cause severe dehydration Vomiting that causes severe dehydration
Vomiting that allows you to keep some food down Vomiting that does not allow you to keep any food down

Additional signs and symptoms of HG include:

  • Rapid Weight loss
  • Malnutrition
  • Headaches
  • Fainting
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Low blood pressure

Why does HG and or morning sickness even happen? Although research has not nailed down the exact cause, it is believed that it may be due to a rise in hormone levels. Specifically, the rapidly rising levels of the hormones: human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and estrogen.

What is hCG? When an egg is fertilized and attaches to the uterine wall, the placenta  starts to develop. This developing placenta then begins to release hcG. The function of this hormone is to basically ensure the production of progesterone, thereby preventing a woman’s body from having her period, which in turns helps to maintain a pregnancy.

What about estrogen? What is it and what does it do? During pregnancy, estrogen is also produced by the placenta. It’s role is to help the uterus grow, and to maintain the uterine lining, it also helps increase blood circulation and after birth helps with milk production.

The increased combination of these two hormones can throw things off in your system, producing the symptoms mentioned above. However, typical morning sickness is not harmful to you or your baby, in fact, many doctors think morning sickness is actually a good sign! Studies have found that women who have signs of morning sickness are less likely to miscarry and even have a reduced risk of preterm birth. But, not having morning sickness does not mean that you are at a higher risk of these things either, just means you lucked out!  Although typical morning sickness is not harmful to you or baby, hyperemesis gravidarum, if severe enough and left untreated, can be harmful.

How is it treated? For mild cases dietary changes, antacids and rest will do the trick. However for more severe cases, the mom-to-be will most likely be hospitalized so she can be hooked to an IV to replenish all her lost nutrients and electrolytes.

According to research,  here are some things you can do to relieve morning sickness:

  • Eat small meals throughout the day
  • Drink fluids before or after a meal, but not with meals
  • Eat soda crackers 15 minutes before getting up in the morning
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Avoid warm places since heat can add to nausea
  • Acupressure  also has been used by many to help relieve the duration and severity of the sickness.

During pregnancy, a women’s body is put through a million different physical changes.. some pleasant and some not so pleasant. Regardless, it is very important for all women to be their own advocates. If something does not feel right, please speak to your doctor right away.

Read more here about Morning Sickness and How to Treat it in a healthy way for you and baby.

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Morning Sickness

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Morning Sickness

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

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: 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