For information on the Family Act, click here!
Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago
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Advanced Reproductive Care Inc. (ARC) Making treatment affordable since 1998. Call 1-888-990-2727 - ask about ARC Refund Guarantee Program™ - get money back if no live birth occurs.
Annual ART Success Rates Report
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Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology
Annual ART Success Rates
Every month in Connect, The AFA will feature a different list of supporters, professional members, and donors. This month, we'd like to thank the following:
Center for Human Reproduction - North Shore LIJ
Fertility Centers of Illinois
Fertility Physicians of Northern California
IVF Florida Reproductive Associates
Long Island IVF
Reproductive Biology Associates
Reproductive Endocrinology Associates of Charlotte
Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York
Seattle Reproductive Medicine
Shady Grove Fertility Centers
The Ronald O. Perelman and Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine of Weill Cornell Medical College
Atlanta Center for Reproductive Medicine
Fertility Specialists of Houston
Genesis Fertility & Reproductive Medicine
Genetics & IVF Institute
Georgia Reproductive Specialists
IVF New Jersey
Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut
Reproductive Science Center of the San Francisco Bay Area
1st Choice Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine
BirthRoad Surrogacy Specialists, LLC
Carolyn Berger, LCSW
Cornell Center for Male Reproductive Medicine
Denise Seidelman, Esq.
Ellen Speyer, MTF
Emily Laitmon, LCSW
Family Formation Law Offices of Diane Michelsen
Fertility Source Companies
Izetta Siegal Stern, LCSW
Joan Winograd, LCSW
Kathy Brodsky, LCSW
Laura Alper, MSW
Madison Women's Health & Fertility, PC
Mahan & Mahan, Attorneys at Law
Michael Traister, M.D.
Nancy Kaufman, LCSW, LP
Pacific Reproductive Center
Pacific Reproductive Services Sperm Bank & Fertility Center
Peggy Orlin, MS, MTF
Piedmont Reproductive Endocrinology Group
Rochelle Anixt Gold, LMSW
Rosenstock, Loew & Nichols
View Our Corporate Sponsors and Major Donors
You Are a Flower in the Snow
It was a busy month at The AFA and this month's issue of Connect was postponed, and then postponed again. Since the time when the editorial calendar was written and today, when I am finally putting fingers to keyboard, Newtown happened. Like every other American, every other mom or dad, or those hoping to join their ranks, my heartbreak is overwhelming. Seeing the faces of the victims today for the first time, the level of my anger has reached that of my heartbreak.
Last month I wrote about Hurricane Sandy. This month, a horrific mass murder of children and adults in a small town.
There are no words for this, no meaning to attach to it, no silver lining. Life is unpredictable and can take a turn in a split second capable of bringing you to your knees.
As people who experience love; the love of our partners, our parents and friends, our children and the children we are hoping for, we are infinitely vulnerable. Love makes us fragile. Love makes us humble. Love makes us need to raise our heads, our hearts, our courage and be the flowers in the snow. To rise from the seemingly cold and icy depths of pain and stand up so as to feel the warmth of the sun.
When I first conceptualized writing this piece I planned to write about the infertility experience and how those going through it are like flowers in the snow. But now, my heart requires I broaden that out to all of us, all of us who love. We are, we must be, the flowers in the snow. Because life will always be poised to cover us in blankets of ice, yet also, the warmth and hope of the sun.
I ask you to please take a few moments to peruse this month's issue of Connect. We have compiled articles for you on faith and infertility treatment, an important update on wounded veterans and insurance, HIV and family building and an important read on birth fathers. Some of this information may prove pivotal for you and your own family building plans.
You may not feel like looking towards the future today, but you must. No matter what we as a nation have gone through, and in honor of those who mourn and those we have lost, we must go on and not give up on our dreams. Dear friends, I wish you all peace, courage and strength.
- Corey Whelan, The AFA Editor
|Handling the Holidays
by Joann Paley-Galst, Ph.D.
No matter how you slice it, the holiday season can be tough. Expectations often outweigh the reality, old family dynamics can re-emerge, and the focus on kids can be extremely painful for those experiencing their own fertility challenge.
However, you are not helpless under these circumstances. There are ways you can take care of yourself while getting through the season. Here are some suggestions for you to shape to your advantage and exercise some control during the holidays. To find out more, click here.
Flowers in the Snow: When ART Clashes with your Beliefs or Ethics
by William Petok, Ph.D.
Advances in reproductive technology over the last 34 years have been spectacular. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), tissue freezing that allows sperm, embryos and now ova to be preserved for long periods of time or the use of surrogate gestational carriers have all contributed to the ability of medicine to provide a wide range of family building possibilities to couples and individuals. It almost seems that these techniques will continue to improve and make it possible for anyone to have a child as long as they have the necessary access and resources.
What happens when these medical miracles come into conflict with religious beliefs, doctrine or personal ethics? How does a devout Catholic, a ritually observant Jew or Muslim cope with the contradiction created by the possibility of medical science and the constraints of belief? Read more here.
So What About Dad? Creating Space for Birth Fathers in Adoption Stories
by Jeannine Zoppi, Ph.D.
Birth fathers, even if unknown, influence the lives of adopted children. However, birth fathers are rarely considered important inadoption stories. In the absence of factual information, adoptees develop fantasies, which are imaginative stories about their birth fathers. Adopted children create these imaginative stories, filled with internal images, thoughts and feelings, so they can wonder about the birth father-- his personality, his likes and dislikes, his goals, his relationships, his struggles, what he is like as a man and what he would have been like as a father. Adoptees do this in an attempt to connect to their birth fathers and to make sense of their own identities. By encouraging discussion of both positive and negative birth father fantasies, adoptive parents can play a significant role in helping their adoptive children form more secure attachments and develop more positive identities. Read more
The AFA's Event Calendar
There are events taking place across the country to help educate and support you on your family building journey. Please take a look through our calendar to find classes, discussion groups, workshops and emotional support groups on infertility, adoption, third party reproduction and LGBT family building.
To learn about all of The AFA's support groups, including those for Mind/Body and Over 40 issues,click here.
When Values Collide
By Frank Cunningham, Ph.D.
I want to talk about moral dilemmas and the way in which we make hard choices. What happens when a set of long standing beliefs conflict with new values and priorities? How do we reconcile what is important to us? How do we make these choices, and how do we justify them?
The first thing to appreciate is that vexing moral decisions are almost inevitably like this. If the choice were between good and evil it would be easy - do good and avoid evil. But, moral decisions are not between good and evil. They are between or among conflicting goods.
And so, the question becomes one of an hierarchy of values - what is more important; which good do I value more. While sometimes this is easy to assess (I break a luncheon engagement to rush a friend to the emergency room) in many important situations, it is not. How might this affect infertility treatment options? Read more here.
The AFA's Video Education Series
Family Building for Men with HIV
Wounded Service Members Deserve Fertility Assistance. A New Bill Would Make Sure They Get It.
Veterans who have suffered genitourinary injuries in the line of duty could receive reproductive assistance under a bill the Senate passed by voice vote. The legislation, introduced by Sen. Patty Murray (D) of Washington, would make funding for counseling and treatments such as IVF available to service members and their spouses.
Dr. Mark T. Edney, M.D. testifyed before the Senate on behalf of the bill at the urging of Male Reproductive Health Alliance members Ajay Nangia, M.D. and Stan Honig, M.D. Said Edney, "The American Urological Association, in collaboration with The American Fertility Association, Men's Health Network and the Male Reproductive Health Allliance will also leverage this Sanate victory for veterans' reproductive care to advance our Urotrauma Bill in the 113th Congress which seeks broader study and coordination of care throughout the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs for this devastating category of battlefield injury".
The Male Reproductive Health Alliance was convened by The American Fertility Association in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Men's Health Network, the Society for the Study of Male Reproduction and the American Urological Association.
Said Steve Waxman, Colonel, United States Army, IRR, "I am very pleased to hear that progress is being made to offer our Wounded Warriors assisted reproduction. I am glad my article on war injuries: "War and Male Genital Trauma" published as part of the work of the Male Reproductive Health Alliance, and posted on The AFA's website, was helpful in advancing the cause. We owe our troops nothing but the best for all their sacrifices on behalf of the American public. It is an honor to serve."
Sen. Murray added, "This bill will give veterans that have suffered catastrophic reproductive injuries the ability to access In Vitro Fertilization without having to pay tens of thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs. I thank The American Fertility Association for their continued support and advocacy on behalf of this population and this legislation. The passage of this bill is a major victory for veterans and their spouses, and for their dreams of starting a family".