This week happens to be the National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW). In the spirit of helping myself, my IVF children and others who have IVF children or are planning to build a family either through adoption or fertility treatment, we write this blog.
Dealing with infertility has several aspects – emotional, financial, legal, and of course the biological aspect. There are infertile couples and there are dysfertile people or couples like a gay, lesbian couple or a single person wanting to be a parent. Individually they are able to have a child biologically but need assistance of either a donor and/or surrogate to completely build out their family. Here are top 10 reasons to RESOLVE in dealing with fertility issues.
- Having a child is a human right – learn it, accept it. Everyone has the right to try to have a child. Sometimes we may not be as blessed or lucky to have a child then we have to learn to accept it. The pain stays but learn to manage the pain. Pace yourself and don’t let anyone tell you whether you should have a child or not – thats your decision.
- Secrecy and stigma are the biggest culprits. Help yourself over this and help others over this because change only happens when you change yourself.
- Advocacy – The intent is to spread awareness and educate everyone. While awareness of fertility issues is on the rise, number of people affected by fertility issues is still a minority even though a sizeable one. So it is important to advocate every welcome opportunity you get so that we can get more support even from unaffected voters because that’s how democracy works.
- Support – You will be surprised to know how many people have to deal with fertility issues either directly or indirectly through a close family member or friend. Once you are comfortable in speaking out, you will have lot of support. You can also be a support person for someone else. You may build great friendships as a result regardless of whether you have a child or not.
- Financial Support – While fertility treatments are costly, hopefully through advocacy and laws we can get more assistance from health care providers to cover costs. In the meantime, just like planning a monthly budget, plan your financial resources adequately to meet the costs. Do not run yourself dry or get wrapped up in the single theme of having a child at any cost. Having a healthy life is equally important.
- Legal Support – Laws are still evolving on this subject. Each case is considered differently based on your jurisdiction and the kind of treatment sought. Be very precise and accurate about your situation and the applicable laws. For example, what may have worked for one person in Massachusetts, the same outcome may not be possible in Texas.
- International Laws – If you plan to have an IVF child abroad, the US laws require a “genetic link” between US parent and the IVF child. If you are infertile that means legally you cannot bring a child back to the US legally. Understand your options very clearly before embarking on this journey. The only thing WORSE than not having a child is the trauma of having an IVF child abroad but not being able to bring the IVF child back to the US due to lack of laws.
- Child options – Whether you plan to have a child through adoption or through fertility treatments, always follow the laws. While the journey of having a child is entrenched in emotions and compassion of others, the laws are not based on emotions. And our lives are ruled by laws. While an adult can fool the laws for the sake of the child, having faulty documentation for a child can create legal issues for the innocent child in the future.
- Rare condition – There is no condition nor situation which is extremely rare. There is always someone who is rarer, you just have not met them or they have not met you. In the community of fertility issues, you will come across many “rare conditions” and see the courage and strength of people to overcome. That is the biggest lesson – to learn from others regardless whether you have a child or not.
- Humanity – Anyone who is dealing with fertility issues is inherently a good human. It works because of compassion for a fellow human being – be it adoption or donor or surrogate. And this is the best gift that you can give a fellow human being. So let us celebrate the humanity and the good in the people as we deal with fertility issues.