I had a great chat with Michael from TwoDads UK about high-level how to go about managing a US fertility journey. To view it, see the below.
2020 has been an unprecedented year and many people have been wondering what the impact of staying-at-home will be on their family building.
The inability to travel has stopped all international surrogacy arrangements from starting as intended parents are not able to deposit their sperm / retrieve their eggs in order to make the embryos needed to start the IVF process and if embryos have already been made, they can't be shipped.
The majority of countries around the world have been told by their governing bodies to stop doing any embryo transfers as the risks around everyone contacting COVID-19 outweigh the need for a pregnancy. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine will probably lift this at some time but not without the impact being felt but intended parents globally.
That said, there are many things that can be done whilst you are at home, the due diligence and research on decision-making on who to partner with in your family building is of prime importance. This can all be done via tele-conference and means that you are able to talk to the professionals in a non-pressured way.
I did a webinar with the team from A City Law Firm and with Molly O'Brien from the International Law Firm Group to talk through the process, our thoughts on what can be done and also a lot more things. To listen to the webinar you can click on this link https://acitylawfirm.com/surrogacy-in-usa/?fbclid=IwAR1VQWAJeR1xJrupmPbqwjHrXH8Ps72yZznvvLx5BC5dZjyxfjdRyrPY7no
In November 2016 I interviewed my lovely friend Dr Georges Sylvestre, who is an amazing man. Not only is he a husband and the father of two children, but also in his spare time he is a high risk obstetrician. He regularly talks about the conundrum that intended parents face about whether to try for a single baby or to aim for twins.
We have twins and we love it. We were very lucky and didn't have any medical problems and in all honesty didn't really think about the downside before we started our family building journey. This article aims to give those in the middle of that decision making process some thought-provoking points into the decision.
The editor of Fertility Road must like how I write. He asked me last month to write my thoughts on why I think intended parents travel internationally in order to go through surrogacy.
We did it because we were fully comfortable with the legal framework in the US and as my husband is American, it made sense for us to have his family as our support network to assist us in the process.
Here is the piece I wrote, for more information, as always, don't hesitate to ask.
I had a really fun time doing this interview with Lily from The Donor Group. It's always great to be able to inject a little humour into an interview which was really easy to do as the questions were wide-reaching but also fun!
Surrogacy is filled with information that can make the process seem complicated. It is very easy sometimes to not see the wood for the trees with the amount of information out there, however, I was given a brief - to be brief! PinkNews is a great website and this article on surrogacy came out today on the back of everything that is going on in Italy around gay marriage and surrogacy.
Their brief made me condense down all of the information that I have into the top 10 things that I think are important when looking at surrogacy and here they are:
Fertility Road magazine asked me to write an article about the remaining options for intended parents with the impending ban on international surrogacy in Mexico (which came into effect in January 2016).
Below are my thoughts on the realistic options available to same-sex intended parents (UK, US and Canada) as personally I think the other options will eventually all go the same way as Thailand and Nepal.
At the Families Through Surrogacy March conference I had a great evening with Vicki Ferrara from WorldWide Surrogacy in the US. She posted a blog about our evening and the conference and I totally missed reading it - anyway, here is a link to it so happy reading.
Hannah Latham from We Are Family magazine and I have been talking for months on how to create a section in her magazine that has a lot of information for intended parents looking at international surrogacy. I have written a couple of pieces for the magazine in the past but we’re looking at ramping it up so that the content is really spot on and topical.
A couple of weeks ago when Hannah and her colleague Callum were in town we met up to go through some more thoughts on this and then they joined me for the first evening seminar that I hosted for www.surrogacywithconfidence.com
As many of you know I have created this not-for-profit company in order to be able to help intended parents on a much larger scale than I have been doing thus far. What I will be doing through Surrogacy with Confidence is holding seminars every month or two that will go through all of the aspects that intended parents need to think through before they start on their international surrogacy journey.
I say international because there are many intended parents who want to go through with surrogacy in the UK. As I’ve mentioned before surrogacy in the UK is legal and can be done, the only things that intended parents are not allowed to do is a) advertise that they would like to use a surrogate and b) pay their surrogate more than “reasonable expenses”. Therefore I always point those looking at UK surrogacy to the UK not-for-profit agencies, COTS, Surrogacy UK and Brilliant Beginnings.
The first seminar was a great success. It ran for 2.5 hours and we discussed everything on the surrogacy spectrum from start to finish Hopefully those who came are now much more informed about international surrogacy and are now able to start making decisions that are right for them and their family.
The wonderful Callum then wrote a blog piece about his trip to London and here is the link to it http://wearefamilymagazine.co.uk/blogs-10/
I have always been a fan of Tatler magazine and when I got a call from Irish Tatler in the middle of January 2015 asking me if I would mind being interviewed for a piece they were writing on surrogacy, I of course said "yes!!".
Until the day comes when I can't say it any more I will keep on reiterating that in my opinion surrogates are AMAZING women. They give people who otherwise might not have had the chance to a genetic link to a child the ability to have a family. Of course they get paid a compensation amount but frankly the happiness that having a child brings far outweighs anything. In the US, surrogates don't receive enough money to change their lives and so they are really being a surrogate because they want to help others.
Jessica from Irish Tatler wrote a very positive piece explaining the details on how to go about surrogacy in the US and they really pointed out that surrogates are empowered, fully informed women who are able to make the decision to help others have a family. The article goes high level into the process and nicely gives a plug to my book which is being recognised more and more as THE guide-book on the process!!
I am thankful that they recognised me as an advocate for other intended parents as I believe that I really do have a mission in life - to help others navigate the opacity of the surrogacy world. This ranges from understanding what is surrogacy to talking through all of the permutations and combinations available. I will let you read it below.