Canada, Surrogacy

Canadians paying bills for birth tourism

Source Toronto Sun

Call it birth tourism of another kind.

We’ve all heard stories about mothers arriving in Canadian cities just in time to give birth so their child can get Canadian citizenship.

But what about foreign parents having a kid in Canada via surrogacy?

It is happening and it is growing.

In 2016 and 2017 there were 102 babies born to surrogate mothers in British Columbia. A shocking 45 of those babies were born to parents from outside of the country.

Here is the crazy part, you are paying for it and the baby that is quickly whisked off to a foreign land is granted automatic Canadian citizenship.

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Insurance, IVF

Insurance companies should be required to cover in vitro fertilization

Source Washington Post

Michelle Obama’s revelation in her new memoir that she and Barack Obama conceived their daughters through in vitro fertilization has placed the increasingly common medical procedure into the national spotlight. Malia and Sasha, it turns out, are among the more than 1 million babies born in the United States through IVF. Yet a full 40 yearsafter the first IVF baby was born, even as the procedure has become safe and remarkably effective, it remains financially out of reach for many U.S. couples struggling to become parents.

Health insurance regulation is largely up to the states, and policies vary widely. Some have expanded IVF access by mandating that most health-care plans cover the procedure — includingConnecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and the Obamas’ home state of Illinois (which enacted its mandate seven years before Malia’s birth).

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Surrogate Mother, UK

UK – Surrogate mothers could be allowed to charge cash

Source The Times

Legal reformers are looking at whether to change the law so that surrogates can profit from having babies for others.

The Law Commission is consulting on the subject and is to publish proposals in the new year. Sir Nicholas Green, chairman of the independent body, said that the existing laws, which were drawn up more than 30 years ago, were not fit for purpose.

Surrogacy, he said, had increased ten fold in ten years. The main problem was that the law was “quite cumbersome” and often required people to go abroad.

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Inside Surrogacy And The Path To Achieving Motherhood

Source Michronicle Online

What was previously a very private, and in some cases unspoken, way to conceive has become one of the most talked about ways to become a mother. Surrogacy has been life-changing for many women whose path to become a mother was not as simple as getting pregnant on their own. This includes several high-profile celebrities like Kim Kardashian West and Gabrielle Union, who have been open and honest about their journey to motherhood through the surrogacy process, however many still don’t seem to know exactly what having a surrogate actually means.

If you look at the comments underneath photos of celebrities who have used a surrogate to expand their families, you’ll see a host of trolls commenters who ask very insensitive, rude and downright ignorant questions about how a child can belong to a mother who did not actually carry her. Although a quick Google search could easily give you all the answers you need on the subject, but, the Internet. In an effort to educate, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about the process that has helped many women around the world fulfill their dream of becoming a mother.

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Brexit, UK, Sperm Donor

UK – A Shortage of Sperm Donors: The Brexit Dilemma We Didn’t See Coming

Source Huffington Post UK

Every year, around 2,500 men and women in the UK have a baby with the help of a sperm donor. For many, using donated sperm is their one chance to fulfil the dream of having a family. But while the number of women using donated sperm is rising every year, the number of willing British donors remains low. 

This is why the UK relies heavily on foreign sperm – recent figures show 3,000 sperm samples from Denmark alone were imported to the UK in 2017. But like all imports, these could be affected by Brexit next March if these thousands of samples are held at the border, unaccounted for by trade agreements. 

Is this the hard Brexit dilemma we didn’t see coming? And if British men don’t step up and donate, will we see a drop in the number of babies born in the UK by sperm donor? 

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UK – Couple who spent £20,000 on IVF treatment before shelling out another £7,000 on ‘add-ons to boost their chances of a baby’ become first in the UK to sue over the ‘worthless and unproven’ extras

Source Daily Mail

Legal secretary Tracy Wint underwent two years of unsuccessful IVF treatment, spending more than £20,000 in her desperation to have a second child with her husband Mark.

During that time she claims Oxford Fertility convinced her and her husband to fork out an extra £7,000 for add-ons doctors said would boost their chances of having a baby. However, the pair now believe they were ‘worthless’.

Couples are often persuaded by private doctors to buy expensive top-up procedures such as ‘glue’ to stick embryos to the womb, or genetic tests to screen for abnormalities.

But a report last year by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) said many such treatments have no scientific basis, are dangerous, and could even harm a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant.

Mrs Wint, 41, said: ‘We feel like we’ve paid out thousands for add-ons that are not proven to work and carry health risks. We were desperate. If they had said they could sprinkle fairy dust and it will make you pregnant we would have bought it.’

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IVF, Michelle Obama

IVF is so hard to talk about. Thank you, Michelle Obama, for speaking out

Source The Guardian

After her years of living in the fishbowl of the White House, Michelle Obamadoesn’t owe us anything. But for millions of people, her new disclosure that she and Barack Obama used IVF treatment to conceive their two daughters is a remarkable act of generosity. Because for all that IVF treatment is increasingly common, it remains an often stigmatized thing to talk about. And for those of us who go through it, knowing that public figures aren’t ashamed to be among us can make a huge difference in terms of feeling able to get the support and space we need to persevere.

IVF has been around for 40 years, now (thank you, Lesley Brown) but till remains something that people find difficult to discuss. The reasons are complex. If you conceive children without medical assistance, it’s understandably quite rude to volunteer the details of your techniques. While you can describe IVF with a degree of sterile remove that may be absent from that night on your honeymoon when you overdid the pina coladas, it still makes people uncomfortable – something that I learned last year when my husband and I started treatment.

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Gabrielle Union baby: What does ‘via surrogate mother’ mean?

Source Monsters and Critics

Gabrielle Union announced yesterday that she and Dwyane Wade had become parents to a little baby girl.

Fans were excited for the couple, who had kept the pregnancy private. In an emotional message to fans, she revealed their newborn arrived via surrogate — but what does that mean?

Traditional and Gestational surrogates

There are two kinds of surrogates: traditional surrogate and a gestational surrogate. Both are used when a hopeful mom-to-be has trouble getting pregnant.

A traditional surrogate sees a second woman — the “surrogate” — become naturally or artificially inseminated with the father’s sperm or sperm from a donor while she’s ovulating.

She then carries the baby to term, and it is the surrogate’s egg that is used.

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Turkey – New legislation expands ban on sperm and egg donations in Turkey

Source Hurriyet Daily News

A controversial legislation that was passed by a parliamentary committee on Nov. 7 includes a provision that expands a ban on sperm and eggdonations.

According to the respective regulation in legislation, a doctor who refers people to donation centers to seek fertility treatment in foreign countries may risk facing up to five years in jail.

Doctors who encourage people to visit such centers abroad will face criminal charges.

This rule will also apply to those who donate, preserve, ship and trade sperms and eggs and those that trade sperms and eggs and encourage such activities.

Some medical specialist lawmakers from the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and İYİ (Good) Party criticized the proposed regulation, calling for the withdrawal of the related article.

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Surrogacy, UK

UK – Surrogacy and me: Progress! The gods must be smiling

Source The Times

We’ve spent an inappropriately annoying amount of time trying and failing to understand how insurance works in America. Annual deductibles? Anyone? It’s the amount you pay each plan year before the . . . Anyone? Anyone? Before the insurance company starts paying its share of the costs. Anyone? Nope, us neither.

We reach out to our agency to help to decipher the US code, but the responses are almost as confusing.

One thing they are keen for us to understand in detail, though, is WhatsApp.

“Oh, it’s this cool thing where you can talk to each other across the Pond, but using wifi so you don’t have to pay!”

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Donor Eggs, Ireland

Ireland – Baby boomers: The rise of older mums

Source Irish Examiner

SUSAN never imagined she’d be a first-time mum aged 50. “I thought I’d be preparing for retirement, not changing nappies and dealing with night feeds,” laughs the now 53-year-old from Co Meath.

She is one of an increasing number of women having babies in their sixth decade. In 2007, only four women in Ireland had babies in their 50s but by 2015 — the year Susan’s daughter Niamh was born – that figure had risen to 16. A further 17 babies were born to women in their 50s in Ireland last year.

These figures are small but they are growing, thanks to breakthroughs in reproductive medicine.

In Ireland, women are increasingly spending their 20s focussing on education and their 30s building careers and searching for suitable partners. Inevitably, some face fertility issues when the time is finally right for babies.

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Surrogacy Law

UK – Clear up opaque surrogacy law, specialists urge

Source The Times

Fertility laws remain “opaque and confused” as ministers stubbornly refuse to bring forward reform, specialist lawyers claimed yesterday.
The ban on commercial surrogacy in the UK was out of step with modern society, they said.

They said the results of a straw poll conducted over the weekend showed that the biggest concern among experts was over surrogacy laws. More than 35 per cent of respondents at the “Fertility Show” in London said that surrogacy law reform should be a government priority.

That was followed by calls for reform of laws covering egg and sperm donation, with 28 per cent of attendees saying that should be top of ministerial agendas.

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Embryo adoption

Embryo swapping is the Wild West

Source NY Post

Georgia was the first to allow embryo-adopting parents to file for a final order of adoption once a child is born. In states without laws, couples who adopt embryos rely solely on private legal contracts.

According to Kimberly Tyson, program manager of the Embryo Adoption Awareness Center in Colorado, the general “law of the land is that the woman who gives birth to the baby is legally the baby’s mother on the birth certificate.” (This is complicated by surrogates, although typically a pre-birth order is drafted to assign parentage.)

Compared to the United Kingdom, which has a 10-year limit on embryo storage and prohibits people from discriminating against embryos based on race or religion, the United States is one of the most lax countries in the world when it comes to the creation, storage and donation of embryos.

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Adoption, IVF

UK – Rising success of IVF has caused a collapse in adoption, says head of organisation for children in care

Source Telegraph

Improvements in IVF are leading to fewer children being adopted, the head of the organisation representing children in care in England says today.

Since the dawn of fertility treatment in 1978, success rates in the NHS have risen from 7 to 29 per cent for under-35s. Some private clinics claim rates of more than 50 per cent, meaning infertile couples stand a better chance than ever of having their own children.

But in an interview with The Telegraph today, Anthony Douglas, the chief executive of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass), says the growing success of IVF means fewer people will consider adopting children.
“IVF used to be around 7 per cent successful and…

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Surrogacy Law

Surrogacy under threat after Trump vows to remove birthright citizenship

Source BioEdge

Bioethics in American politics. Donald Trump’s vow to remove the right to citizenship to babies born in the United States to immigrants and non-citizens has an unexpected bioethical angle. As Australian surrogacy lawyer Stephen Page points out, this could put a dent in the booming US surrogacy market.

At the moment, a baby born in the US to a surrogate mother automatically bcomes a US citizen under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. This makes commercial surrogacy in the US a popular market with wealthy foreigners, especially Chinese. “There is rarely a surrogacy law conference I go to in the US where the subject of the 14th Amendment is brought up in conference presentations or discussions amongst delegates,” says Page.

The 14th Amendment was introduced in the Reconstruction Era to protect slaves. In 1857, before the Civil War, they had been deemed not to be citizens by the US Supreme Court – “they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect,” according to Chief Justice Roger Taney.
As Page points out, if Trump carries through with his threat, the consequences for the surrogacy industry will be dire:

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Cushman & Wakefield introduces six months surrogacy leave policy

Source People Matters

In 2015, the department of personnel and training (DoPT) had instructed all Central ministries and departments to implement an order of the Delhi High Court for granting maternity leave to female employees who choose to have a child by commissioning a surrogacy. Such leave would include both the pre-natal and post-natal period.

The amendment in Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 aiming to double the maternity leave for women employees get sanctioned last year. This pro-women proposal raised the maternity leave timeframe from 12 weeks to 26 weeks. Also, Commissioning mothers who use surrogates to bear their child and adopting mothers get entitlement for 12 weeks of maternity leave.

In an attempt to support the advancement of their women employees, as well as creating an atmosphere of understanding and upliftment, Cushman & Wakefield, has introduced a six-month surrogacy leave.

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Reciprocal effortless IVF, Reciprocal IVF

What to know about the new IVF treatment

Source ABC

Ashleigh and Bliss Coulter from Mountain Springs, Texas, have become the first same-sex couple in the state to take part in the birth of a child using a technique called Reciprocal effortless in vitro fertilization, a procedure pioneered by their doctor, Dr. Kathy Doody, and her husband, Dr. Kevin Doody, both Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility specialists. Reciprocal effortless IVFis a unique way for two females to physically take part in the creation of a child.
What’s the difference between “Reciprocal IVF” and “Reciprocal effortless IVF?”

Reciprocal effortless IVF is a combination of two IVF treatments that allows two women to take part in carrying their child at different stages.
Reciprocal IVF has already been practiced for many years, and allows two women to participate. This involves fertilizing the eggs from one woman with sperm, incubating them in a lab, and then transferring the embryo to their female

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UK – Our Parliament needs to act and protect women undergoing IVF 

Source Telegraph

From the Women’s March to #MeToo, women all over the world are lifting their voices to demand that their bodies are respected.

So, the fact that there is still at least one fundamental area in which UK law does not properly protect women is a shocking revelation.

In the UK today 68,000 cycles of IVF are carried out every year. Since the first IVF baby was born 40 years ago, the field of reproductive medicine has exploded, and more than 300,000 babies have now been born in the UK thanks to fertility treatment.

It has transformed lives: for heterosexual couples, same-sex couples and single women who wish to have a family.

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It’s time to be grown up about surrogacy

Source GQ

For years, the image I had of surrogacy was derived almost entirely from Friends. In 1998, at the height of the show’s popularity, there was a plotline in which Phoebe, she of the questionable life choices, offered to bear the child of her brother and his wife. After giving birth (to triplets, no less) Phoebe tried to keep one of the babies before tearfully, reluctantly having to say goodbye. At a time when surrogacy wasn’t prevalent in the UK, this idea that it was unorthodox and potentially traumatic took root – and asking around it seems I wasn’t alone.

Recently, however, surrogacy has re-emerged in the national conversation, this time as a perfectly normal option for couples who can’t otherwise have children. That might seem to have come out of nowhere, but the number of British parents having babies with surrogates – through the “traditional” method (artificial insemination) or the “gestational” method (the implantation of an in vitro embryo) – has been growing thanks to incremental amendments to the law.

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Costs, Infertility

How Much Infertility Treatments Actually Cost 8 Different Women

Source Womens Health

A survey by and, in partnership with the Black Women’s Health Imperative and Celmatix, found that cost was the biggest factor that prevents women from seeking infertility care—regardless of their ethnic background.

It’s not uncommon for fundraisers who do decide to pursue treatments to make impassioned pleas for upward of $10,000 to use toward medical bills—but the reality is that invoices from the doctor’s office are just part of the cost that families incur when they seek treatment.

People who have limited or no paid time off may lose wages because of work they miss while sitting in waiting rooms—or because of the hours they spend driving to see specialists who are in-network. Hotel stays and flights can add up for those who pursue fertility treatment away from home. (I spoke with one woman who spent more than $100,000 total.)

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