It was 2008, and for more than a year, Patrick and Kate Sandusky had been trying to get pregnant.
Facing infertility, the Lakeview couple hadn’t thought about having too many chances to have children. Eventually, a fertility specialist said a procedure Kate had undergone years earlier would mean they needed in vitro fertilization. Through IVF, the couple had three children — now 9-year-old twins and a 6-year-old daughter.
Much is being said, and will be said, about the current IVF Bill being proposed. From the very outset of assisted fertilisation, two simple sacrosanct rights should always be maintained.
These are the principle of being pro-life and the principle of protecting the rights of the child – born or unborn.
Pro-life points to a mentality that seeks to create life and not destroy it. The rights of the child include primarily the right to know his identity and also to be given an upbringing by a parent/parents who strive to give the child what is best.
Any decision affecting reproduction/fertilisation needs to respect these two principles to the full.
A large chalkboard in the kitchen of the Sherman Oaks home of Sam and Rachel Simkin proclaims, “Please excuse the mess, we are making memories.” Those memories are being made with their children: Jonah, 9, Penina, 7, Vered, 4, and their 12-year-old golden retriever, Nagy.
Rachel, 38, is finishing pumping breast milk for the fourth baby she gave birth to in November. He was nicknamed “Baby G” while in utero. However, he is not the Simkins’ son. Rachel was a gestational surrogate, implanted with an embryo created via in vitro fertilization with Mr. and Mrs. G’s egg and sperm.
GREENWICH — When Wear Culvahouse, a Greenwich obstetrician-gynecologist, delivered a baby for the first male same-sex parents at Greenwich Hospital in 2004, he saw doors opening for himself as well.
The team assembled to to help the male couple included personnel from labor and delivery, the nursery and administration. They set up two rooms at Greenwich Hospital: One for the new fathers to learn how to bathe, feed and change their baby, and one for their surrogate to recover.
While still not often discussed, fertility issues affect so many women and families in our culture. And Kayla Jones, 29, knew conceiving would be impossible after receiving a partial hysterectomy as a teenager.
But while Kayla’s uterus was removed, her ovaries weren’t — meaning she could still potentially have a child that was biologically hers with the help of a gestational surrogate. And that’s where her mother-in-law, 50-year-old Patty Resecker, came in.
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has granted permission for doctors to create the UK’s first ‘three-person’ children by mitochondrial donation. Doctors at Newcastle Fertility Centre successfully applied to treat two women and are now allowed to create embryos by combining fertilised eggs created through IVF with mitochondria from a female donor. The resulting embryos will be implanted in the two women.
“That’s my son,” Richardson remembers thinking. “I just caught my son.” Her sister, Andrea Friesen, laid her head back on the hospital bed and sobbed with relief. “Every single nurse, doctor, everybody in there had tears in their eyes,” the sisters’ father, Don Larson, said. “And it was just that final relief of, oh my goodness, it’s finally over, and it was successful.”