Blog about having premature ovarian failure and trying donor IVF with my sister's eggs

Posts tagged ‘IVF legislation’

IVF vs Adopt: Cutting down the choice of infertiles even more

I heard something this week that made my blood boil; apparently people in Australia (I’m not sure which states) who try to adopt aren’t allowed to undergo IVF at the same time.

How ridiculous! This makes the already difficult journey of trying for a child even more fraught.

I don’t know what it’s like in other countries, but in Australia the average couple can expect to wait up to four years to adopt. If you are already in your late 30s when you begin trying, you also risk getting too old to adopt while waiting (I’ve heard that younger couples are favoured over more mature couples).

Why not in the meantime, try IVF too? This option also has a use by date too as every year that ticks past means your eggs get older and IVF is less viable.

Trying both at the same time makes sense to me – that way you are spreading your risk so that if one doesn’t work then the other hopefully will, and soon. Or perhaps you hit the jackpot and have a child via both avenues.

Can anyone confirm if this is true or not, and if so, what states it applies to?  No doubt it was passed by the same cretins who passed the law in 2009 requiring couples undergoing IVF treatment to prove they are not pedofiles first.

Sick leave or holiday leave for IVF treatment?

If we fall pregnant with one of our eight embryos, our baby will most likely be born next year, in the Year of the Dragon. But in the process I am using up all my annual leave and wonder if I should have been taking time off work as sick leave instead?

I was born in the year of the Rooster and my husband is a Snake according to Chinese astrology. And this year is our Year of the Baby.

We began the process in February when my darling sister came to Australia from New Zealand to donate her eggs. Since then we have tried to get pregnant with the resulting eight embryos.  In the process I have used up all my annual leave for days when I have had embryo transfers, appointments at the hospital etc.

It suddenly dawned on me the other day that I have been a bit dimwitted in my approach to taking leave over the ‘trying to conceive’ process.

Surely I should have taken my leave as sick leave? On the days I have had off, I have spent them at the hospital and then gone home to bed. I have had a ‘medical procedure’ and had to pay for a hospital bed (even though I didn’t lie on it but that’s another story I’ll bore you about another time). I haven’t exactly been jet setting around the globe having a fab time, much less a holiday.

So I broached the subject with my boss and asked her if she would consider converting some of my annual leave taken into sick leave. She looked at me astonished, saying she couldn’t believe I was asking the question. She said that if she wanted to get some plastic surgery, she wouldn’t expect to be able to take it as sick leave. I said that trying to have a baby was a bit different to having plastic surgery, to which she replied: “Well you’re not dying of cancer are you? So your treatment is elective so therefore it’s not appropriate to claim time of work as sick leave.”

I was equally astonished at her reaction and asked her if she knew that infertility was classified as a disease? I also said that I had to follow this course of treatment to be able to have a baby and that while my life isn’t threatened, it is my ONLY option to have a baby. I finally said that I had been honest with her about my need to have IVF and could instead have kept it quiet, and claimed the sick leave, saying that I was having a medical procedure each time.

We eyeballed each other a bit and then she visibly softened (probably because she could see I had tears in my eyes).  She admitted it was something she hadn’t thought about before (granting sick leave for IVF treatment). She is the head of HR at our company, at which only 2% of employees are women. She said would consult with other managers and get their views on it before drafting up some kind of position/policy for all our employees, including me.

I’m interested to know what others do on the days you have your embryo transfers/hospital appointments/etc. Do you take your leave from work as sick or annual leave? Am I being unreasonable to want this?

Infertility journey finally ends via surrogacy

Many of us travel a long road before we realise our dream to have a baby. Some of us never make it, while others pull out all stops to get there. The following outlines what can happen if you are persistent and have the resources to be able to make it happen.

My husband’s workmate in Melbourne, Australia has just had her own biological child  – to a surrogate in California, USA.

Ann-Lee and her husband left Melbourne last week for the birth of their biological child in California. By now their baby will have been born. I keep imagining how amazing and exciting it must be for them.

Using a surrogate followed six years of unsuccessful IVF which included 17+ embryo transfers for the couple.

Finally coming to terms with the fact they could not carry a baby themselves, they travelled to the US to find a surrogate as the practice is a common there and is legislated for, to protect the surrogate, the child and the parents.

They decided not to try it in Australia.  A surrogate cannot be paid, so surrogates carry babies out the goodness of their hearts. When the baby is born, the parents have to adopt the child, even if the embryo was biologically theirs’.  There is also the chance that a surrogate could change her mind and not want to part with the baby, causing horrible distress for all parties.

Recent developments in Australia are threatening to confound things further.  The NSW state government is about to pass a law which will prevent Australian couples being able to travel overseas to use surrogates. Apparently it is to protect vulnerable third-world women. But in listening to a recent radio program (link below), it appears that most surrogates are educated, well informed and wealthy women acting out of altruism.

I really wish that the NSW Government was a little more forward thinking, as passing this law will hamper the dreams of NSW infertiles wishing to use surrogacy. I really hope it doesn’t set a precedent for other states to follow suit.

Making the process illegal also casts a shadow over the way surrogate babies to date have been conceived. Anne-Lee and her husband’s baby was conceived out of love and determination. My view is that the baby’s conception is unique and something to be proud of – not something to be mired in covert illicitness.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this and what the arrangements are in your country, if you know.

If you want to read a bit more about Anne-Lee and her husband, there is an online article below:

http://www.simivalleyacorn.com/news/2011-05-06/Health_%28and%29_Wellness/Sharing_the_gift_of_life.html

If you want to listen to the radio show I mentioned earlier, which includes an interview with an American attorney specialising in this area of family law, go to the link below:

http://www.abc.net.au/rn/lifematters/stories/2011/3124464.htm

Widow wins right to have baby with dead husband’s sperm

I heard some news on the radio today that warmed my heart.

A couple here in Australia planned to have a baby using IVF but tragically, the husband was killed before they could go ahead.

The wife managed to procure some sperm from her husband after his passing. She has just now been awarded it as her rightful property. But to use it she has to travel to another Australian state (or perhaps country?), to find a clinic who will carry out the procedure for her.

If this couple had been fertile, the woman would have been pregnant when her husband was killed. I think it only right and fair that she be granted this chance to go ahead with the child they longed to have and am so pleased that her and husband (albeit posthumously) have been granted this.

What a wonderful world we live in.

You can read the story here if you are interested.

Pedofile checks for IVF users – unfair

George Michael picture from the 80sI saw George Michael in the flesh once.  I was having dinner in a North London pub and he came and sat in a neighbouring booth with some friends of his.

My cousin who I was with just about wet her pants. She was a fan in the 80s and told me she used to gaze adoringly at her Wham poster every night.

George is well known and loved for his music.  Along with Elton John, he is one of the UK’s most well known gay icons.

Western society for the most part understands and supports gay people although there are still those with strange and deranged ideas. One of the craziest is that gay people are more at risk of being pedophiles. God knows how this association was ever made but the link is offensive, outrageous and unfounded.

Similarly unfair is the need for people seeking IVF to have to undergo police record checks in Victoria, Australia.

Do parents who can conceive naturally have to get a police record check first?  Why not?  Why should those who use assisted reproduction have to be checked?

As this is a hoop Ross and I have to jump through, this week we begin the process of getting our police records for both Australia and the UK, where we lived before we moved here.

I wonder what on earth the people who passed the legislation compelling the checks last year were thinking?

http://news.theage.com.au/breaking-news-national/parents-angered-by-ivf-police-checks-20090903-f8m6.html