This article explores new research, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, on children conceived through certain infertility treatments and their risk for cardiovascular disease. While the study’s authors indicate that the findings are preliminary, they encourage families using infertility treatments to be vigilant about screening their children and mitigating other risk factors, such as smoking, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle.
Since the first U.S. infant conceived with assisted reproductive technology (ART) was born in 1981, both the use of ART and the number of fertility clinics providing ART services have increased steadily in the United States. ART includes fertility treatments in which eggs or embryos are handled in the laboratory (i.e., in vitro fertilization [IVF] and related procedures). Although the majority of infants conceived through ART are singletons, women who undergo ART procedures are more likely than women who conceive naturally to deliver multiple-birth infants. Multiple births pose substantial risks for both mothers and infants, including obstetric complications, preterm delivery (<37 weeks), and low birthweight (<2,500 g) infants. This report provides state-specific information for the United States (including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) on ART procedures performed in 2015 and compares birth outcomes that occurred in 2015 (resulting from ART procedures performed in 2014 and 2015) with outcomes for all infants born in the United States in 2015.
First published in 2011, under the same title, this report raises an alarm about the risks of multiple pregnancies in assisted reproduction, resulting from the common practice of transferring multiple embryos. Maternal complications, according to the report, include increased risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension, gestational diabetes, peripartum haemorrhage, operative delivery, postpartum depression, and heightened symptoms of anxiety and parenting stress. Multiple pregnancy is also associated with a six-fold increase in the risk of preterm birth, which is a leading cause of infant mortality and long-term mental and physical disabilities, including cerebral palsy, learning difficulties and chronic lung disease.
GIRE, a Mexico-based organization that has studied, documented, published, and advocated on international recently released a documentary on the practice in 2017. “Deseos” or “Longing” follows Mirna, a divorced gestational mother with three of her own and shines a critical light on the lack of regulation around surrogacy in Mexico.
Visit GIRE’s website and read the organization’s latest report on surrogacy in Mexico. In it, GIRE offers a comprehensive overview of the current status of surrogacy, the scope of the debate around the practice, legal frameworks, cases, and recommendations. The last includes, for example:
Legislation that defines surrogacy as a contract between gestational mothers and intended parents.
Decriminalization of all the parties involved, including any criminalization based on nationality, sexual orientation, marital status, and age.
Quality and confidential health and legal care for gestational mothers.
Guarantees that costs related to pregnancy, birth, and postpartum be covered by intended parents (regardless of birth outcomes).
Contract revisions be contingent on the involvement of a competent notary/judge and consent of all parties.
Notifications of relevant state and federal authorities to avoid problems related to registration, legal parentage, and citizenship while contracts are valid or after birth.
This report tracks steps taken by the Government of Canada towards strengthening the country’s Assisted Human Reproduction Act and supporting regulation. It focuses on three specific areas: the safety of donor sperm and eggs; the process, scope, and documentation related to reimbursement; administration and enforcement.
The purpose of the document, according to its introduction, is to provide Canadians with an overview of key policy proposals that will help inform the development of regulations and engage citizens prior to finalizing policy. Several members of Impact Ethics participated in a public consultation (read the summary), including Françoise Baylis, co-editor of “Family Making: Contemporary Ethical Challenges.”
Read a commentary on Health Canada’s efforts to reboot the Assisted Human Reproduction Act, contributed to the International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics by Francine Coeytaux (Co-Director of Pro-Choice Alliance for Responsible Research), Marcy Darnovsky (Executive Director of Center for Genetics and Society), Susan Berke Fogel (Co-Director of Pro-Choice Alliance for Responsible Research), and Emily Galpern (Consultant at Center for Genetics and Society).
In case there were any doubts, this short overview of the regulation in India is a helpful crib sheet on the legal status of commercial surrogacy in the country. Three main conditions included in the bill include:
The intending couple must be Indian citizens and married for at least five years with at least one of them being infertile. The surrogate mother has to be a close relative who has been married and has had a child of her own.
No payment other than reasonable medical expenses can be made to the surrogate mother. The surrogate child will be deemed to be the biological child of the intending couple.
Central and state governments will appoint appropriate authorities to grant eligibility certificates to the intending couple and the surrogate mother. These authorities will also regulate surrogacy clinics.