Article: Do IVF and Other Infertility Tech Lead to Health Risks for the Baby? Maybe.

Do IVF and Other Infertility Tech Lead to Health Risks for the Baby? Maybe.
By Mara Gordon | National Public Radio | Sept. 19, 2018

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.

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In 2012, the same team of scientists published a paper showing that 65 healthy children  born with the help of ART were more likely than their peers to have early signs of problematic blood vessels.

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Article: 44 Siblings and Counting

44 Siblings and Counting
By Ariana Eunjung Cha | The Washington Post | Sept. 12, 2018

The midsummer reunion in a suburb west of the city looks like any other, but these family ties can’t be described with standard labels. Instead, Arroyo, a 21-year-old waitress from Orlando, is here to meet “DNA-in-laws,” various “sister-moms” and especially people like Sophia, a cherished “donor-sibling.”

This article follows Kianni Arroyo, one of many children created using sperm from “donor #2757,” in her quest to find her donor-siblings. It tracks country-specific caps on donor births, as well as efforts of organizations like Donor Sibling Registry that urge the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to limit the number of births per donor, mandate reporting of donor-conceived births, and require donors to provide post-conception medical updates.

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Article: Spanish Couples Undergoing Surrogacy Processes Left in Legal Limbo in Ukraine

Spanish Couples Undergoing Surrogacy Processes Left in Legal Limbo in Ukraine
By Silvia Blanco | El País | Aug. 31, 2018

As Ukraine transforms into a desirable hub for international commercial surrogacy, concerns are emerging. This article – like others found here – touches on irregularities and poor quality of care at fertility clinics, and focuses on the 30 Spanish intended parents unable to obtain passports from the Spanish Consulate in Kiev for their children amidst fears of the trafficking of minors.

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Article: Japanese Man Wins Sole Custody of 13 Surrogacy Children

Japanese Man Wins Sole Custody of 13 Surrogacy Children
By Daniel Hurst | The Guardian | Feb. 20, 2018

the guardianIn a saga that started in 2014, one of the richest men in Japan has just been granted custody of children he commissioned from Thai gestational mothers. In its ruling, the central juvenile court “found the father had no history of bad behaviour and would provide for the children’s happiness.”

This case first came to light in the regulatory upheaval following the case of Baby Gammy in Thailand, and resulted in the country’s eventual ban on international commercial surrogacy. It continues to raise questions as, according to Sam Everingham, a director of the Australia-based consultancy Families Through Surrogacy, an example of “an unacceptable abuse of the limited pool of gestational surrogates globally” and, more broadly, the ethics of a practice that does not protect the rights of the women and children involved.

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Report: Assisted Reproductive Technology Surveillance — United States, 2015

Assisted Reproductive Technology Surveillance — United States, 2015
By Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report | Feb. 16, 2018

From the introduction:

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.

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Report: Multiple Pregnancies Following Assisted Conception

Multiple Pregnancies Following Assisted Conception
By T. El-Toukhy, S. Bhattacharya and V. A. Akande | Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists | February 2018

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.

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Read a summary, along with RCOG’s recommendation that IVF be fully funded by the National Health Service, as a step towards reducing multiple pregnancies and related risks.