By Christina Caron| New York Times | April 18, 2020
After New York’s legalization of gestational surrogacy arrangements in April 2020, the New York Times has republished this article covering the debate about the bill in 2019 as well as information about surrogacy process, policy, and risks and personal stories about surrogates and intended parents.
By Maya Dusenbery| New York Times | April 16, 2020
Even though in vitro fertilization (IVF) has been around for more than 40 years, we have limited information about the long-term health impacts of egg retrieval. While this article—republished from 2019, does not talk about surrogacy, it illuminates a topic relevant to most surrogacy arrangements, in which gestational surrogates undergo IVF to carry a child for someone else.
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.
A new study has been published on risks to children conceived via IVF. According to the researchers at King’s College London and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, fears of commonly assumed risks are “largely unfounded” and the long-term health effects of IVF are still relatively unknown.
A summary of the study discusses the role of epigenetics in the development of health problems in twins conceived naturally and via IVF. While epigenetic influence has been identified in conditions such as cancer and mental illness, the researchers observe no such differences in children conceived by IVF. They conclude on a reassuring note, for people who have used and have children via IVF, along with a call for more studies to confirm whether smaller epigenetic changes they observed during the study remain over time.
In an article exploring the value of genetics in the formation of relationships, co-founder of the Donor Sibling Registry presents a compelling case for connections between (egg and sperm) donors and the children they help create, as well as half siblings (donor offspring and biological children).
The article features a range of reactions, mostly positive. One participant, for example, admits joining the registry to connect with others who have had similar experiences and “maybe even find a biological half-sibling or relative.,..” Another is ecstatic about meeting a half sibling at 29 years! The author provides details about the registry, which was founded in 2000 to assist individuals conceived as a result of sperm, egg, or embryo donation that are seeking to make mutually desired contact with others with whom they share genetic ties.
Egg donation can bring joy to other people, but it is not a process to enter into lightly. There are children being created that one day may want to know you. Your perspective may change over time. And it is a medical procedure that includes putting large dosages of hormones into your body that may affect your health or future fertility.
This article by Dr. Diane Tober is a must-read, especially for people contemplating becoming egg providers. It describes the nuts and bolts of the process and all the risks along the way. It offers suggestions to improve outcomes, featuring data gathered from egg providers that have participated in Tober’s ongoing research on their decisions and experiences.