Study: IVF Has Little Effect on Health of the Child

IVF Has Little Effect on Health of the Child
By Jordana Bell, Jeffrey Craig and Juan Castillo-Fernandez | The Conversation | March 28, 2017

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.

Read the full summary and the report >

Article: Half Siblings from Sperm and Egg Donation

Half Siblings from Sperm and Egg Donation
Wendy Kramer | Huffington Post | March 13, 2017

huffington post logoIn 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.

Read the full article > 


Article: What to Think About When Considering Donating Your Eggs

What to Think About When Considering Donating Your Eggs
By Diane Tober | Rewire | March 16, 2017

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.

Read the full article >

Dr. Tober has conducted extensive research in topics related to bioethics, reproductive technologies, and commodification of the body. For more on her work and writing, visit the website of the Center for Genetics and Society.

Article: In Japan First, Woman Gives Birth Using Egg From Anonymous Donor

In Japan First, Woman Gives Birth Using Egg From Anonymous Donor
By Mizuho Aoki | Japan Times | March 22, 2017

Japan has witnessed the birth of its first baby using anonymous donor eggs. As the country prepares for others, important questions about legal parentage and the status of birth mothers are also being raised.

According to this article, a 2007 ruling by the Japanese Supreme Court currently grants legal status to the woman who gives birth. While there is no precedent or specification in the civil code for when a child is born as a result of donated eggs, a draft bill granting legal status to the birth mother in third-party reproduction could be in the pipeline.

Read the full article >

Article: Why You Should Know About IVF’s Potentially Fatal Side Effects

Why You Should Know About IVF’s Potentially Fatal Side Effects
By Ila Ananya | The Wire | March 21, 2017

This article follows the story of Arathi Krishnan Chhetri, a 34-year-old woman who sought help from a well-known IVF clinic in the Indian state of Bangalore. It provides painstaking details on her interaction with clinic providers, highlighting the lack of transparency and inept or lackadaisical care that have come to define fertility treatment in many situations. Through Chhetri’s experience with Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome, which landed her in the Intensive Care Unit, the author guides readers through possible symptoms and cautions on current practices in IVF.

Read the full article >

Book: Modern Families: Stories of Extraordinary Journeys to Kinship

Modern Families: Stories of Extraordinary Journeys to Kinship
By Joshua Gamson | NYU Press | 2015
Buy at Amazon >

From the publisher’s website:

From adoption and assisted reproduction, to gay and straight parents, coupled and single, and multi-parent families, the stories in Modern Families explain how individuals make unconventional families by accessing a broad range of technological, medical and legal choices that expand our definitions of parenting and kinship. Joshua Gamson introduces us to a child with two mothers, made with one mother’s egg and the sperm of a man none of them has ever met; another born in Ethiopia, delivered by his natural grandmother to an orphanage after both his parents died in close succession, and then to the arms of his mother, who is raising him solo.

These tales are deeply personal and political. The process of forming these families involved jumping tremendous hurdles—social conventions, legal and medical institutions—with heightened intention and inventiveness, within and across multiple inequities and privileges. Yet each of these families, however they came to be, shares the same universal joys that all families share.

From the book’s foreword by Melissa Harris-Perry, Maya Angelou Presidential Chair and Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Wake Forest University and, formerly, host of MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry:

These family making journeys raise hard questions, but offer no formulaic answers. These are stories of choices made consciously and sometimes uncomfortably to create and combine lives amidst the messy human realities of desire, commerce, science, faith, community and family. This collection is not a roadmap; it is a companion for all those who choose to navigate the world of modern kinship.