Gay Couple Files Complaint Against New York City Over Denying IVF Coverage

Jo Yurcaba | NBC News | April 15, 2022

A gay couple filed a charge against New York City because the city’s insurance policy for IVF is discriminatory. The policy requires a diagnosis of infertility, which is defined as “inability to conceive after 12 months of unprotected intercourse,” which excludes gay couples.

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The Fight for Paid Parental Leave is a Fight for Queer Rights

David Dodge | Newsweek | November 22, 2021

The United States lacks a paid parental leave policy, which disproportionately affects queer men, because companies offering maternity leave policies often exclude or provide lesser benefits to the non-birthing partner. Laws must be updated to include all family structures and break the heteronormative expectation that the responsibility of childcare fall solely on women. While Congress debates legislation for national paid parental leave policies, independent businesses like Ikea and Target implemented their own all-inclusive paid leave policies. 

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Left, Right Agree Selling Bodies is Wrong – But Reasons Differ

Stephen D’Angelo | Cornell Chronicle | November 12, 2021

According to a new study from Cornell and Virginia Tech, the political left and right both consider bodily markets morally wrong, but for different reasons. Services and products in these markets include sex work, commercial surrogacy, and trade of kidneys, plasma, and reproductive cells. Through five studies, the researchers found that liberals believe commercializing human bodies can harm vulnerable communities and exacerbate social inequalities, while conservatives believe commercialization corrupts the sanctity of the human body and reduces it to a commodity. Understanding the differences can help lawmakers design policies on bodily markets that their constituents might support. 

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I Sold My Eggs For an Ivy League Education – But Was it Worth it?

Ellie Houghtaling | The Guardian | November 7, 2021

In this narrative, Columbia University School of Journalism student Ellie Houghtaling describes egg donation as both a business transaction with the clinic and a way to help prospective parents achieve their dreams. Houghtaling, surprised by the screening process focusing on egg donors’ physical features and education level, notes the eugenic underpinnings of donor selection. Near the end of the process, she comments that she felt disrespected due to the disorganized surgery schedule and lack of health resources. Many young women are attracted to the $3,000-$10,000 checks offered by egg donation clinics to sustain the high cost of living or tuition in big American cities, but there is an extreme gap in data and long-term research on health implications for donors. To protect women who undergo egg donation, an egg donor registry could be helpful to track long-term health implications.

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WNBA Players to Get Free Fertility Testing, Reproductive Support

Kim Bhasin | Bloomberg | October 7, 2021

Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) players can now receive free access to fertility support and testing services from San Francisco-based company Modern Fertility. This plan comes as an addition to the 2020 agreement drawn between the WNBA and its players that increased compensation and benefits such as paid maternity leave, child-care stipend, adoption, and surrogacy. The health of female athletes has been a hot topic recently, especially with high-profile figures such as tennis player Naomi Osaka and gymnastics athlete Simone Biles vocal on the topic.

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Gabrielle Union Opens Up About Her Surrogacy Journey: ‘I Always Wonder If Kaav Would Love Me More If I Had Carried Her’

Kaitlin Vogel | Parade | September 17, 2021

In her new memoir, You Got Anything Stronger?, actress Gabrielle Union discusses her surrogacy journey. After many miscarriages, a diagnosis of adenomyosis, and a number of rounds of IVF, Union and her husband decided to pursue surrogacy.  They were matched with a surrogate who delivered  their daughter, Kaavia James. Union continues to wonder how her bond with Kaavia would be different had she been the one to carry and birth her.

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Michigan Grassroots Grow Efforts to Reverse Surrogacy Ban

Ellen Trachman | Above the Law | September 15, 2021

After the Baby M legal case in 1998, Michigan and some other US states passed laws banning surrogacy. Now Michigan remains the only state with a law that threatens felony punishment for those who assist in commercial surrogacy contracts. To prepare for Michigan Infertility Advocacy Day, members of the Michigan Fertility Alliance met and shared personal experiences about the impact of the surrogacy ban on their families.

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Coast Guard Aid Society Offers Loans to Offset Fertility Costs

Rebecca Alwine | Military.com | September 7, 2021

Nonprofit organization Coast Guard Mutual Assistance recently introduced the Assisted Reproductive Services (ARS), a zero-interest loan available to military personnel who wish to use fertility treatments. The loan is available to all personnel regardless of marital status and sexual orientation, and can be reapplied for multiple times. ARS provides up to $6,000 for fertility treatments, such as intrauterine insemination, IVF, surrogacy, and other ARTs. One same-sex Army couple, who spent almost $20,000 to conceive their three children via IVF, says one ARS loan “would have covered five IUI [intrauterine insemination] treatments easily.” 

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Breanna Stewart’s Golden Journey to Motherhood

Kurt Streeter | The New York Times | August 16, 2021

Breanna Stewart is an Olympic medalist and Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) star, who shares her journey to motherhood as a professional lesbian athlete. Stewart knew she wanted to start a family with her wife, Marta Xargay, but did not want to break her momentum in the sport, so the two hired a gestational surrogate to have a child. The article features a video with Stewart and Xargay.

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Massachusetts Issues First 3-Parent Birth Certificate

Ellen Trachman | Above the Law | August 11, 2021

Although Massachusetts courts have long legally recognized three-parent families through adoption, the Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records and Statistics (RVRS) issued its first three-parent birth certificate in August. A family law attorney explains the importance of legal recognition and rights for parental figures in nontraditional families, 

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