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Monday, February 28, 2011

Contact info for April 2 Workshop in Montclair NJ

Judith Kottick
Fertility Counseling and Consulting Services
(973) 746-7370

Resolve Event 3.24.11 Attorneys and Contracts in Egg and Embryo Donation: What You Need to Know

 Egg Donor Seminar
New York, New York
Attorneys and Contracts in Egg and Embryo Donation: What You Need to Know
Featuring Reproductive Law Attorneys Amy Demma, PC and Elizabeth Swire Falker, Esq.
Thursday, March 24, 2011 from 6:00PM to 8:00PM
Location: Bis.Co.Latte Cafe, 667 10th Avenue (Corner of 47th and 10th Avenue), New York, NY
Are you considering or already pursuing egg or embryo donation as a family building option? Are you curious about the benefits of a direct contact with your donor, even if the donor is anonymous? RESOLVE presents an evening of private discussion and lite fare with two reproductive law attorneys and experts, Amy Demma and Elizabeth Swire Falker, as they talk about the importance of donor contracts in a casual and warm cafe environment.
Biscotti, coffee, fruit, cheese and sparkling water will be served. Bis.Co.Latte Cafe was recently featured on NYU's Doctor Radio for its healthy menu.
This is a free event. Maximum registration is for 20 people only.
For more information, please contact Amy Demma, Esq, Law Offices of Amy Demma, PC, at or or Elizabeth Swire Falker, Esq, PC, The Stork Lawyer® at or

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Designer Babies for the general population and a Celebrity Battling Infertility

Anyone else catch the irony in the 2 articles below? They are from the same day,the same planet,the same century!

Is the reporter in Charlotte SC that narrow-minded to think they can't get anyone to read about infertility and ordinary people seeking specific criteria in an egg donor without it being "a designer baby". Its usually celebrities or the obviously-too-rich-and-selfish who are tied to that antiquated terminology.

Its long been known that Nicole Kidman has had infertility issues. I'm so glad she has chosen to handle her situation with class and dignity and that ABC news headline treats her as a human being with feelings, not just (and so much more important than) her celebrity status.

Still,if she's being honest and open about using an egg donor and gestational carrier, I'm very pleased that she could be our spokesperson. Its not like she needs another award or to endorse some other product,right?

So, thanks Nicole and Keith and congratulations. May you and your family enjoy only health and happiness always in welcoming your new baby!
Sara Axel

2 Your Health: Designer Babies | WCBD-TV 2

Nicole Kidman Talks Openly About Infertility - ABC News

Monday, February 21, 2011

MODEL OF an Informed Consent DOC for Egg Donors Provided by NY State

This is an abbreviated  model form by the  NYS DOH TASK FORCE ON HEALTH REGULATIONS after the Ads and before the actual donation takes place.
Here are some highlights of the items that are covered:
Program’s SART Name and Number
You are agreeing to undergo a cycle of egg donation at [program’s SART name].  Do
not sign this document if you have not received all of the information listed below or
have not met with your physician to discuss the information.  Do not allow the donation
cycle to begin until after you have given your consent by signing this document.

A DESCRIPTION of the PROCEDURES for egg donation.
The  RISKS of taking THE DRUGS ie OVARIAN HYPERSTIMULATION – AND information about the SYMPTOMS AND CONSEQUENCES of ovarian hyperstimulation
Your  CHANCES of developing ovarian hyperstimulation from taking drugs to induce ovulation
AND the NUMBER OF EGGS the program plans to produce by stimulating your ovaries with drugs.  
The process of REMOVING EGGS from your body AND any other problems that might  happen  including any potential  LONG-TERM PROBLEMS that might not occur until later in your life.
The AMOUNT OF TIME involved and the possible RESTRICTIONS on your work and activities How the donation process may affect your family or partner .The support and counseling resources available
How WELL-ESTABLISHED each procedure is in the field, including whether it
is generally accepted within the relevant medical community, how much EXPERIENCE [program’s SART name] has with each procedure, training of the professional staff
Your FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS, WHAT COSTS ARE  and  ARE NOT COVERED  by  [program’s SARTname] and/or its INSURANCE, any  COSTS that you may be
RESPONSIBLE FOR, Who is responsible for the cost of MEDICAL COMPLICATIONS, including expenses related to any potential LONG-TERM PROBLEMS that might not occur until later in your life Whether you have any potential financial responsibility for certain medical problems that the resulting OFFSPRING might develop later in life Reporting your compensation as TAXABLE INCOME,COMPENSATION ,the amount of compensation, when will be paid, the  [Program’s SART name]’s policy on PARTIAL COMPENSATION or FULL PAYMENT.[Program’s SART name]’s policy on your  RIGHT TO WITHDRAW CONSENT, all the POSSIBLE USES of your eggs, information about the OUTCOMES of your egg donation, such as whether your donation resulted in a pregnancy or live birth. You should not assume that you will have any  PARENTAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES to any resulting offspring, although state laws on these issues remain unsettled.The risks involved with  MULTIPLE EGG DONATION, your CONFIDENTIALITY. Except as required  by law, your physician and  [program’s SART name] will not reveal any information about you or your egg donation without your consent, except that they may use  specific medical details in professional publications as long as personal information about you is not disclosed.  Statistics concerning your egg donation (without your name or personal information) will be included in information that  [program’s SART name] provides to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Any other use of information about you or your egg donation would require your specific written consent.
I have read this entire consent form and have had the chance to ask any questions I might have about my egg donation.  My consent to egg donation is purely voluntary.  I understand that my consent applies to only  one cycle of egg donation and that I may withdraw my consent at any time before  eggs are removed from my body.  I have received a copy of this form.
Egg Donor:
     Date:  _______________________
(print name)
PHYSICIAN CERTIFICATION:  I hereby certify that before the cycle of egg donation
began, and before the egg donor signed this document,
(i)  I or the staff at this program have provided the egg donor with information
about the nature, purpose, benefits, risks of, and alternatives to, the proposed
cycle of egg donation; and
(ii)  I have met with the egg donor to discuss the information, have given the egg
donor an opportunity to ask any questions, and have fully answered such
I believe that the egg donor fully understands what I have explained and answered and
has consented to undergo the proposed cycle of egg donation.
Physician Responsible for the
Egg Donor’s Care:
     Date:  _______________________
(print name)

DE Mom Talking With Her ART/ObGyn about Language

I saw my OB/Gyn yesterday for routine check-up.  He is moving totally out of OB work and focusing now on what he has long been involved in – ART.

He is the first to ever say DE to me.  At first, I was referred to his “partner” at the time, my Dr was only “assisting” in those procedures then.  

Now, my Dr has opened an ART office in our mid-western suburb and has announced that he will discontinue the OB practice (he said he has a few babies yet to deliver), but will keep his long-time patients who don’t need those OB services, for GYN treatment.  I love the heck out of this guy; and so, I am happy to follow.  After all, he did get me successfully through 2 high risk pregnancies.

Yesterday, he was asking about the kids, and telling his nurse asst, that I was his “oldest” mom ever - and still.  He actually seemed surprised to hear I was 50 when I delivered my son.  We talked about our egg donor, and of the kid’s “casual” familiarity with her.  They clearly know that she IS special to us.

I gently corrected him, when he called her their “biological mother”, by saying quietly “genetic”.  Hopefully, it will be the LAST correction he ever needs.  It’s his total sweetness, that allows my own quick forgiveness.  He meant “nothing” wrong.  I was a “good” one to make such a language error with.

Debbie, from the original Falling Leaves, Autumn Sunshine, Sunshine Family groups.

DE Moms Talking To Their Kids in 2011

Or talking to your friends, family, doctors ?
Let me know if you'd like to join the conversation and what you'd like to add.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Please contact me directly at SAXEL95@AOL.COM.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Family StoriesWorkshop Talking to Children about Donor Origins Date Saturday April 2, 2011

parents-to-be and professionals who
would like to learn how to talk to
children about their family origins.
Please return registration form and check to: Judith Kottick, LCSW, 110 Christopher Street, Montclair, NJ 07042
Seating is limited. Pre-registration strongly recommended. Payment must be received in order to confirm your registration. Cancellations must be
received at least three days prior to the event for a refund. For additional information call (973) 746-7370 or email
Workshop Schedule
8:30-9:00 Registration and Coffee
9:00-10:15 Creating the Family Story:
Conversations for parents about
donor and surrogacy
10:15-10:45 Identity Formation: How children
develop a stable sense of self
10:45-11:30 Refreshments and round table
discussions with professionals
and peers
11:30-12:00 Children’s book review: Using
picture books to tell your child’s story
12:00-1:00 Panel discussion: Parents and
donor-conceived children bring to
life the disclosure process
Judith Kottick, LCSW (
Director of Fertility Counseling and Consulting Services, a psychotherapist
and recognized expert in the field of reproductive counseling, consultant to
fertility programs in the tri-state area with a specialty in egg donation and
gestational surrogacy.
Nancy Freeman-Carroll, Psy.D, Psychologist and Psychoanalyst,
adjunct faculty at Pace University, Yeshiva University, Rutgers University.
Mindy R. Schiffman, Ph.D, Clinical Psychologist and Sex Therapist,
NYU Fertility Center, Clinical Instructor, NYU School of Medicine.
Allegra Heart Epstein, High school student, donor egg child.
W H E R E D I D Y O U L E A R N O F T H I S W O R K S H O P ?
Family StoriesWorkshop
Talking to Children
about Donor Origins
Date Saturday April 2, 2011
Time 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m
Place Unitarian Church
67 Church Street
Montclair, NJ 07042
Workshop Registration Form: Upon receipt of this form you will be sent registration details.
Individual $ 75.00
Couple $110.00
Babysitting: $10/child for the morning;
children must be registered in advance.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011





NYC GATHERING MOM talks to her SON and about DE

We had a very interesting conversation about donor egg after dinner one night last month.  I think this conversation touches on so many different aspects of DE (science, genetic traits, nature vs nurture, what's a "mother.")  And it only took 5 minutes.   Probably the last time we discussed it was six months before.
I asked him if he would help me read the elephant book to his little brother.  I told him I'd like his help to try to explain to his brother who is age two and a half, how much I wanted a baby and how a doctor helped us.  We talked a lot more about the "donor" than we ever had before.  Before this night, I don't think I ever used the word "donor", just a special lady who gave the doctor an egg so that the doctor could help us get pregnant.   

He was asking if he had any of my genes ("just maybe a few?" he asked, hopefully) and I said that he has some traits that are from me because he grew in my womb and because he lives with me, but they aren't technically from genes.  Then he asked if the donor had green eyes, like him.  (I couldn't remember!  I said "I think so, but I'll have to check").  He asked how I'd check, since we didn't meet her.   

I explained that even though we didn't meet her (I used the term anonymous, he knows what that means), the doctor met her and she also filled out a form with some information about her, which I kept (somewhere).  He volunteered, "I bet I have some traits from daddy, some from the donor, some from you, mommy, and some from being created in a petrie dish!!"  Yes, probably you do!    He proposed that "sixty-percent of all children who are made in a petrie dish become very interested in science."   He said he wants to become a chemist and an inventor when he grows up and that he's going to invent a lot of websites.  One of the websites will be a community where donors and families can connect "and chat to eachother."  (He's been spending time on Club Penguin and also has his own home page on, a reading community)  So I asked, did he want to connect with his donor?   "Sure!" he said. I told him that some donors don't want to meet the families they helped but they were very happy to help couples who wanted babies by donating "just a cell" from their bodies.  They didn't consider it creating a child, just donating an egg and helping a couple who needed one. 

I told him that the other evening, I went to dinner with other mothers who made their babies with an egg from a donor.  He said, "Really?  Wow!"  I guess I should bring him to one of those DE family gatherings.   At some point in the conversation, he called the donor an "ex-mother" GASP!  Where does he come up with this?? (he did not call her HIS "ex-mother", mind you, just AN ex-mother).   I said (extremely calmly, by the way) that the donor is not a mother, just a donor, and I asked him what he thinks a "mother" is.  And he said a mother is " a mom you grow up with."  He asked me if I wanted to meet the donor.  I said that if I ever met her, I would like to say "Thank you for helping us make our son!"  (neatly side stepping the question..., don't you think?)
That's about it!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

NY Times 1.23.11. Abortion: Easy Access, Complex Everything Else

Just found the paper when I was cleaning up tonight. We still get a hard copy delivered.

The New York Times 
N.Y. / REGION   | January 23, 2011
City Critic:  Abortion: Easy Access, Complex Everything Else 
In a city where access is relatively easy compared with that of other parts of the country, the emotional terrain is a minefield. 

The NYC Gathering Feb Update 2.5.11

Midtown-The NYC Gathering Womens Dinner- Mondays, Feb 7, March 7, April 4, May 9, June 6, 6-8 pm,, 516-967-7430.Check out "The End of Don't Ask Don't Tell"  AND “Eggsploitaion 2.4.11 And Why I Went” at

Special Announcement ~ Feb 7th Women’s Dinner
More Talk about Books: Let's have a look at books intended to introduce young children to assisted conception.
Dr. Nancy Freeman-Carroll will make a short presentation on books listed on the site of       American Society for Reproductive Medicine as aids to parents for talking to young children about assisted conception. Bring whatever books you have at home --those you love as
well as any you have misgivings about--we'll collect our thoughts about what we need from these books, and what we bring to the experience of reading them to our children.

Long Island Resolve Peer-Led Support Group- Monthly Thursdays 7-9pm:Feb 10, March 17, April 14, May 19, June 16., 516-967-7430.

The NYC Gathering in Brooklyn, Feb 20, LETS START PLANNING, please contact me at to discuss.

Montclair NJ, Judith Kottick,LCSW –Donor Parenting Support Group for Donor  Tuesdays @7pm,  Feb 1, Apr 5, Jun 7, Sept 13, Nov 8. First meeting free, $20 thereafter. PLUS Workshop in Montclair, Saturday April 2, 2011, FLYER AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST TO JUDY OR MYSELF.

Weds-NYC-Anne Malave, PHd-Support Group for Women Exploring Egg Donation-2nd and 4th Weds of the month,7-8:30 pm, ,212-787-1304. Educational meetings also available.

Upper West Side Tuesdays-Third Party Parenting Network-Jan 11, Feb 8, Mar 8, Apr 12, May 10, Jun 7, Support Group with Nancy Kaufman, LCSW, 212-772-1200 or Cost $20 pp, $30 per family.

Plainview Long Island-Primary Infertility Group with Janet Mueller, PsyD.,Tuesdays 7-8:30 in $320 for 8 Sessions,

Midtown-General Fertility and Family-building. Free Drop-in Support-group with Carolyn Berger, LCSW, 1st & 3rd Thurs. each month, 6-7:3pm, 914-834-6396. NEW FERTILITY DISCUSSION SERIES the 1st Wednesday eve of every month, 6-7:15 pm at Batzofin Fertility Services. Contact Carolyn for registration and topics. All are FREE.

Midtown Mondays-Mind/body Stress Reduction Classes, NYU Fertility Center-, 6:30-8:30 On-going, with Helen Adrienne, LCSW at 212-758-0125, Cost $75 per class. Many free downloadable gifts are available when you purchace Helen’s new book

White Plains, NY: New Fertility Discussion Group, 1st Wednesday each month, 7-8:15pm, with possibility to meet more frequently depending upon needs of members.  Ann S. Crane, Psy.D. 914-686-1490.  $40 per group.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Eggsploitation 2.4.11 and Why I Went

Heres why I went.I wanted to present our interests and be able to open the door for others to speak as well.I asked more questions rather than coming out for our side as I did not think being confrontational was the right approach for my first time at an event like this but rather I could reinforce to you all that we need more of our voices to be heard on this.
I'm passionate about the topic of third party reproduction and reproductive rights in general butthis goes deeper for me. It really is about my kids and maybe yours too if you're on here. 
Of course I believe in the good in the profession, good doctors, other caring practitioners, etc...but this is also how I feel about just seeing the trailer for the film online.
How about the subtitle- egg donation a dirty little secret. As a parent, perhaps as a former donor yourself or infertility patient, about the activities of the religious right and what they say about us (Shark Tank girl for one, see my Twiblings article comments as well).Do you want yourkids conception, do you want you kids to think of their conception, as a dirty little secret? 
I don't believe this will go away if we don't fan it. Naral and NOW have been pretty quiet these last several yrs and where are we now? Huff post article that the 1st piece of legislation to beaddressed after the healthcare bill in the new congress is to pass a bill refining RAPE. Just myopinion.
Here's an informal review. This is all off the top of my head, notes elsewhere, more later.
I attended the 2 screenings in NYC yesterday,Fordham daytime, Columbia evening. 
One de mom friend joined me at each, and a film friend of mine joined me at Fordham, and DrNancy Carroll-Freeman,de mom of twins who ison the education committee of ASRM came toColumbia. Saw no one else I knew from our circles, small turnout at each. 20-30 ppl, 1 personbesides Lahl made up the panel,her side of the argument.
I was there yesterday in NYC for both screenings and there was a representative from NOW on the Columbia panelists and she was more an advocate of the film and Jennifer Lahl than I personally would have hoped. Kathleen Sloan,also on the board of Center for Responsible Genetics. Perhaps you already knew about the NOW person. has spoken to this as a human rights issue to the UN.BTW-Shark Tank Girl was there with a picket sign for her website and her mission as clearly stated at the screenings as “ending ALL art and reuniting children with their real (donor) parents as they go on their spiritual journey of ….” Jennifer Lahl said that is her next film project.They became fast friends right then and there.
I will be looking at the legitimacy of the film award, not known by a film friend. I was civil andlevel, as neutral as I could be in my questioning until Shark tank girl-well ,I only took one little pot shot,couldn't help it. I asked is there a model by which ART is practiced elsewhere
that they think is done according to their standards and that they would consider acceptable and I got an answer that made no sense-it might have,but it was just blah blah blah, nothing substantive. Which was when Shark Tank girl chimed in on how in other countries there is a homestudy done just like they do for adoption, to see if it’s a home and family fit to be parents. Mypot shot was-maybe they also do a better job of screening donors too (this girl supposedly passed throughand donated twice herself). I reminded the Panel that I was asking about all ART and not just Donors and that in adoption there are different risks & liabilities for placing anexisting child compared to who is entitled by law to have children through any form of reproduction.
Lahl said she is not trying to end all ivf,just mistreatment of donors, but then also says to end all art until they figure out the effects from all of it on women and-ready for this-the environment, and then in turn on all of us. 
No one from the business was there. My RE said he would have but had theater tickets for that night (it wasn’t much notice when I asked him).
The additional piece in NYC that was brought up both times was that NY State is the first to pass a bill compensating donors for stem cell research (and hence taking advantage of the poorer populations of women who would be enticed by the $). 
Lahl insists that she is not a Trojan horse for the religious right and was very upset that she was mis-quoted by the journalist, as journalists are known to do. She said she hears from women all the time so saying 3 people in the film does not represent the whole industry or that there are many more is not accurate. 
There was a medical writer there that had mentioned this and I spoke with her after the film, Marion Dreyfus, who writes about the women's global health issues, has a friend that paid a lotof money for his wife to get a donor and that's how she came to this. 
I spoke to the woman from NOW at Columbia and Marion the medical writer at Fordham, about the myth that the compensation is as high as the inflammatory numbers (and that recipients are all rich snobs) and language around designer babies and elite donors,that that's not the norm or the average. Lahl said ASRM guidelines don't mean anything when they recommend no more than $8-10,000, if I still have that correct. Anything I said about ASRM was poo-pooedas being part of the $6.5B industry that has their interest in keeping the dirty secret going.
For the 3 women in the film,how many more have to lose their ability to have children. Lahl admitted the screening venues are college campuses where donor recruiting is done.
The phrases used over and over were these:
Informed consent-either not given it or too young to understand it.
Longitudinal studies on (horrendous, life-threatening) health risks.
Taking advantage of women-the definition of eggsploitation a classic-if its on the website (let'sjust pick it apart for what it is and why shouldn't the medical community defend itself?)
Off label use of lupron. I did not get to ask how many drugs out there are also used regularly as off-label.
Regulation-I’m in favor of more openness as well as a registry of some kind if it can ever be done properly. They kept saying the donor is USED AND THEN FORGOTTEN. That really upset me.
And of course, the good ole-we’re the wild west of reproductive medicine, egg brokers, selling eggs. I have more notes and one other donor mom that I know attended each screening as did my film friend so I hope to have more to share.
One man who came late and left after his statement in which he said he was the chief of medicine at columbia (I will google and see if I can catch a photo to verify),said that anytime money is involved between a doctor and 2 parties there is a conflict of interest. Columbia had more attendance, more interest from audience and seemed on the left and because they were in a law school setting they were asking questions about malpractice insurance ratios globally as well asactual liability and responsibility-like medical mistakes happen and doctors don't want to mess up for many reasons, not just $.
Please write
to me off line if you would like
to chime in on this and let me know if you are interested in having it posted.