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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

That very same year, on December 5, Trizila became little Kate's mother. From and

Tue November 29, 2011
I have to thank the writer and interview participants of this article.
Single mom Jo Trizila didn't wait for the perfect man to start her family and encourages single women yearning for a child to 'go for it' like she did.
There was a time when gay parents and single adoptive mothers were unheard of, but the new norm is that almost anything works well as long as there's a dedicated adult and plenty of love.(SO GLAD TO HEAR THIS,AND READ ABOUT IT ON CNN!)
Christopher Fraley, 42, and Victor Self, 41, Parents of 20-month-old Coco.
Christopher Fraley and Victor Self became the first same-sex couple in Rye, New York, to legally wed. Coco, their daughter, was right by their side.
Fraley and Self met in 2003. "I saw kids in my life, and Chris did, too," Self remembers. Eventually, "we decided to get married," adds Fraley...

While their attitude toward fatherhood is traditional, the way they became dads isn't: Coco was born through a surrogate, using a donor egg. In expanding their family, Self and Fraley joined the growing number of same-sex parents in America today: somewhere between 1.5 million and 5 million, according to rough U.S. Census estimates, up from 300,000 to 500,000 in 1976.
The surrogacy process took two years: One egg donor became ill, then a first surrogate failed to get pregnant. But in February 2010, Kira, their second surrogate, gave birth to 8-pound-9-ounce Coco.
Strangers are mostly respectful, which doesn't surprise Adam Pertman, executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, headquartered in New York City. "As support for legal gay marriage has grown, along with the body of research that shows same-sex parents to be just as committed, so, too, has the acceptance of gay parenthood," he says. Still, Fraley admits, people can be insensitive. "Sometimes they ask, 'Where'd you get your baby?' like we bought her at Target," he says. "I say, 'She was born, just like you.' Another person recently asked, 'Whose sperm did you use?' "
Coco may face a few awkward scenarios, too, as she grows. "Kids can sometimes look down on children from single-sex households, and tell them their family isn't real," Pertman says. "Coco may also start seeing news stories that upset her, like another state wanting to pass an amendment stigmatizing gay marriage. Chris and Victor will need to discuss these issues with her."

They've already steeled themselves for the questions she'll likely have. "Why don't I have a mommy?" may be answered with "Because you have two daddies." It helps that the definition of family is growing, just like Coco. "Is it such a big deal?" asks Fraley. "Look around. All families are different."

Single mom that didn't wait for the perfect man to start her family and encourages single women yearning for a child to 'go for it' like she did.
Jo Trizila, 40, Single Mom to Kate, 2 remembers the conversation with her mom that changed her life. It was her 35th birthday, and they were talking about how some of Trizila's friends had gotten married just to have kids, and were miserable now. "I said, 'I don't want to do that. If I haven't met the right guy by the time I'm 37, what would you and Dad think if I have a baby anyway?' Mom said, 'If you can afford a child, we'll support you 100 percent.' "
By the time her 37th birthday rolled around, Trizila still hadn't met the perfect man. By then she was running a public relations firm she'd founded -- the kind of success that's helping to fuel a rise in single-mom adoptions, notes Pertman, the adoption-institute executive director. "As women like Jo find good careers and their earnings grow, there's less need to find a partner to make having a family feasible."
Trizila considered getting pregnant, "but part of me was saying 'Is it worth finding a sperm donor and doing in vitro? What about adoption?' .....
... By the summer of 2009, she was cleared to adopt. "I was told to expect a couple of years' wait," Trizila recalls. But that September, a woman due to give birth shortly selected her to raise her child.

That very same year, on December 5, Trizila became little Kate's mother.
I'd never understood how you could love someone you'd never met. But I got it the moment I held Kate," she says. Rocking her daughter in the maternity ward, she thought back to her own hospital stay as a teen, for a life-threatening brain abscess and aplastic anemia. "I'd always wondered why I had survived.That night with Kate, a voice in my head said, 'You survived to be Kate's mom.' "
While she's a single mother, there are plenty of people in Kate's orbit....Still, solo parenting has drawbacks. "There's no one to ask 'Am I doing the right thing?' " Trizila says. It's also annoying when she gets asked "Are you dating anyone?" She still hopes to meet a great guy, but is happy being single for the time being. "Are Kate and I that unusual?" she muses. "Look at the divorce statistics. There are a lot of single moms -- they just didn't adopt." (In fact, about one quarter of all kids are raised by solo parents.)
Yet she'd recommend her own path to parenthood to anyone. "If I convince just one single woman out there who's yearning for a child to go for it, this interview will have been worthwhile."

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

'Steve Jobs' and Joan Didion's 'Blue Nights' Reveal Dark Side of Adoption - ABC News


Midlife Parenting | Independent Adoption Center

More helpful insights from the adoption world, here in addition to midlife parenting, the writer mentions the incongruities in the mailbox-the AARP newsletter and "Highlights" magazine for her 7yo daughter.

(Side-note:We saved some $ on our car insurance when we changed policies and I joined last week.)

Rhode Island videographer recognized for work on ‘Tuesday’s Child’ Jamestown Press

I love the story and this excerpt from the article,

"Adoption has made them a better family than they might have otherwise been, he said, just because they were required to give parenting so much thought.

In every other way, they're like every other family, he said. Being the dad is the fun part, he said, and being the mom is hard work."

Egg donor helps family beat infertility | ABC 6 WJBF-TV

Monday, November 21, 2011

Saturday, November 19, 2011

What If You Discovered You Had 150 Siblings? |

Wendy Kramer of The Donor Sibling Registry is on Anderson Cooper. Two genetic half-siblings meet for the first time on the show. Here are a few clips. The entire program to be uploaded soon,

Friday, November 18, 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Language: Why ‘splitting’ motherhood is against the rights of the child

Save the date-DEC 8th, THE NYC GATHERING will host Lisa Schuman. Our Guest Speaker will take on LANGUAGE.

Top of my list-the Donor is the Donor and the Mother is the Mother. An example here:

Why 'splitting' motherhood is against the rights of the child.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Wednesday November 16, 2011

The Monthly Support Group, lead by Patricia Mendell, LCSW, is dedicated to helping families formed through egg/sperm/embryo donation and surrogacy, create healthy and lasting connections.

Everyone has a unique Story about their family. For parents planning to disclose, telling the Family Story can seem overwhelming.

We Will Discuss:

 The importance of language in the disclosure story
 Latest research on children and families
 Age appropriate books for donor offspring children
 How to answer questions from your child and others
 How to begin "The Talk"
 How children's' questions change over time
 What to tell siblings
Third Wednesday in every month
Starting Wednesday November 16, 2011

7:00-8:30 pm

$25 per person

902 Broadway (between 20th-21st Sts. next to
920 Broadway), 13th Floor, NYC 10010

Patricia Mendell, LCSW, 212-819-1778
Call to reserve a space

Saturday, November 5, 2011

 You're Invited to a FREE Telephone Coaching Group on November 17th

From The AFA:

Donor Gametes, the Next Generation: Caring for Our Children.
Are you considering the use of donor sperm, egg, or embryo to create children? Or, are you already parenting children created by donor sperm, egg, or embryo?
During this one hour group conference call, you will receive information on:
· The pros and cons of disclosure to children of their genetic origin
· What and when to share this information with children if you so choose
· How or whether to share this information with family or friends
· Questions you may have if you have already begun to share this information
You will also have the opportunity to share information and support one another in making the decision about disclosure and implementing this aspect of parenting.
WHEN: Thursday, November 17, 2011
WHERE: Telephone Conference Line (call-in information will be given at time of registration)
TIME: 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Eastern time
FACILITATORS: Joann Paley Galst, Ph.D. and Patricia Mendell, L.C.S.W.
Registration limited to the first 15 responders who also send information regarding their particular situation and any questions they would like addressed.

For further information and to register contact:

Joann Paley Galst , 212-759-2783      or
Patricia Mendell, 212-819-1778
Facilitator Bios:

Joann Paley Galst, Ph.D. is a psychologist in private practice in New York City specializing in mind-body medicine and reproductive health issues, including infertility, pregnancy loss, and pregnancy and parenting after infertility. She is a past Chair of the Mental Health Professional Group of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and is currently the Co-director of Support Services for the American Fertility Association. She is the author of numerous articles on infertility and co-author of the book, Ethical Dilemmas in Fertility Counseling, published by the American Psychological Association. In her work with individuals, couples, and groups, she believes that good family building decision making starts with well-substantiated facts and clarification of one's feelings and strives to help clients build their resilience so that they can cope more effectively with their fertility treatment.

Patricia Mendell, L.C.S.W., B.C.D. is a clinical social worker in private practice in Manhattan and Brooklyn. She is Co-chair of the American Fertility Association (AFA) and the facilitator of the AFA Ovum Donor Seminar Series. She is co-author of the fact sheets for AFA on "Talking to Children about Ovum Donation" and "Talking to Children about Sperm Donation." Ms. Mendell has written and spoken extensively on numerous topics regarding fertility, third party reproduction, parenting after infertility, disclosure, multi-fetal reduction, pregnancy loss, and adoption. As an infertility and pregnancy loss survivor, she is well aware of the impact decision making choices have on people's lives. In her role as therapist and consumer advocate, she gives those seeking her help both practical and therapeutic advice on how to better cope with stress, resolve marital tensions, and select and explore solutions to their family building dilemmas.

Sara Axel

The Salem State Log

SSU Student's Post-Grad Search will be for Her Biological Parents.

I like her attitude...

Salem State Log

I'm not part of an open adoption, and my mother suggests that my birth parents may have been friends and things may have escalated to another level for a brief time. There's no guarantee if I do decide to make contact that I'll find both parents. .

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

From the heart -

When we were first diagnosed- adoption, donor egg or child free- we went to a meeting of the Adoptive Parents Committee. We did not pursue adoption but I was indelibly impressed by this one night event and organization, community really, what the families and ip's of third part reproduction need to have.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

New Studies on Family and Parenthood in ART

Linda Layne is an accomplished researcher on Family and Parenthood in the context of Cultural Anthropology and has begun research on a new study.
Published today: Studies in "Choice Moms" – Single Mothers (and Mums) by Choice.
Rensselaer Professor Compares Single Mothers by Choice in U.S. Versus U.K.
Here is a little about the study and Linda Layne's background.
While at Cambridge, Layne is researching the differences between American and British single mothers by choice, studying the religious, political, racial, and class contexts in which alternative families have emerged, and the social and cultural resources upon which they draw.
In her book, Motherhood Lost: A Feminist Account of Pregnancy Loss in America, Layne used the lens of anthropology to explain why American women are so ill-prepared for miscarriage, stillbirth, or early infant death and why the feminist movement has not fully embraced this important women's health issue. She further developed a women's health approach to childbearing loss through an 11-part, award-winning television series, "Motherhood Lost: Conversations" produced by George Mason University Television.
She has edited or co-edited two books on motherhood and consumption, a collection on Feminist Technology, and is currently working with British colleagues on a book on reproductive loss and a volume on new trends in parenting.
The Cambridge Centre for Family Research, based in Cambridge University, specializes in research that increases understanding of children, parents, and family relationships with a focus on topics central to public policy, health care, and people's lives. Current research projects on "new families" include a study of adolescents conceived by donor insemination, young adults raised from infancy in lesbian mother families, parent-child relationships and the psychological development of children, bioethics in assisted reproduction and emerging family forms, and parenting and psychological development of adoptive children raised in gay father families.
Read further about the study at