The NYC Gathering

The NYC Gathering
Our Community

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The hidden costs of artificial reproductive technology |

The article ends with this statement:

"Few clinics provide ongoing counseling for all of the parties involved, especially for the children who are the offspring of a donor."

My response: I don't know any clinics that do this! Please emal me directly at if you know of any.


Sara Axel

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

CT Fertility Launches “The Greatest Gift of All” Campaign Encouraging Embryo Donations to Parents in Need

A clinic here in the NE is getting behind this family-building option that I long ago thought could be the next big thing. And very disappointed that its has not become so. Scratching the surface and moving beyond the ban on stem cell research and personhood, the industry is finally reaching out to the broader base to hopeful parents-to-be.

Sara Axel

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Trivia Question Of The Day

Is this, and was Ringo wearing a tie on the original cover of Yellow Submarine?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dr Oz, Eggsploitation, and What I Wore

I stand by everything I said about the film Eggsploitation, almost a year since I saw the film at Fordham and Columbia U Law Schools. I have not seen Anonymous Fathers Day, and I will probably not when it screens on January 29, 2012 in NYC at a Digital Art Gallery. 

I was, however, asked to be part of a special section of 40 people to attend the taping of The Dr Oz Show this past Friday, 12-9-11. The Topic: HOW OLD IS TOO OLD TO HAVE A BABY? I never saw the Dr Oz Show until I attended this taping. I was prepped on the phone and in person the day of the taping on what the questions would be, about being a 50  yr old mom of 7 yr old twins. The producer I spoke to asked for passionate participation and said there would be people on the other side of the argument, but that she never heard of Jennifer Lahl, Eggsploitation, Shark Tank Girl, Family Scholars or Elizabeth Marquardt. Something told me otherwise (maybe the little birdie I tell my kids about, the one that comes to talk to you when you are a mom). 

I was ushered in to the studio after passing several security check points starting at 8:15am, signing the release form, getting the bracelet to wear so I could give up my belongings for 3 hrs to sit without a bathroom break or even to stretch my legs. No water bottles allowed under your seat, they reflect on camera, it was to go until about 12noon.

During the taping, I raised my hand a few times to speak but was never called upon for a direct question or to add to the discussions. I had no book or film to promote, no organization to do PR or cultivate a relationship or free press for, but I did take a vacation day from work for this and I could use my show ticket to receive a 10% discount on merchandise sold at the Studio Store on the main floor of 30 Rock. 

Those that did speak on camera had good sound bytes to share, good points to make about older parenting and even egg donation, for and against, and I enjoyed the discussion from both sides. It was difficult to hear so I did not catch the 2 doctors names that were on the panel of experts, one woman OBGYN who said that women of advanced maternal age, even with the use of Donor Egg, can sometimes present other medical issues and that she would not allow to move ahead with a pregnancy plan or any fertility treatments. The male doctor on the panel, a Reproductive Endocrinologist, explained quite a bit about how a healthy woman in her 40's, most of what he sees in his medical practice, can carry a child to term with donor egg with greater success rates than with her own eggs. The mom in the audience, Kate, who conceived via DE in her 50's confirmed that no matter what the others are called in her family-building journey, these are her kids and she is the mom.

Many times the word "biological" child was used when I believe the distinction of  "genetic" offspring should have been made. For example, one of the first things Jennifer Lahl said about infertility is that she understands the heartbreak and the desire for a biological child of one's own but that basically giving birth via donor conception was NOT your biological child, it was another woman's child. In addition to that, according to Jennifer Lahl, "Not everyone has a right to have a baby." I hope this is not edited out from the taping. She even repeated herself, just to be clear.
Maybe she thinks it isn't anyone's right to have a baby at any age or by any means of medical intervention by any one at all. As you may know by now, she is looking to end all ivf procedures, not just donor. But surely she didn't mean "Not everyone has a right to have a baby." Did she?

Shark Tank Girl stood up to say that she is 5 months PG, that she has been an Egg Donor and is a Donor Offspring herself, here at The Dr Oz Show to say that Anonymous Donor Conception is wrong because it strips the child of their rightful PARENTAL connection to, you guessed it, the Donor. A parent and a donor are not the same thing.

So, WHY is it, that if a Donor wants to be a parent they have to have their own family with a different mate to actually live as a family, but Shark Tank Girl still insists that the donor is part of MY family. Why do other people get to decide what my family wants or needs? Why do people who are actually parents who conceive at the time through a real relationshoip to the child, get to walk in and out of a kids life and are still the parents, even though everyone else might agree that they are not? I do know families like this and that is exactly the point. People get to decide what they want to be a part of or not and no one can force them one way or another. 

If my kids grow up and decide they want another Mother, it will be IN ADDITION to me, not INSTEAD of me, if that other person wants to and not if they don't.

The kids will have to decide for themselves if they love me or not, still want me as their mom or not, if they want to seek out their donor and then accept them as another Mother or not, and so on. We will always be a family of choice, but I would appreciate it very much if you didn't call me/us other names and use language like "The Violent Act of Buying and Selling a Child" with regard to sperm and egg donation, or that donors are "Used And Then Forgotten'', over and over. If you really care about families then why don't you leave alone the ones that exist just fine (and thriving in the same ways and at the same rate as other families in the general population) without you?  

PS-I wore a blue dress and figure that all you'll see of me when the show airs in January is the back of my head, which I really do hope they edit even that part of my participation out of the show. And if you happen to speak to Dr Oz, please tell him that I want my vacation day back! I am just a working mom, after all.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Is It Really Possible to Love an Adopted Child as Much as a Biological Child? | Creating a Family

Actually, its Pat Irwin Johnston's comment that resonates with me the most because it speaks to all relationships, regardless of age,gender, biology, genetics and applies to any stage in our lives.


Embryo Donation is the primary practice of The Law Office Of Amy Demma, Esq.

Read more information on navigating this excellent choice in family-building options here on Amy's blog.

ANNOUNCEMENT:Choosing Positive and Realistic Language In Creating Our Family-Building Narrative

Ok, now that I have your attention, I am once again very excited to announce that Lisa Schuman, LCSW will be our Guest Speaker at our next meeting of The NYC Gathering, January 26th,2012.

Lisa has helped our group members through her private practice and on the staff at RMA NY. I first met Lisa when I went with a friend to a patient information night at RMA, as Lisa joined their team after I had my kids through RMA. I was impressed, so I booked a private session for myself as well as a session for the group (Lisa spoke to us about decision-making, adoption and donor conception the first time she joined us).

Lisa will be generously giving us her time and expertise again on January 26, 2012 and the topic is Language.....

Starting a conversation about Third Party Reproduction and Parenting, pioneering into territories unknown, can be daunting. For those of you who are totally comfortable and have the language of your story working well for you, please come and share with us. For those of you who have not quite settled on what to say, or feel like you haven't been able to flow with it the way you'd like to, or that you would like to fine-tune what you've got, then this meeting is for you.

On a personal note, I wanted to have this topic for a group meeting because I continue to strive for greater clarity and the right words for me to describe my particular situation and others. I surely don't have to be perfect. I will allow myself more "do-overs" if I need them. But I do want to use words that are sensitive and accurate, that my kids and adults can understand and that I am comfortable speaking.

Please join us. I hope you can attend.

Talking With Kids About Sensitive Topics

Lisa Belkin's Blog is now on Huffpost, Parentlode.

Very good advice on talking about where children come from....

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Eugenics,Forced Sterilization and Limiting Who Can and Cannot Have a Baby

A woman over 40 has the right to have a baby as much as anyone else.

With proper education, social and mental health guidance, medical screening and follow-up for all those involved, no one has to participate in third party reproduction against their will.

The slippery slope of limiting access to reproductive choice, ART or otherwise.

Furthermore, are we going to stop doing ivf so that residual drugs are not ending up in the environment and putting others at risk of harm from these drugs? What other drugs are going into the environment this way? We have even more people using batteries in this country than are doing ivf.

Read here for environmental pollution that we are sending to Mexico in the form of "recycling" materials.

Recycled Battery Lead Puts Mexicans in Danger
Dec 09, 2011 - The used batteries Americans turn in for recycling are increasingly processed in Mexico, their lead often extracted by crude methods that are illegal in the United States.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Dr Oz Show

How old is too old to have a baby?
Jennifer Lahl, "Not everyone has a right to have a baby."
I hope this is not edited out from today's taping. She even repeated herself, just to be clear.
Maybe she thinks it isn't right to have a baby at any age or by any means of medical intervention by any one at all. But surely she didn't mean "Not everyone has a right to have a baby."

Did she?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Lovely Language

We can learn so much from Adoption. Third Party Reproduction and Adoption are not the same thing, but there are similarities. Here is something that resonates for me, it starts out....

"Adoption is the legal and social means by which a child becomes a member of a family other than the family of birth. Adoptive parent(s) have all the rights and responsibilities of parents.Through adoption, children receive families of their own."

Read more here:

Friday, December 2, 2011

The importance of listening | oliviasview

Congratulations to Olivia on her 100th post. I have a lot to catch up on!

I have known about Olivia and her work through the Donor Conception Network and the literature on Telling and Talking, but have not read all that I would like to from all of the resources available such as her blog.Olivia has much to share about donor conception and parenting.

This is a lovely post, in that she has written something very balanced and understanding of the feelings so many of us, donor parents and children, are feeling. She obviously understands the need to be fully present conversations that might be difficult, to say the least, for many people.

As a friend once said to me, "Straight through the middle with love". I think that's what Olivia is saying here too.