Sunday's NYC PVED Meetup was fantastic. PVED Hosted their first ever luncheon in NYC and Marna Gatlin, Founder and CEO, had her first visit to NY. I hope NY was as kind to Marna as she was to us. PVED.ORG is THE resource for third party reproduction and parenting.
I first met Marna 13 years ago on a yahoo group called MVED, Mothers via Egg Donation. We became part of a small community of family-builders. We had each other to laugh with, cry with, coach and encourage. Marna went on to form PVED, a non-profit, and I went on to form The NYC Gathering.
The first presenter on Sunday was Amelia (Amy) Demma who sits on the PVED board. Follow your heart on your family building journey but seek legal counsel and have the appropriate contracts in place. Amelia can help you in NY State or help you find an attorney in another state. She specializes in Embryo Donation and has experience in all facets of third party reproduction.
Amelia also mentioned legislation which is being proposed in Albany by Sen. Brad Hoylman, D-Manhattan. Due to New York's laws on surrogacy agreements, the senator and his husband had to have their daughter in California.
Hoylman and Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, D-Scarsdale, sponsor the Child-Parent Security Act (A.6701/S.4617), which would create legal requirements and conditions for paying someone to carry and birth a child. I believe the bill also covers egg donation.
The next presenter was Carole Lieber-Wilkins of LAFAMILYBUILDING, also on the board at PVED. Carole is the parent of child #11 conceived through egg donation in the 1980's. She is also an adoptive parent. She adapted the model of talking to her child about adoption to talk about egg donation. Carole drove home the point that the parents of donor-conceived are the only parents, the donor is a donor, another person but not the parent.
A resource for literature for kids and parents is the DCN, Donor Conception Network. They have books for sale as well as a series of free downloadable articles called Telling and Talking, broken down by age group.
Marna wrapped things up by sharing her story as a parent to a 15 yr old son conceived via egg donation and her passion for helping others on a similar path. She used an anonymous donor and a decade later asked her clinic to contact the donor to see if she would be open to contact from Marna and family. The answer was YES and they have met in person and become close. She also recommends the Donor Sibling Registry which also connects donors and families, as well as families to each other who might have genetic siblings through shared or repeat donor cycles.
Marna is available to answer questions, consult on family-building, and support you on your journey. PVED offers a number of forums for contact with others going through or have been through the process, and so much more.
Thank you again to Marna, Amelia and Carole.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Thursday, April 23, 2015
FAMILY BUILDING NETWORK
MONTHLY SUPPORT GROUP MEETING
Thursday, June 4, 2015
The FBN is a monthly support group that brings together families formed with the help of egg/sperm/embryo donation and/or surrogacy as well as parents-to-be; giving them the opportunity to ask questions, get answers to their concerns, share experiences and feel supported.
The decision to parent with the help of donors/surrogates involves multiple choices. Many parents are unsure whether they should tell their children about their conception. Even for those who make the decision to tell, the uncertainty of how and when to begin this conversation can often result in years passing by and children not being told about their genetic origins. Fear of "doing it wrong" or "being rejected" by their children seems to become the biggest roadblocks to talking and sharing.
The monthly FBN meetings provide a safe and comfortable place where you need not feel alone or different. Often, listening and sharing stories with others can give parents the confidence needed to not only start the talk with their children and others, but continue to grow the conversation.
Discussions will include:
Thursday, June 4, 2015
$20 per person, $30 per family
902 Broadway (between 20th-21st Sts. next to
920 Broadway), 13th Floor, NYC 10010
Patricia Mendell, LCSW, 212-819-1778
Upcoming dates: 6/4