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Every baby requires four things

November 07, 2011

Blog written by Fairfax Cryobank Director of Operations Michelle Ottey, PhD

While at the ASRM conference, I attended a talk about LGBT Family Building. It was a fantastic talk that covered the legal, medical, and psychosocial aspects of family building for those in the gay community. Some of the items were universal and the information was applicable to all women and couples building their families using ART.

Kim Bergman a psychologist from surrogacy agency, a dynamic and effective speaker touched on one subject that I thought was universally important. She talked about how to tell a child their birth story in a positive way. Any child that is born as a result of ART can be considered non-traditional. Instead of framing the story as alternative, Kim talked about using a universal birth story that applies to every human being. She said that every baby requires four things: Sperm, Egg, Uterus, and Home. Obviously this story must be framed in an age appropriate way using age appropriate language.

An example is: Every baby needs a seed from a man, a seed from a woman, a belly to grow in and a home.

There can be numerous combinations of people who contribute. You can have donor sperm, the egg from the mom and her uterus, and a home with one mom. You can have Dad’s sperm, donor egg, gestational carrier, and the home with mom and dad. The options go on and on, but those four components make up the beginning of every birth story. This helps to normalize the child’s birth story and doesn’t start them off as an exception to a rule.

It was a great talk.

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