More Myths about the Fertility Industry
Posted On December 19th, 2009
Self proclaimed “fertility planner” Angie Best-Boss, founder of My Fertility Plan, is quoted in the Washington Times (“Having a baby in the fertility maze: new specialty guides for parents“), regarding the value of her services:
“This is an industry that is not regulated at all. What you can’t get on Google is whether an agency is going to push you toward using an egg donor so that clinic can boost its stats.”
The misconception that the fertility industry is unregulated is so persistent, even so-called experts perpetuate it (out of ignorance and laziness). Fertility medicine is highly regulated by the FDA, and there are some firm ground rules set by the ASRM as well.*
On the second part of her statement: I do not know why an agency would have any interest in increasing a clinic’s statistics; I guess if the agency were affiliated with the clinic, this statement may make some kind of sense. But statistics are highly accessible to anyone, and you don’t need to hire a consultant for $125 an hour. I encourage all our clients to go to SART, click on For Patients, the Find a Clinic: plug in your zip code for a clinic near you or click on a state for all its registered clinics. There you can find the clinic’s CDC-reported statistics for the past few years, where they separate their cycles by donor and non-donor, and in the cases of non-donor,
Reaction to New York Times Article on Surrogacy
Posted On December 13th, 2009
Today’s New York Times article (“Building a Baby, with Few Ground Rules“) describes cases that went wrong, even though it mentions in passing that most surrogacies work out just fine. I hope it does not discourage intended parents from pursuing surrogacy, or just make surrogacy appear unseemly in the eyes of the general public.
The Michigan and Indiana cases discussed did not follow the proper legal or medical protocols at all; in fact, the egregiousness is stunning. These surrogacy cases should have never happened in the first place. Michigan is one of the few states hostile to surrogacy and we, or any legitimate agency, would never allow a surrogacy to take place there. All the clinics we work with have very strict protocols in place for medical and psychological screening; the single man from New Jersey would have never even made it into our program (as we are careful about the intended parents we work with), let alone pass the psychological screening that would take place at the clinic.
The article mentions that the American College of Obstectricians and Gynecologists recommends that “surrogacies be handled by nonprofit agencies,” but I am unaware of any such agencies with the legal experience to handle such complicated arrangements.
The field of surrogacy (and assisted reproduction in general) is not as unregulated as commonly perceived. In fact, there is case law and/or statutes in a number of US states, where surrogacy can be practiced legally and safely (see our article,