Family Building Options
There is no cookie cutter approach for building a family as the family building journey is different for each family. Often, the decision making regarding non-traditional ways of having a child can be overwhelming for individuals and couples -- because for many, all of their lives, they believed they were able to have children in the traditional manner with no problem, especially African Americans. Learning the various types of family building options is the first step to fighting infertility and starting a family. In addition to the use of fertility medications and choosing to live child free, the following are examples of family building options:
The use of donor eggs, sperm and embryos enables women/couples to build the families of their dreams. There are a number of things to consider when using donor eggs, sperm or embryos such as finding a donor, using an anonymous or known donor, disclosure to family/friends, legal and exploring emotional concerns as well. Individuals feeling led to go the donor route should speak with their specialist.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
IVF is a procedure by which women's eggs are surgically removed from the body and fertilized in the lab using sperm that has been given by sperm sample or aspiration. Next, after a few days of development, the fertilized egg called an embryo is transferred into the woman's uterus with the hope of implantation. One cycle of IVF can take up to 4-7 weeks and does not always result in pregnancy. Contact a Reproductive Endocrinolist or specialist for details about IVF, its risks and cost.
Egg freezing is an option for women seeking to preserve their fertility due to certain cancers or because they have postponed pregnancy for a variety of reasons such as they have not found the right person, focused on careers or do not feel they are ready to have children. Cost vary widely from $6500-$15,000. Women seeking to freeze eggs should consult a specialist for further direction.
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is the placing of sperm into a woman's uterus during ovulation. Using either husband's sperm or donor sperm, prior to an IUI, the woman should be evaluated for any hormonal imbalance, infection or any structural problems. IUI is often done in conjunction with ovulation-stimulating drugs. Seek out a specialist for more info regarding IUI.
Surrogacy and gestational care, is a family building option by which a woman carries and gives birth to another woman's baby. Some women and couples choose this option because they have had difficulty conceiving, carrying a pregnancy to term, sometimes have no uterus, etc. and still desire genetic ties.
There are a number of options regarding domestic, international, open and closed adoption. It is important for women/couples choosing adoption following unsuccessful infertility treatment, take the time to explore feelings regarding adoption and grieve. There are numerous agencies seeking parents for African American children. Individuals must take the time to research and meet with an accredited agency.