How ART is Changing The Way We Think About Parenthood?

 Waqas Ahmad
  Apr 27, 2018

The first baby conceived using IVF was born in 1978 and since that time a lot has changed in science, medicine, but also in the concept of motherhood itself (and fatherhood as well). Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART) may be a taboo topic in some societies, it may be condemned, however, this does not change the fact that it has helped hundreds of thousands of infertile couples around the world. It has also changed the way we define motherhood and parenthood.

IVF with donor eggs and gestational surrogacy have changed the way we look at the concept of a mother or a father. In case of IVF with donor eggs according to legal regulations in most countries (but not all) the legal mother is the person who gave birth to a baby, not the one who supplied the biological material (donor eggs). All this is regulated by agreements signed between egg/sperm donors and IVF clinics or egg banks. In case of surrogacy, for example in Ukraine, the surrogate who carries the pregnancy and gives birth to a baby for intended parents has no legal rights over the baby. Thanks to surrogacy male same sex couples can become legal parents. As law keeps changing and adapting to new medical circumstances our concept of standard motherhood keeps changing as well.

Some people argue that using IVF with donor eggs is changing nature’s course. Dr Valerie Baker, MD, an IVF specialist, says that it is more like “assisting nature” than changing it. Think of a situation when you break your arm. The doctor reduces a fracture and puts your arm in a cast. But your bone still has to heal itself. The cast itself does not heal the fractured bone. The doctors are just a helping hand. They are not trying to create something. It is more trying to help where nature has a problem with conception.

It is generally observed that people do not choose to have IVF or IVF with donor eggs or sperm if they do not have to do it, if they have not been diagnosed with some form of infertility. Undergoing an egg donation program at a fertility clinic is not a first choice treatment option for intended parents. Usually, couples diagnosed with infertility first try IUI, then IVF with own eggs and when these methods fail they turn to donor eggs/sperm or surrogacy. Using donor eggs or donor sperm is a decision that needs to be well-thought-out. You and your partner need to decide if you are going to use anonymous or open donor.

On the whole, IVF treatment can be a very emotional and demanding process for many infertile couples. It may be stressful, painful (physically and mentally), money- and time consuming. Still many couples dreaming of becoming parents decide to have the treatment in spite of difficulties (they even often have multiple attempts). Many intended parents also travel to distant IVF clinics abroad to have the treatment they want, look for an egg donor they want and have the pre-implantation genetic diagnostics they want. They are ready to sacrifice their time, energy and money to realize their dream. This makes us all realize how fundamental and important is this drive to have children for some people.

Moreover, procedures like reciprocal IVF or gestational surrogacy have changed the lives of many same-sex couples. Some believe that there is not one set recipe for a happy family or a one-size-fits-all family structure. Certainly there are not many studies that look at same-sex families using ART or surrogacy, however, it does not mean that clinics do not offer such services.

Medical researchers believe that in the next 30 or 40 years Assisted Reproduction Technology (especially egg and sperm freezing, IVF and surrogacy) can change the way we approach contraception, fertility and family planning. These technologies are also anticipated to become more affordable and accessible for the general public, at least in the European countries where egg donation is legal and practiced, for example, Spain, Greece, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Ukraine or Poland.

How ART is Changing The Way We Think About Parenthood?

Waqas Ahmad

Waqas Ahmad has been actively involved in SEO and internet Marketing since 2013. Waqas knowledge and experience have made him one of the most respected and referenced SEO's in the industry. Waqas is also SEO manager at Bulksitechecker.com

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