Be the Change You Want to See During National Infertility Awareness Week
This year, National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) is from April 24 to April 30. The upcoming theme places an emphasis on how we can all “be the change we want to see.” This might sound like a tall order, especially with everything that growing families seeking fertility care already have on their plates. Not every act during NIAW needs to have a national impact – there is much that can be done within your community, your family, or your friend group. There are many things you can do for yourself and your partner, too, using NIAW as a chance to make the world of the fertility community a little less unfamiliar and more supportive.
Getting Involved in NIAW
NIAW operates on local, state, and national levels. This means that in terms of your activism, there are a wide variety of ways in which you can participate in NIAW.
One of the easiest, fastest, and most basic ways to promote NIAW is through social media. Many fertility patients and growing families use NIAW as an opportunity to share their stories. Whether you’ve been through multiple rounds of IVF, used an egg or sperm donor, or worked with a gestational surrogate, these stories can make an impact across social media as a way to both educate those who are not familiar with modern family building and help those in the thick of it feel less alone. One of the best ways to ensure that your social posts are shared with others related to NIAW is to include hashtags like #NIAW, #fertility, #infertility, #IVF, #LGBTQfamilies, #surrogacy, #eggdonor, #spermdonor, #RESOLVE, #fertilityawareness, and #fertilitystory, depending on your situation.
If you’re interested in taking things to the next level, you can consider writing to your state representatives to draw attention to any areas of fertility-related laws that should be addressed. For example, very few states in the country currently have laws in place that support things like insurance coverage for fertility care or gestational surrogacy arrangements. Even if your state is one of the few that does have laws in place, it is rare that such laws are broad enough to cover all fertility-related needs; there are almost always limitations and exceptions, such as that couples must be married, coverage only extends to certain treatments, or LGBTQ+ families are excluded.
Lastly, there are often in-person events that you can participate in during NIAW. These can be local walks or fundraisers designed to show support for the fertility community during the month of April. You can learn more about some of the local walks that take place throughout NIAW and around the year here.
Ultimately, it is important to acknowledge NIAW for the opportunity that it presents – a time to come together to acknowledge the challenges that members of the fertility community face every single day, and to show that there is a clear need in this country to improve education, access, and financial support for everyone who seeks to build their family.