The heralding of a new year always gives us the opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come along while simultaneously focusing on how we can continue to improve. For the third-party reproduction community, this means improving the conversation that surrounds fertility and third-party reproduction.
Although the conversation about these subjects has gotten better over the last decade, there is still work that needs to be done. In spite of our progress, egg donation and surrogacy are still plagued by many stubborn myths and misconceptions. Not only do these myths hold intended parents back from modern family-building, but they also create a culture of misinformation for those who have never needed third-party reproduction. The responsibility of improving the conversation about third-party reproduction should fall, not on a single group, but on the shoulders of the entire fertility community.
Raising Awareness and Promoting Education
One of the key parts of improving the conversation that surrounds egg donation and surrogacy is to raise awareness and not treat it like a taboo subject. By continuing to bring it out into the open and discussing it publicly, we help to normalize the concept of third-party reproduction.
When raising awareness, it’s always helpful to have educational resources available so that people can explore more on their own. For example, websites such as RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association or ReproductiveFacts.org from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRS) have many great articles that anyone can read.
For intended parents, egg donors, and surrogates, you also have the option of spreading awareness by sharing your experience with third-party reproduction. If you feel comfortable sharing your story, you can help others gain a greater understanding of what modern family building is really about by exposing them to a personal perspective. Of course, if you don’t feel comfortable, that’s OK too.
Being More Mindful
For friends and family of intended parents, egg donors, or surrogates, improving the conversation can be as simple as thinking about your questions and comments before saying them aloud. It’s natural to be curious when someone you care about becomes involved in third-party reproduction, but some questions can be off-putting or awkward for the person being asked, even if your intentions are coming from a good place. Some ideas for making the discussion a little easier include:
- Using neutral language
- Doing a little research before asking your questions
- Respecting them if they decline to answer
The most important thing you can do as a friend or a family member is to focus on what’s most important – that a family is in the process of being created. The details of how a family is created are small in comparison to the love it takes to be a family.
This year, we hope that the conversation will continue its upward trajectory. To learn more about third-party reproduction, please feel free to peruse our extensive blog.
Happy New Year’s from Fertility Source Companies!