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New York Times Magazine Examines Infertility, Surrogacy

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Wednesday, December 03, 2008 | 0 comments

About 7.3 million people in the U.S. are affected by infertilityThe New York Times Magazine on Sunday examined the experiences of the author, a New York Times writer, who had multiple miscarriages and ultimately had a child through gestational surrogacy.

About 7.3 million people in the U.S. are affected by infertility, according to the advocacy group
Resolve. About one-third of infertility cases are attributed to the female partner, and one-third to the male partner, while the other one-third are caused by a combination of factors or cannot be explained, Times Magazine reports.

According to the Times Magazine, in vitro fertilization became a standard fertility treatment about 15 years ago. Prior to that, traditional surrogacy, in which a fetus is fertilized with the pregnant woman's egg and donor sperm or sperm from the intended father, was the only available treatment for couples unable to become pregnant who wanted to be biologically related to the child. In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate is not genetically related to the fetus and a donor egg or the intended mother's egg is used along with sperm from a donor or the intended father.

Although national statistics on surrogacy are not available, surrogacy agencies have said that gestational surrogacies have become more common in recent years. According to Shirley Zager, director of the Organization of Parents Through Surrogacy, there have been about 28,000 traditional and gestational surrogate births since 1976. Sherrie Smith of the Center for Surrogate Parenting said that about 226 of the 1,355 infants born through the group's program since 1980 were created through traditional surrogacy, while the rest were created through gestational surrogacy. According to Times Magazine, surrogacy, which costs between $30,000 and $60,000, is largely unregulated and laws differ among states (Kuczynski, New York Times Magazine, 11/30).

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About Catherine: I am mom to three grown sons, two grandchildren and two rescue dogs. After years of raising my boys as a single mom, I remarried a wonderful man who had never had a child of his own. Unexpectedly, I found myself pregnant at 49!
Sadly we lost that precious baby at 8 weeks, and decided to try again. Five more losses, turned down for donor egg, foster care and adoption due to my age and losses - we have accepted that there will be no more babies in our house.

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