Friday, June 18, 2021

Older woman gets lucky with IVF

NY Times guess essay:
I Did I.V.F. Without a Partner. It Shouldn’t Have Been So Hard. ...

Aziz Ansari, the co-creator of “Master of None” and the director and co-writer of the episode, is a friend, and in the fall of 2019 he told me that he wanted to write a story about a woman doing I.V.F. without a partner, as I had done. He wanted to hear my story. ...

Then there is the societal judgment that single would-be mothers face, especially those over 40, as I was. Doing I.V.F. alone is still seen as an outlandish choice, even by some of those that offer the services. At times it felt as though I was offending everyone else’s morality, just because my circumstances did not fit their idea of what’s “normal.”

Those who offer the services do a lot of their business with women like her. That is, older single women who passed up many earlier opportunities to get married and pregnant.

The essay implies that clinics and insurance companies should do more to enable her right to be a parent. I wonder if she thinks the same about men wanting to be parents.

The top reader comment is:

I'm sorry, what was so hard about this? The title implies that there is some systemic flaw that warrants correction, but it's just a story about a fairly privileged human traveling to different countries to find a doctor who will give her what she wants, which is to bring yet another human into an already overpopulated world. The scope of vision here is absurdly shallow.
The next top reader comment says:
When I was 29, an unkind family member suggested that 29 was getting too old to get pregnant. I thank that unkind family member mentally every day of my life, because if my husband and I had waited another few years to get pregnant, we probably would not have had our children. We just didn't know about my fertility problems until we started trying. ...

No one should voluntarily wait until the last possible moment (early 40's) to get pregnant and then hope technology bails them out. I'm sorry if this sounds unkind, but again, I owe my children to unkind advice.

Every 29 year old woman should hear that unkind advice. Another NY Times article says women in their 20s are not having kids anymore.

The Netflix show has this summary:

Three years after the events of Chapter 3, Alicia discusses the possibility of being a single mother and the grueling process of getting pregnant at her age at a nearby fertility center. Her first round of IVF shots do not go well, as they only produce a fragmented embryo that can't be implanted. Her mother consoles her through her efforts and with a renewed spirit she tries again with a determination to be a "bad bitch" and get the job done. The episode ends with Alicia being ecstatic after being informed about her pregnancy.
The real-life IVF Alicia of the essay is White, while the fictional IVF Alicia is Black. Replacing Whites with BIPOCs is a theme of the Netflix series.

Both Alicias complain that insurance pays for infertility treatments, but the company is reluctant to pay unless there is some evidence of infertility.  

A law firm is offering these benefits:

A law firm has offered to fund surrogate mothers for staff wanting to start a family as part of a £45,000 package of fertility care measures.

The perk will cover not just IVF or egg-freezing treatment but also ‘gestational carriers’ as the country’s top law firms rush to provide pioneering medical benefits and to show their credentials as employers committed to diversity.

The offer to London-based solicitors employed by Cooley will see employees, including single men and women and gay couples, subsidised to have children, even to the point of surrogate mothers bearing their offspring.

It follows the offer from another firm to provide IVF and egg freezing, and another to pay for gender transition surgery.

Cooley, which is based in San Francisco and has clients among Silicon Valley tech businesses, has extended the fertility treatment package offer to London staff after it was made available in California offices.

The firm will reimburse staff up to £45,000 for fertility treatment.

It said it was a package for ‘personalised fertility care and family-forming support’ and that it was available to ‘single parents by choice and LGBTQ+ individuals and couples’ as well as employees with opposite sex spouses and partners.

The offer extends to adoption expenses.

Paying for adoptions and gestational carriers is illegal in England, if the money goes to the mom.

My guess is that the firm has a lot of female employees who are being persuaded to indefinitely defer motherhood in favor of career advancement at the firm. It offers this benefit in order to trick them into thinking that they are keeping their options open. Very few of them will actually have babies at age 40.

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