Planning Parenthood: Strategies for Success in Fertility Assistance, Adoption, and Surrogacy


Planning to become a parent is a profound experience, at times agonizing, hopeful, stressful, and joyous. Not everyone is able to become pregnant, however. When the journey to parenthood proves challenging, Planning Parenthood will guide prospective parents through the complicated mazes of assisted reproduction and adoption.

Specialist authors first describe fertility assistance, surrogacy, and adoption, clearly outlining the requirements of each strategy. They compare the ...

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Planning to become a parent is a profound experience, at times agonizing, hopeful, stressful, and joyous. Not everyone is able to become pregnant, however. When the journey to parenthood proves challenging, Planning Parenthood will guide prospective parents through the complicated mazes of assisted reproduction and adoption.

Specialist authors first describe fertility assistance, surrogacy, and adoption, clearly outlining the requirements of each strategy. They compare the medical, emotional, financial, and legal investments and risks involved with each of these options. Then they introduce the issues that people will need to consider when deciding which path to parenthood is best for them. Along the way these experts offer encouragement for changing course under any number of circumstances.

Supporting the detailed information in this book are personal stories of the often long, winding, and emotional road to parenthood—from in vitro fertilization to egg donation to surrogacy to adoption.

Armed with professional knowledge and inspired by the experiences of others who have gone before them, prospective parents will be informed and reassured by this unique resource.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Midwest Book Review

Personal stories of parents' experiences blend with insights to make for a powerful presentation of options.


A comprehensive book... a much-needed resource in the infertility literature.

Publishers Weekly

In this informative guide, five authors-two physicians, a psychologist, an epidemiologist and a lawyer-combine their expertise to explore and explain the various pathways to parenthood. Noting that each year in America hundreds of thousands of couples seek fertility advice after being unable to conceive, the authors set out to help readers decide on a strategy. Part one describes the options available: early fertility assistance, including hormone stimulation and intrauterine insemination; assisted reproductive technology (ART) such as in vitro fertilization using a couple's own eggs or sperm or donor sperm, eggs or embryos; using a surrogate; and domestic or international adoption. The authors assure that in most cases couples are able to reach their goal of birthing or adopting a child within two years, and although challenges for single, gay, lesbian or other nontraditional families may be greater, they are not insurmountable. The key, the authors argue, is knowing when to call a halt to a particular pathway that isn't working and move on to another: remaining flexible and open to various options is crucial to success. In part two, emotional, financial and legal issues are covered. First-person accounts, often quite fascinating, conclude each chapter. This panoramic view of the many routes to parenthood is both practical and encouraging. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Infertility gets two very different treatments here. Ford, the mother of twins conceived through intrauterine insemination, is behind the blog Stirrup Queens and Sperm Palace Jesters. Drawing on her own experiences and those of visitors to her blog, she aims in this conversationally written guide to give readers the confidence and tools to be their own advocates and to make decisions that work for them. After introducing the various types of infertility, she offers advice on seeking treatment, navigating the emotional and physical effects, deciding when to seek or end treatment, choosing whom to tell and when, and undergoing diagnostic tests and treatment. Lastly, she explores alternatives such as adoption, surrogacy, or living child-free. Sidebars that reinforce specific points, worksheets, and a list of resources and references complete this volume.

Clark, Jill Hayes, and Katherine Pucheu—all professors at Louisiana State University's Health Sciences Center—combine their medical and psychiatry backgrounds with lawyer Michelle Murphy's expertise to take a much more serious approach leavened with personal stories. Part 1 covers fertility workups and treatments, including hormone stimulation, intrauterine insemination, various assisted-reproduction technologies, donor sperm, eggs and embryos, surrogacy, and domestic and international adoption. Part 2 deals with the risks and benefits of these options. As in Navigating, the authors explore in detail physical, psychological, legal, and financial implications of each option. VERDICT Navigating is a solid match for people seeking an up-close and personal view of the complicated emotional journey ofinfertility. Packing serious depth, breadth, and authoritativeness, Planning Parenthood will appeal to information hounds seeking anything and everything on the subject.—Jodith Janes, Cleveland Clinic Fdn. Lib.

—Jodith Janes
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801891120
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2009
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Rebecca A. Clark, M.D., Ph.D., is a professor of medicine at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and coauthor, with Dr. Hayes, of A Woman's Guide to Living with HIV Infection, also published by Johns Hopkins. Gloria Richard-Davis, M.D., FACOG, is chair and professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Meharry Medical College, associate director of the Center for Women’s Health Research, and a board certified reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist. Jill Hayes, Ph.D., is a clinical neuropsychologist in private practice and an adjunct associate professor of clinical psychiatry at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. Michelle Murphy, J.D., is in private practice. Katherine Pucheu Theall, Ph.D., is an assistant professor at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center’s School of Public Health.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Read an Excerpt

"I am thirty-nine years old and have been through seven IVF cycles. I got pregnant with four of the cycles, but I miscarried them all. It wasn’t clear if I could ever carry my own child.

"I was emotionally burned out from the pregnancy losses. My husband didn’t want to try again. So, I began to think about our other options. It was a painful emotional journey to think about using a surrogate. I began to see family members and friends as potential carriers. It was driving me insane.

"But selecting a surrogate wasn’t so easy. I looked at package after package and video after video trying to select just the right person. I finally chose our surrogate candidate.

"My husband and I are busy professionals so it was hard to set aside a week when both of us could fly across the country for our IVF cycle. We flew back home and waited anxiously for the pregnancy test. It was positive! Our surrogate went for her first ultrasound and then called with the news was that we were pregnant with twins. I screamed with joy.

"We flew to California for the birth and became the proud parents of twin girls. Our lives were forever changed. There is a special place in heaven for our surrogate and all the women who reach beyond themselves and selflessly give to others."—from Planning Parenthood

Johns Hopkins University Press

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