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Path To Fertility Blogger Lisa Rosenthal  

Lisa Rosenthal has over twenty-five years of experience in the fertility field, including her current roles as Coordinator of Professional and Patient Communications for RMACT and teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a class designed to support, comfort and enhance men and women's sense of self. Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association, where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director

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National Proclamation - November is National Adoption Month

  
  
  

November is National Adoption Month

national adoption month presidential seal   luigi crespo   flickr creative commonsPolitics aside, whether you like President Obama or not. Whether you identify yourself as a Republican, Democrat, Independent or some other variation on a theme. Whether you are so disgusted with politics that you plan on never voting again or are planning on moving out of the country. 

 

All those things aside, there are days that are claimed as this or that. Whole weeks devoted to celebrating, supporting or mourning for different causes and groups. 

 

 

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons, Luigi Crespo

 

National Adoption Month could be seen as just another one of those causes and groups. 

 

I would like to thank President Obama for making National Adoption Month 2013 a stand out. For proclaiming that creating permanent families is a vital and essential part of the american culture. For supporting that adoption is bipartisan and not political. 

 

Adoption is about creating families. It's about extending families and our concepts of families. It's about supporting a child's right to have a family.

 

Thank you, President Obama, for recognizing that National Adoption Month is for all of us to celebrate. 

Presidential Proclamation -- National Adoption Month, 2013

NATIONAL ADOPTION MONTH, 2013

 

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

 

A PROCLAMATION

 

Every young person deserves the chance to learn and grow under the care of a loving family. Across our Nation, adoptive families give that chance to over a million children and teenagers. During National Adoption Month, we celebrate these families and stand alongside every child still looking for the warmth and stability of a permanent home.

 

Today, nearly 400,000 American children are in foster care, and each year, thousands age out of care without the security that comes from a permanent family or a place to call home. On November 23, National Adoption Day will offer a sense of hope to children waiting for adoptive parents. As we observe this day, courts across our country will open their doors to finalize adoptions that move young people out of foster care.

 

My Administration has worked to simplify adoption laws; reduce the amount of time young children go without parents; and ensure adoption rights for all qualified couples and individuals. We are calling for an end to discriminatory barriers that keep children from loving and stable homes. And we are working across all levels of government to eliminate roadblocks to adoption and encourage cooperation between adoption advocates, private organizations, and community and faith-based groups. This January, I was proud to sign legislation to permanently extend the Adoption Tax Credit. And to protect the young people of every nation, I signed the Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act. This law will promote safe and lawful adoptions by setting Federal standards for all adoption service providers, and it will provide greater safeguards to both parents and children.

 

This month, we celebrate adopted children, teenagers, and their diverse families. We work to give more young people permanent families and promising futures. And we encourage our friends and neighbors to open their hearts and their homes to children in need.

 

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 2013 as National Adoption Month. I encourage all Americans to observe this month by answering the call to find a permanent and caring family for every child in need, and by supporting the families who care for them.

 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.

 

BARACK OBAMA

 

 

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November is National Adoption Month - A Choice

  
  
  

National Adoption Month

national adoption monthNovember is National Adoption Month.

 

I will have some adoption folks write for us in the upcoming PathtoFertility blogs.

 

For today, I’ll just share my story about adoption.

 

Although I believe that my life and family ended up being just what they were supposed to be, one of the few profound, resounding regrets that I have is how I looked at adoption while I was in the midst of chaos of understanding infertility.

Common Adoption Fears

I’ve shared before on this blog about my fears about adoption but I’m going to do it again. These were the most common ones, the ones I was willing to admit:

 

  1. That I wouldn’t love the baby as much as I would had it been “mine”
  2. That my family wouldn’t accept the baby
  3. That the birthmother/father would take the baby away from me
  4. That my child wouldn’t truly love me as his/her mother
  5. That I would have to accept another family when my child grew up and searched for their “real” (biological) family
  6. That it would cost $100,000 and take three years to get a child
  7. That the mother had done awful things during the pregnancy and the child would be permanently damaged
  8. That the genetic background would be a nightmare in terms of disease
  9. That the baby would look nothing like me and we wouldn’t feel a connection with one another
  10. That I would still feel the hurt and pain from infertility

 

I’m going to ask a few of my fabulous adoption friends, professionals in the field and parents of adopted children to “debunk” the fears that I listed above. Or, if not debunk, then at least address. I’m fairly certain that I am neither the first nor the last person to have had those fears.

 

Looking back, seeing my list with new eyes, I see the common denominator.

 

This child wouldn’t truly be mine. I’d be a glorified babysitter until the child could grow up enough to find his/her real parents. Underneath everything else, my fears were based on lack of connection.

 

I see now that I underestimated myself. What I didn’t see then was my own strength and emotional depth. I didn’t recognize those things then.

 

I do now.

 

I am strong and resilient.

 

And infertility and fertility treatment forged those things into my very soul.

 

Adoption wasn’t a door that I felt I could open because of my perception of myself. That I wasn’t enough. Infertility and fertility treatment contributed to those feelings as well. That I was damaged. That I wasn’t able to do what women were created to do. That there was something wrong with me.

 

Infertility made me feel broken.

 

And ultimately, infertility made me feel whole.

 

Recognizing A Family Building Possibility

 

We’ll talk more about adoption all the way through Thanksgiving. It’s a family building possibility that could be an option for you.

 

You may not know that you are strong enough.

 

But I’ve met you. Every time I look in the mirror, I see a reflection back of you.

 

You’re strong enough, brave enough, and whole enough.

 

Thanks for reflecting those things back to me.  

 

Lisa Rosenthal's Google+

 

 

Come to Resolve of New England's 20th Annual Fertility Treatment, Donor Choices and Adoption Conference This Weekend

  
  
  

20th Annual Fertility Treatment, Donor Choices and Adoption Conference

 

Resolve of New England's 2013 Annual Conference

Join us for the largest educational consumer
infertility conference in the country!

 

Explore Your Next Steps & Get Your Questions Answered

 

Saturday, November 2, 2013 | 8:00am – 5:00pm

 

Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel
181 Boston Post Road W., Marlborough, MA

 

Click here for directions.

 

2013 Annual Conference Information

 

 

2013 Annual Conference Registration

 

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN! Click here to register.


Financial assistance is available. If you’d like to apply a scholarship towards your registration fees and/or Household membership, you may do so via the online registration process.

 

2013 Annual Conference Schedule

 

View our complete conference schedule of over 40 infertility and adoption workshops.

 

2013 Keynote Speaker: Elizabeth Jordan Carr

 

In 1981, Elizabeth Jordan Carr became the first baby born through in-vitro fertilization in the United States. Carr, who has spoken about fertility and infertility around the world, is currently the social media marketing manager for The Boston Globe/Boston.com, having previously worked as the senior health & wellness producer for Boston.com. A graduate of Simmons College and former Naughton Fellow at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., she also currently blogs about her personal fitness journey on Boston.com’s Get Moving blog.

 

 

November is National Adoption Month - My Story

  
  
  

National Adoption Month 2012

 

 

Considering Adoption: A Personal Story

Ever consider adoption?


I didn't. Or, I did, and shut the door so firmly that not one bit of light slipped through the cracks. That door was so tightly shut and bolted that one would think it didn't exist. One could hardly see it for all the dust accumulating along with the spider webs.  I wrote an article once on how things might have been had I allowed myself to entertain the possibility of adoption while in fertility treatment and here is a little more on the subject.


I had many, many reasons not to adopt; many of them compelling and understandable. Most of my reasons were fear based; again, quite understandable.

 

Here's a partial list of my fears:

  • the birthmother would want the baby back;
  • the birthmother would take the baby back;
  • the birthmother would take the baby back after one week, one month, one year, ten years;
  • the birthfather would show up and take the baby back;
  • the baby would hate and resent me and my husband;
  • the baby would hate and resent the absent birthparents;
  • there would be some messy, complicated relationships that would be necessary when the baby stopped being a baby and turned eighteen years old.

 

I bet you get the idea that I could go on and on with this. I have been known to be able to spin a story out farther than you could ever believe possible. The fears that I just listed are actually just the tip of the iceberg.

IVF Cycle Planning | Making Choices

My husband and I decided that we would attempt one more IVF cycle and then we would remain childfree if we weren't successful. That was our plan, after many years of disappointment in treatment. We were so thrilled to have a plan and an ending point.

 

Then an interesting thing happened. My cousin, Peter, and his wonderful wife Becky, who I love dearly, came to visit. Peter and I grew up down the block from one another. Peter and his brother Danny were the only brothers that I ever had. I was one of three girls. Loved having those boys down the street. So Peter and Becky came to visit. With their baby. Now, imagine this, after 5 years of being the most miserable, unbearably difficult infertility patient in the history of time, (don't believe me, ask my doctors, friends, family, it's true) I held their baby and it was lovely. More than lovely, it was soothing, comforting and healing.

 

Wow. What was that about after 5 years of avoiding babies, baby showers, and pregnant friends? I held that baby, (Isaac!!!) and thought this . . . "I could love and keep this baby". Now, obviously, my very loving cousins were not offering that up as an option. Not the point here. Point was, that door cracked open and lit up the room. Childfree was still an option, but in fact, it was not my only option.

Dealing with Infertility and Opening Doors

I was truly blown away. Really and truly. The door stood open and all of a sudden, there were choices available while dealing with infertility that I had not considered in any meaningful way.

 

So I'm going to ask you gently, very gently. Are there choices that you've slammed the door on? Something, perhaps to tentatively look at and consider? Ideas that have previously been considered impossible because of fear or even prejudice? Things that you know, deep down in your heart, that could be re-examined?

 

Is there a way to light up the room that you can consider?

 

Infertility Blog- Fixed! Baby Reunion Today, Adoption Month Tomorrow

  
  
  

We're back. I'm back. All blog hosting problems are hereby fixed and settled.

 

It' a relief, thanks for your patience.

 

Subject for today.

 

Fertility treatment works. RMACT's Baby Reunion- Over 400 Brand New Toys Collected for Toys for Tots

 

Very often, when you're at a respectable infertility program with board certified reproductive endocrinologists who report to SART and the CDC, who have all the accredidations they should have.

 

I know. This past Saturday night, in Norwalk CT at fabulous Stepping Stone Museum, (thank you so much to the staff at Stepping Stone for pulling off such a wonderful, BIG event- special thanks to Tabitha for coordinating), RMACT threw a baby reunion party.

 

Over 800 people gathered to celebrate their families. (Check out the photo to the right, over 400 new toys were collected to donate to "Toys for Tots".)

 

Many of them were inarticulate. Quite a few were immobile. Some of them couldn't have name tags because we didn't want them to eat them.

 

Babies, babies and more babies.

 

Babies that were old enough to run around and play in bubbles and with the water display.

 

Babies that were old enough to shake hands or give a hug or say hello to the fertility team members that assisted bringing them into this world.

 

Plenty of babies in strollers, snugli's, or just starting to toddle around.

 

It was a glorious night.

 

Every two years, Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut throws a baby reunion party. Thank goodness that Steppingstones Museum has expanded with us, as we take over their space and let all our babies play.

 

Seeing the changes in our familie over the years, welcoming new familes that did not exist two years ago is a truly moving, inspirational experience.

 

Watching them run, play, talk, giggle, eat.

 

It's what we do.

 

We help create families.

 

Check them out.


Or check out facebook.

 

Congratulations to all the RMACT physicians and staff for helping create these families.

 

Special call out to Alica McNeil, who attended to all the details, big and small!!!

 

Adoption month tomorrow!!!!

Infertility Blog- PathtoFertility, Up and Running!

 

 

 

 

 

National Adoption Month- Same Sex Adoption and President Obama

  
  
  

November is National Adoption Month.

 

And yes, I'm choosing to lead it off, here on the PathtoFertility blog, with shining the attention on same sex adoption. 

 Adoption for Same Sex Couples Endorsed by President Obama

I'm sure that there will be controversy around this. I'm very sure as well that some people out there will feel upset or even ticked off that I chose to lead with same sex adoption.

 

The same folks who think that same sex marriages will harm the sanctity of heterosexual marriages, will somehow spin the idea of two same sex loving parents altering parenthood.

 

I don't believe that.

 

A simple declarative statement.

 

I don't believe that.

 

I also believe that there's plenty of research out there to support me.

 

I believe that loving families are loving families.

 

Regardless of sexual orientation.

 

And guess what?

 

Our president agrees.

 

I love when that happens.

 

Our president, whom this country brought into in a democratic election that we all agree to when we vote.

 

Funny for this blog to be posting on election day as well as a day during National Adoption Month.

 

So I'm going to stop talking about this now and let President Obama speak to the issue. Read on to hear what he has to say.

 

And don't forget to vote for those who support loving families of all configurations.

 

“As a Nation, one of our highest responsibilities is to ensure the health and well-being of our children. With generous hearts and open minds, we strive to make sure all children grow up knowing they have a family that shares with them the warmth, security, and unconditional love that will help them succeed. And yet, more than 100,000 children in America await this most basic support, and still more children abroad live without families. During National Adoption Month, we celebrate the acts of compassion and love that unite children with adoptive families, and we rededicate ourselves to the essential task of providing all children with the comfort and safety of a permanent home.”
“With so many children waiting for loving homes, it is important to ensure that all qualified caregivers are given the opportunity to serve as adoptive parents, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, or marital status,”

President Barak Obama

 

Thanks President Obama, for confirming for the country what constitutes a loving family.

 

Don't forget to vote.

Challenges with adoption shown fairly and compassionately

  
  
  


I love facebook. It's a way to stay in touch with friends, absolutely. I prefer to see or speak to my friends, face to face, when possible, though. What I really love about facebook is the ability to read what top experts in the field of infertility have to say; people that I am lucky enough to know, some in person, some in virtual space only.

The adoption debacle that occurred just a few weeks ago was almost overwhelming to try to untangle. Certainly there were plenty of voices condemning the parent of the child who was sent back to Russia. Certainly, there were many reasons to feel that this was simply an awful parent, choosing a simply awful way out of a situation that most of us would absolutely never have chosen, regardless of what the problems were. And I get that. Yet, this parent didn't seem completely insane, just completely overwhelmed, beyond completely overwhelmed.

This is the long version of why I love facebook. I know. Here's the point. I popped on and saw Patricia Irwin Johnston's post. Pat is one of the leading advocates for adoption in the field for decades. Truly a giant. Founder and long time publisher of Perspectives Press, one of my favorite book publishers. A fair minded, strong opinioned adoption and infertility advocate. And here's what she had to say:

This is one of the most practical, well-researched and least emotionally-tainted articles I've seen coming out of the Artem case. But of course the author is a teacher of investigative journalism. Major points for parents: adopt from a Hague signatory country, don't practice denial about the info your agency gives you, and ask for help!

(I very much appreciated her pointing out "least emotionally-tainted", a point to be noticed.)

The article that she was referring to was written E.J. Graff on April 17 for the Boston Globe. Here are some of the highlights of the article:

  • Russia should ratify and implement the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption. Enactment would require Russia to offer a fuller social history for each child available for adoption, which might help US agencies place children with the most appropriate families.
  • The United States should require fuller post-adoption services and training when parents adopt children older than age one - for all adoptions, even those not governed by the Hague Convention.
  • And yet it's not clear that either would have helped Hansen's son. Hansen's was an exceptional response from an overwhelmed parent who should have, and apparently didn't, reach out for help.
  • Russian and other eastern European orphanages hold children with some very severe problems, more severe than some Americans who want to adopt can imagine.
  • Impersonal institutions can leave serious damage. And, experts say, if this boy had reactive attachment disorder, the intimacy that comes with a new family might have set it off.
  • Given its reputation, the adoption agency probably told Hansen all this in advance. But sources say that many prospective parents aren't open to hearing it. They're so excited that they don't fully absorb what they're taught in pre-adoption trainings; in their hearts, some believe that love will solve all.
  • But the biggest lesson is too personal to be written into policy. Everyone needs help sometimes - most certainly, exhausted and terrified parents who have adopted traumatized children. Asking for help is no shame.
  • Russia is threatening to make adoption policy based on this outlier. If it does indeed close, thousands of institutionalized children who desperately need homes may end up stranded and without hope. That would be a deeper tragedy.

(E.J. Graff is associate director and senior researcher at Brandeis University's Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism.)

I agree with Pat. This is the first article that I have seen written on the subject that truly tries to understand the issues at hand, in a fair, dispassionate way. It's too easy to simply vilify the parent or the agency or one or both countries involved. Everyone involved needs to take more responsibility to prevent this type of tragedy from occurring again.  

 

Infertility? Adoption and other ways to light up the room..

  
  
  
Ever consider adoption? I didn't. Or, I did, and shut the door so firmly that not one bit of light slipped through the cracks. That door was so tightly shut and bolted that one would think it didn't exist. One could hardly see it for all the dust accumulating along with the spider webs.  I wrote an article once on how things might have been had I allowed myself to entertain the possibility of adoption while in fertility treatment and here is a little more on the subject.

I had many, many reasons not to adopt; many of them compelling and understandable. Most of my reasons were fear based; again, quite understandable. Here's a partial list of my fears; the birthmother would want the baby back; the birthmother would take the baby back; the birthmother would take the baby back after one week, one month, one year, ten years; the birthfather would show up and take the baby back; the baby would hate and resent me and my husband; the baby would hate and resent the absent birthparents; there would be some messy, complicated relationships that would be necessary when the baby stopped being a baby and turned eighteen years old. I bet you get the idea that I could go on and on with this. I have been known to be able to spin a story out farther than you could believe possible. The fears that I just listed are actually the tip of the iceberg.

My husband and I decided that we would attempt one more IVF cycle and then we would remain childfree if we weren't successful. That was our plan, after many years of disappointment in treatment. We were so thrilled to have a plan and an ending point.

Then an interesting thing happened. My cousin, Peter, and his wonderful wife Becky, who I love dearly, came to visit. Peter and I grew up down the block from one another. Peter and his brother Danny were the only brothers that I ever had. I was one of three girls. Loved having those boys down the street. So Peter and Becky came to visit. With their baby. Now, imagine this, after 5 years of being the most miserable, unbearably difficult infertility patient in the history of time, (don't believe me, ask my doctors, friends, family, it's true) I held their baby and it was lovely. More than lovely, it was soothing, comforting and healing.

Wow. What was that about after 5 years of avoiding babies, baby showers, and pregnant friends? I held that baby, (Isaac!!!) and thought this..."I could love and keep this baby". Now, obviously, my very loving cousins were not offering that up as an option. Not the point here. Point was, that door cracked open and lit up the room. Childfree was still an option, but in fact, it was not my only option.

I was truly blown away. Really and truly. The door stood open and all of a sudden, there were choices available while dealing with infertility that I had not considered in any meaningful way.

So I'm going to ask you gently, very gently. Are there choices that you've slammed the door on? Something, perhaps, in this new year to tentatively look at and consider? Ideas that have previously been considered impossible because of fear or even prejudice? Things that you know, deep down in your heart, that could be re-examined?

Is there a way to light up the room that you can consider?

 

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