Information on the different options available for: people in New Zealand needing to start, or complete their family, by an alternative path and/or those wishing to help them.
Options Fertility Check...
Fertility declines with age... if you have concerns a simple blood test, ( 'AMH' ), can estimate the quantity, and quality of eggs. Checking your fertility: http://www.fertilityassociates.co.nz/boosting-your-fertility/checking-your-fertility.aspx The ‘AMH’ test is a fertility blood test shows the biological health and vitality of a woman's remaining eggs. http://www.fertilityassociates.co.nz/information-for-gps/amh-explained.aspx Interesting article on the 'AMH' test:http://www.mindfood.com/at-amh-blood-test-conception-naturopathy.seo Who does infertility affect?: http://www.multivu.com/assets/55828/photos/55828-Infographic-original.jpg?1334867288 If you are interested in becoming an egg donor your may like to apply for the test before making contact with people you may wish to help.
"In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is a process by which an egg is fertilized by sperm outside the body: in vitro. IVF is a major treatment for infertility when other methods of assisted reproductive technology have failed. The process involves monitoring a woman's ovulatory process, removing ovum or ova (egg or eggs) from the woman's ovaries and letting sperm fertilize them in a fluid medium in a laboratory. When a woman's natural cycle is monitored to collect a naturally selected ovum (egg) for fertilisation, it is known as natural cycle IVF. The fertilised egg (zygote) is then transferred to the patient's uterus with the intention of establishing a successful pregnancy." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_vitro_fertilisation
For a detailed description of the different processes involved see the below website:
Surrogacy - Traditional & Gestational
The first known surrogacies are found in the Bible, and happened a few thousand years ago. Sarai commissioned Hagar to have a child for her. Bilhah had two sons for Rachel. These were the first recorded 'traditional' surrogacies. Where the surrogate offers her own egg and conceives - these days through A.I. (artificial insemination) - either privately, or through a fertility clinic. When the baby is born it is then adopted by the intending parent/s.
With a gestational surrogacy, the intending parents embryo is implanted in the uterus of the surrogate by a fertility specialist doctor. When the baby is born, it is then adopted by intending parent/s. The laws surrounding the adoption of the intending parents own genetic baby in the case of surrogacy are considered to be outdated and many are actively lobbying for them to be changed.
More detailed information about surrogacy can be found here: http://www.nzlii.org/nz/other/nzlc/pp/PP54/PP54-4_.html and on the EDEN community forum.
Surrogates need to be aware of the effects of pregnancy on their health and their own future fertility. Almost all surrogates have completed their own families before deciding to help others in this way.
Finding a surrogate in New Zealand: there are several ways to do this. Sometimes your fertility specialists will advise you advertise in Baby magazines and online forums like EDEN's. You can use your fertility providers code for people to contact the clinic directly, or you can use your own contact email address for potential surrogates to contact you. Please see our the EDEN forum for more information.
Egg or Sperm Donorship
Fertility Clinics are always crying out for more donors. Sperm donors especially. Egg donors, have to undergo test to check their fertility and general health, and follow drug protocols to induce ovulation and have their eggs harvested. These eggs are then used by intending parents in their IVF treatment. Egg donors are often known to the intending parents, and can be members of their family. But most often, they have been advertised for in Parenting or Baby magazines, or online - on websites and in forums like EDEN's.
Egg donors need to be made aware of the effects of the drugs used to induce ovulation on their own health, and future fertility.
You can place an 'invitation' to an egg or sperm donor on the EDEN forum, or find intending parents to donate too there also.
While still not common in New Zealand, embryo donation is rapidly becoming an option that many parents with stored embryos are considering. Just as there are intending parents who are exploring this option for themselves. Embryos from one couple are adopted by another and implanted in the adoptive mother by fertility specialists.
More information can be found here: http://www.acart.health.govt.nz/moh.nsf/indexcm/acart-resources-guidelines-embryodonation , http://www.3news.co.nz/Frozen-in-time/tabid/371/articleID/188893/Default.aspx and the EDEN Community forum. You can place an 'invitation' to an embryo donor on the EDEN forum, or find intending parents to donate too there also.
Another option for intending parents that of 'co-parenting'. Here two individuals decide to raise a child together, usually not in the same home. It is also known as ‘elective co-parenting’. This has been an option chosen traditionally by gay or lesbian couples and single men or women. More information can be found here: http://www.naturalparenting.com.au/flex/co-parenting-a-commitment-of-love/7798/1 and on the EDEN Community forum.
This used to be the only choice available to intending parents who could not have children of their own. It is still a sort after option and all child/baby placements and adoption require CYFs (Child, Youth and Family) approval. More information can be found here: http://www.adoptionoption.org.nz/ , http://www.cyf.govt.nz/adoption/adopting-a-child/adoptions-within-nz.html and the EDEN Community forum.