Infertility

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California Bill Would Lift Ban on Paying Women for Eggs Used in Research

By Elaine Korry, KQED

Human egg in a follicle. (Ivor Mason, KCL, Wellcome Images via Flickr)

Human egg in a follicle. (Ivor Mason, KCL, Wellcome Images via Flickr)

A bill awaiting Gov. Brown’s signature would end a decade-old disparity in California law regarding egg donation. Under current law, it is legal to pay a woman who provides her eggs, called oocytes, to a couple going through in-vitro fertilization. But there is a ban on paying the same woman for the same eggs if they are to be used in medical research.

AB 926, a bill by Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla (D-Concord), would lift that ban on payment for research oocytes. Bonilla said the bill will create equity in the field of medical research compensation. “This is the only research procedure that does not compensate,” said Bonilla. “As a result of that, a lot of very important research, particularly around women’s fertility, just has not taken place here in California.”

Fertility research resulted in cancer survivor Alice Crisci holding on to her dream of motherhood. Crisci’s “miracle boy,” as she calls him, is due Oct. 4, five years after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. At age 31, facing chemotherapy, Crisci had her own eggs preserved. She underwent ovarian stimulation, which involved weeks of hormone injections — to increase the number of follicles she produced — followed by a procedure to retrieve the eggs. Continue reading

New Law Helps LGBT Families Access Fertility Treatments

By Mina Kim, KQED

From left to right, Maya and MeiBeck Scott-Chung with their daughter Luna, and Daniel Bao. Bao donated his sperm to help Maya and MeiBeck conceive.  (Photo: Vaschelle Andre)

From left to right, Maya and MeiBeck Scott-Chung with their daughter Luna, and Daniel Bao. Bao donated his sperm to help Maya and MeiBeck conceive. (Photo: Vaschelle Andre)

Maya Scott-Chung knew she wanted to be a mom when she was seven years old and got to see a home birth.

Then in high school, she fell in love with a woman.

“When I began to realize when I was a teenager that I thought I might be gay, I thought I couldn’t be a parent,” Maya says. “It was a real conflict in my heart.”

Then Maya saw the movie Choosing Children that showed her lesbians could be parents.

“And that it’s also possible to build families in an intentional way,” Maya says. “It wasn’t exactly like replicating the nuclear family. It was really more creating an extended family.”

That’s exactly what Maya did about 20 years later, with her transgender partner MeiBeck Scott-Chung.

On a recent visit to their Oakland home, Maya and MeiBeck are helping their eight year-old daughter Luna Lee Yulien Gillingham Scott-Chung with her math homework. Luna’s name reflects the Irish, Scottish, Chinese and Hispanic heritages of Maya and MeiBeck, and their friend Daniel Bao. Bao donated his sperm to help conceive Luna. Continue reading