Alisyn Camerota: What I Learned About the “Baby Business” After 15+ Years of IVF

Editor’s note: Alisyn Camerota is a CNN anchor and co-host of CNN’s “Newsroom.” Her views expressed here are her more opinion on CNN. “CNN Special Report: The Baby Business” airs on CNN on September 5th at 9:00 PM ET.


Today, approximately 1 in 50 children born in the United States are conceived in a fertility clinic or lab. according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

My own twin is among them.

It’s been a long time since I first published my fertility journey. When we were newlyweds, her husband and I had a hard time getting pregnant for three years. After two miscarriages and three failed IVF attempts, I was devastated.

At the time, I kept our fight a secret. I still felt the stigma and silence around infertility. I felt lonely.

In 2005, IVF was finally successful and twins were born. Thirteen months later, there was an even bigger shock. I was pregnant with her third child naturally. As a thank you, we have started a peer support group through RESOLVE: The National Inferility Association.vowed to do whatever he could to help others infertile person You won’t feel lonely.

It’s been over 15 years since then, and I’m very relieved these days that much of that stigma is gone. The shame of infertility seems to be fading as celebrities like Michelle Obama, Amy Schumer, Gabrielle Union and Brooke Shields share their stories. And LGBTQ+ couples and singles are adding families at an unprecedented rate.

It’s no surprise that the use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) has doubled over the past decade, according to the CDC. There is no doubt that the field of fertility has been a miracle drug for so many people, myself included.

But it has also been the source of occasional horror stories and tragic mistakes. With the multi-billion dollar fertility industry booming today, People demanding more oversight, regulation and legislation.

The documentary “CNN Special Report: The Baby Business” reports that children conceived from donors looking for siblings, egg donors with 27 known genetic children, and what they claim is industry oversight. is the lack of

Laura and David Gunner are a couple from upstate New York. In 2020, after a long battle with schizophrenia and mental health issues, I lost my 27-year-old son Stephen to a fatal opioid overdose. More than a year after his death, they discovered details about an anonymous sperm donor he used in the 1990s. The tragic details of the donor’s life were eerily similar to those of their son. He was in a psychiatric hospital before donating sperm. He died at the age of 46 from an opioid overdose.

It was shocking to discover details about the donor. Equally shocking was the falsification of the donor’s medical history they scrutinized. But what they learned about the industry was even more amazing. Sperm banks are not required to verify self-reported medical information provided by donors. The Gunners decide to take they are pushing through “Steven’s Law” at the federal level “Donor Pregnant Women Protection Act” in New York State.

Critics of such laws, such as California Cryobank Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jaime Shamonki, said the new laws and regulations would increase the cost of an already prohibitive process, discourage potential donors, It says it will likely limit access to fertility treatments as a whole. “We could inadvertently drive up the cost of producing sperm vials, or even put some of the smaller sperm banks out of business, given the current shortage of sperm donors in the US. And I think it’s very bad for the family,” Shamonki said.

It also examines the biggest growth areas of the fertility industry. selective egg freezingThe number of women in their 20s and 30s is increasing year by year freeze the eggs In hopes of protecting their future reproductive potential until they are ready to start a family.

We feature prolific egg donor and surrogate mother Tyra Reeder, who has shared her own unusual fertility with many families across the country. clinic underwent 14 cycles of egg retrieval over a period of 7 years, resulting in the donation of hundreds of eggs. As her surrogate mother, she gave birth to her three children in her six years. The leader shared her unique perspective with her own insider on how to improve her reproductive industry. She wants to learn more about the long-term health effects of her egg donor and her surrogate mother.

There are strict rules for fertility clinics to report accurate success rates to the CDC. And the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), a professional organization in the field of infertility that includes scientists and physicians: own guidelines About surrogacy, sperm and egg donation. However, most people we spoke to stressed that these were merely recommended guidelines and not enforceable rules and regulations. It’s time for law and ethics to catch up with the major advances in technology. Without unnecessary heartbreak, I hope other families can experience the life-changing benefits of fertility treatment as I did.

When I started covering this documentary, I had no agenda other than highlighting the rapidly changing patient situation over the past few years. We also wanted to shine a light on a darker side of the fertility industry: where the consumer experience can be improved. What I have learned is that the exponential growth of this complex industry poses some real dangers. Our legal and regulatory oversight has never had a chance to keep up with technology. If nothing changes, the ethical challenges will only grow.

With reporting by CNN Documentary Producer A. Chris Gazilan.


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