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    Infertility is not a morning radio show topic!

    Normally on my drive to/from work I listen to NPR. I don’t have time to watch the news/read the paper in the morning, so NPR is my source of world news. Unfortunately, they were still in their pledge drive (I already pledged thank you very much) so I was forced to channel surf.

    Much to my dismay a local radio station decided to pick the story of the Callahan/Savage mistaken embryo transfer as their morning topic. For those unfamiliar with the story, the Savage family, after going through IVF became pregnant, only to discover that the embryo that grew belonged to another family. They decided to continue with the pregnancy and give the child to it’s biological parents when born. While I find the story is happy, sad, and inspirational all at the same time, I don’t find it suitable for a morning talk show topic where the radio hosts gets to simply ask “What do you think about that?” and waits for listeners to call in. Oh I wanted to turn off the radio so bad (and I did for a second), until train-wreck-itus got the better of me and I had to turn it back on.

    I don’t find it suitable because of the comments like “I don’t understand why they didn’t just adopt?” make me yell at my radio in anger, which in turn makes me look like a madman… and I don’t like looking like I’m crazy. Why is it that only couples who struggle with fertility should be asked to naturally look into adoption? I find adoption to be a wonderful thing. Yes, there are many children around the world in need of a loving home. I would consider being that loving home. But why is it that adoption is not the first suggestion for any couple who expresses an interest in having children? Yes, there are some families that discuss adoption without ever trying on their own. I admire them, but they are far and few in between. Fess up, how often have you asked this question “Have you thought about having kids?” Now tell me, how often did you also follow up with “Oh, will you adopt?” as soon as they say they would welcome kids? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Why should the desire for a biological child be viewed as selfish for some, while acceptable for others? I accept that medical assistance isn’t the right choice for everyone, but I just don’t understand the double standard or the simple “just adopt” suggestions. (As a side note, there’s nothing simple about adoption such that you can “just” adopt.)

    It wasn’t just the comment that made the show unsuitable. It was the lack of conversation around it, and lack of information about the topic overall. There was no education or public outreach on this subject, just call ins. Granted I didn’t catch the whole show, but I doubt anyone mentioned the statistics around infertility, or rarity of clinic screw-ups. It’s easy to point out the bad stuff. How about how many amazing children are brought into the world through the miracle of science? Not so many stories on that one because it lacks the drama people want. So instead, we get “why not just adopt” comments.

    Second (not heard on the show, but worth mentioning), suggestions that intervention in infertility is not God’s plan also take me aback. Now granted, I am far from being a biblical scholar, but did not Abraham and Sarah long for a child for many, many years before they were blessed with Isaac? Did God say “Just adopt?” No! He gave them a child.
    John the Baptist was also the son of a family who had given up hope of ever having a child. It wasn’t until God sent an angel to Zachariah (his father) promising a son. Why is it, then, in the old books angel assistance in conception is OK, but today that of an RE is not? I would argue that God is keeping up with the times and has simply turned his angels into REs. You know the story of the guy in the flood waiting on God to help him? He turns down a boat and a helicopter claiming God will save him. Then when he drowns, God exclaimed that he sent him the boat and the helicopter, what more could he do? In my mind, it’s the same concept with RE’s. This is just my viewpoint. It’s not a reflection on any religious text being wrong or right, just my perspective of something that should be considered when claiming that reproductive endocrinology is not God’s work.

    So yeah. I had my fill of said radio show comments, their horrible blooper call, and shook my head a lot in disappointment.

    So happy the NPR pledge period is finally done.

    3 responses to “Infertility is not a morning radio show topic!”

    1. Jamers says:

      Some very valid points. I didn’t hear the show you’re talking about, but I admire them for opening up the discussion. It just sucks that they tend to hear from all the nay-sayers of reproductive assistance rather than from the people who benefit from such help. Not every case is like Octomom or switched embryos. Unfortunately, those are the stories that get the most attention. And THANK YOU for your point about the adoption question! It’s not as easy as people seem to think and WHY should I be selfish for wanting biological children while fertile couples are not so considered? That stuff makes me so angry…

    2. Will Hutchinson says:

      Where is the “Like” button for me to mash a few times on this post?

    3. Jenifer says:

      Great Post! I agree with everything you posted… I think too often so many people can be so closed minded and that is sad. Luckily not all of us in the world are so closed minded.

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