Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves

Warning: There is angry swearing in this post!

I had some alternative titles for this post:

Discrimination sucks ASS!

Pundits are right, there ARE two Americas!

Oh, no they didn’t!

Fucking IDIOTS!


How DARE they!

I chose to be more positive with my title. Thanks, Aretha and Annie!

I called my friend’s clinic yesterday to set up a phone consult about the embryo donation. (I refer to her as my friend, because that’s what feels right. This has become more than a donor/recipient relationship.) I was told by the receptionist that the clinic only treats married couples. I was stunned, then enraged!

I suppose I’m spoiled with regard to experiencing discrimination. I’m a Jew living in a city where I am not a minority. I went to school (ALL my school years) with people of just about every skin tone, religion and nationality imaginable. I live in a community like that. I was even in a wedding party with a gay man who’s a drag performer. (While I won’t say he was the prettiest bridesmaid, he had the best legs!) This experience with the clinic blindsided me.

According to the CDC, about 16% of fertility clinics in the US will not treat single women. I consulted with 4 New York City clinics before deciding where to cycle. I was NEVER asked my marital status. I was asked if I had a partner, so they would know what steps to take to get me pregnant. I.e., is there a partner who needs to be tested, or would I be using donor sperm.

Insurance companies discriminate in terms of providing treatment to the “sperm challenged” by insisting that a woman tries on her own for a certain number of cycles. Should single heteros and lesbian start hitting bars? Not exactly a medically sound idea. Jo lives in a state that mandates insurance companies to pay for fertility treatments, but only for married couples. Single women must pay out of pocket. ART treatments are already discriminatory due to cost. You either need to have insurance coverage, have the means to pay out of pocket, or be willing to go into debt.

Of course, you know that a child conceived by a married couple will be raised in a stable two parent home. Yeah, right!

I might have a two parent home someday, but so what?

Does your clinic discriminate against singles and same sex couples? Were you asked your marital status? Did you have to prove it? I would love it if my readers questioned their clinics about this. If they do discriminate, ask them if they treat women of color. Of course they will say they would not discriminate based on skin color. How is this different? If a doctor has a moral issue with helping singles and same sex couples become pregnant, they should not specialize in reproductive endocrinology. Go into dermatology.

I think we will probably move the embryos to another clinic. Honestly, I really would rather not have these narrow minded people up in my crotch.


Kami said...

OMG! That is disgusting. Of course, a SMBC would be such a bad thing. CHOOSING to be a single mom instead of "oops!" pregnancy is a far different thing.

I will pay more attention in the future, but I am pretty sure my clinic treats single women

Kami said...

That will give stats and there is a place at the bottom for that tells whether they treat single women

good luck

Dora said...

Thanks, Kami. I had checked their stats, but didn't even think to look at that. Didn't occur to me.

Kristin said...

That would royally piss me off! Good luck Dora finding a different clinic soon.

battynurse said...

That really does suck. I had an OB once who refused to discuss artificial insemination with me because I was single. I never went back to him. My clinic treats single women and same sex couples. They are fantastic. I'm sorry they were so narrow minded.

HereWeGoAJen said...

Wow, yeah, definitely worth a move.

Anonymous said...

I had to deal with this a LOT. When I lived in Alabama there was only one clinic in the entire state that would take me on as a patient. In Florida only 50% of the clinics I called would see me. Also had no luck getting ANY insurance help for fertility treatments AND could not get any maternity coverage as a single gal. It sucks giant donkey balls and I am sorry you had to deal with it. But SO SO effing glad you can simply move to another clinic.

Cara said...

Now it's my turn to be angry - of course you are I guess they better watch out!

You know this is meant to be. It will happen in spite of those mean..bleeping, bleeptiy, bleeps.

((hugs)) to you and your friend

Niki said...

OMG!! That makes me so upset! How dare they discriminate that way! I think you and your snowbabies would be much better off at a different clinic! Best wishes!

Melody said...

This happened to my partner and I at the first clinic we went to-- only we actually got in for a consultation before they declared they wouldn't treat us. The doctor called and apologized for the behavior of her nurses. It was a university-affiliated clinic, and we probably could have sued under the uni's non-discrimination policy. Sometimes I still wish we had. It was an incredibly embarrassing and alienating experience. I live in Indiana.

Meg said...

Wow, that seems so crazy to me that they can pick and choose who to treat. So crazy!

Baby Smiling In Back Seat said...

Outrageous. I am married so I've never tested it firsthand, but based on my interactions I'm pretty sure both of the REs I've worked with would treat anyone regardless of marital status or orientation... Actually, I just checked the SART website so I can confirm that they do treat single women at least.

I have a friend in a more, let's say, conservative region. When she did her IUIs, it was "husband insemination" (as opposed to donor insemination). I've never heard that term, only "standard insemination" or "partner insemination." She happens to have a husband, so it wasn't an issue there. I wonder though if that clinic would have turned her away if she'd told them she's bisexual but just happens to be married to a man now? Certainly my lesbian friends have had to pick and choose their clinics, even in major cities on the coasts.

Michelle said...

I just do not understand why in the year 2008 people are still so narrow minded. Definitely find a new place. They suck!

Jo said...

Pretty unbelievable. I have to wonder if it is even legal? It smacks of discrimination. As you told me a few times, the ACLU might be interested in the myriad of issues that arise here, since these restrictions are surely meant to bar gay couples (I would venture primarily, with hetero singles being an offshoot) from receiving fertility treatments...I have been doing tons of research on the legal implications of much of our situation and the problem remains that most of these issues are just untested in courts, and thus evolving. I feel like we should do something. [But first, let's get pregnant 'em!]

Unknown said...

On my first visit to my RE clinic. I had a male doctor who was a total ass. There was no official policy against treating single women, but he obviously was not comfortable with it. He did not listen to me when I said that I highly suspected I had fertility issues (based on the amount of, ahem, unprotected sex I had in my early 20s and irregular periods). He said something like, "when single women come in, we first assume the problem is that they lack access to sperm." He said it in such a way that I was the problem (that I couldn't get laid/married/whatever.)
Within the same clinic, I changed doctors. This woman was very nice and had no problem. But then once I had to come in on a Sunday for a procedure and the mean guy was on call. He was all up in my crotch and he said, "Whats WRONG with your cervix?!?!" I have scarring from childhood abuse, you see. I know other doctors notice it, but no one has ever mentioned it without at least being somewhat sensitive about it. I told him the deal and he said, "is that why you didn't get married?"
Ugh. He was just an ass. I'm so sorry that happened to you. That stings. I'm rooting for you and your follicles this cycle!str8back