Join The Movement with Infertility Man Talk: My Right To Be An IVF Dad


I am the proud dad of an IVF baby.

My  little girl was one of two of our last frozen embryos.

Our eleventh embryo transfer.

Our fifth IVF.

I dealt with people saying we were selfish, should just adopt with all the unwanted children out there, should just relax, and dozens of other inanities we are subjected to as members of the infertile community.

I could always write them off as being ignorant, but largely harmless, dolts.

The folks behind personhood legislation can’t be qualified as “harmless.”

I’ve read the speaking points about the ethical concerns  motivating the bills popping up around the US. I’m puzzled at how dispassionately  the desires of the couples seeking out the treatment are omitted.  Somehow the aspiring parents have been removed from the entire argument.

That’s odd considering a part of each of the hopeful parent’s biology will be voluntarily provided to create the embryo in the first place, with the sole goal of using the best practices of reproductive  medical science to GROW A CHILD.

So much of the personhood language revolves around how many embryos are destroyed, or researched, or frozen, but nothing points out the goal of creating a life.

I also think it’s disingenuous to assert that the embryo, or fertilized egg, is actually a confirmed, viable life.

I would LOVE to believe that’s true, because, if it was, there would be 100% success rates, and reproductive endocrinologists would only need to create one embryo for each couple.

The only problem is, that embryo can’t be confirmed as being a viable life until we get the pregnancy test.

And then again when we see the sac.

Then the two chamber heart.  Then a 4 chamber heart.

I can’t figure out where the religious basis is for doctors not being allowed to help along the process either. Being a Catholic, I’m pretty sure it is a Catholic thing.

I’ve read the Catholic Donum Vitae.

The whole “begotten not made” argument, written by a bunch of guys who can’t ever have a family or kids, and don’t have a uterus among themselves, doesn’t carry much weight to me.

Maybe it’s because I can’t find anything in the Bible that says “thou shalt not have a child with the help of a doctor.”

I do value life, and consider myself very pro-life. Somehow the anti-IVF powers seem to equate IVF with abortion, and that’s deeply troubling to me.

After sixteen years of relationships with couples who now enjoy parenthood because of IVF, I can’t even fathom how the correlation to abortion is drawn.

I understand the concern about the qualitative judgments made with regards to embryos not used in a transfer.  Our daughter was considered a low quality embryo.  It haunts me sometimes to think what would have happened if we hadn’t checked the “cryopreserve” box when were asked what we wanted to do with the extra embryos.

But don’t we rely on the professional opinions of medical professionals for all kinds of quality of life and life saving procedures every single day?

For couples like us, the 5% of infertility patients who need the advanced technology of IVF, natural conception was just not possible.

I believe with every ounce of my being that Elliana is our soul baby.   Our path to her was opened up because of the miracle of IVF.

I am prepared to fight any renewed effort to see the rights of any future IVF dad stomped on because of the uneducated opinions of a group of anti-family building bullies.

I had and still have every right to put my God given but fertility challenged reproductive biology in the hands of an infertility professional if I want to.

To the folks who seek to make it harder than it already is to have a child with assisted reproduction, I’ll simply offer this:

Let’s extend an olive branch to try to find a middle ground that doesn’t attack family building.

If not, let’s get the gloves on and enter the ring while I defend my right to be an IVF dad.

I’ll pray for peace.

But I’ll be ready to fight.


12 Responses to Join The Movement with Infertility Man Talk: My Right To Be An IVF Dad

  1. Hey Denny! Its wonderful to hear from an IVF Dad – your post really made me think of my husband who is also such a proud IVF dad. The world seems a crazy place to me when IVF is somehow paired with abortion and when people who can’t have families because they are Catholic priests make decisions for others. Keep advocating because it is bloody hard to have a family when you are struggling with IF and its financially and emotionally draining you don’t need the government, religion and law not being on your side also.

  2. Thank you for sharing this. I am a proud and blessed IVF mommy and am also very conservative and pro-life. However, when someone standing outside a Christian bookstore asked me to sign their petition for the personhood bill, I paused and considered what that could mean for someone like me, and I just couldn’t sign it. This was very well written.

  3. Whoa…I didn’t realize how many IVF’s and FET’s you and your wife had been through. You two are fighters to say the least. Which brings me to my favorite part of this whole post – the last two lines.

    I’ve never thought of my “right” to be an IVF mom, but you’re totally correct. WE get to pick how we create our family. It’s a right – one I’ll fight for, right alongside you.

  4. Denny, you blog is beautiful and heartbreaking. So often, it’s we women who express our health risks, concerns, sorrows. It’s not often we hear from a gentleman. Funny thing is? Everything you are writing and expressing is how all of us feel. Women. Men. It does not matter. Being a parent is not one-sided. I truly believe you WILL be a parent. I do. I know it to be true. Yours, Beth…

  5. I love your story. I am a proud IVF mom. A few years after my husband and I were married I had back to back ectopic pregnancies which resulted in the loss of my fallopian tubes so I am 100% unable to get pregnant without IVF. I had my beautiful daughter on my first IVF attempt and because I’ve always dreamed of having 4 children I’ve done IVF an additional 7 times and all were negative results. I had to pay out of pocket for each attempt and I would give anything to be able to try once again. IVF is an amazing, life changing procedure that I will forever be grateful for. Some people (like me) truly have ABSOLUTELY NO OTHER OPTION if we desire a biological child.

    • Niki
      Thanks for your comment, and congrats on your IVF daughter! I am sorry it hasn’t worked since then, but I absolutely believe that if Congress can do so much to protect the mortgage interest deduction to help American’s buy their dream home, they should get a little extra help to have the best shot possible to fill that home up with their dream family.

    • thanks for the kind words. just read recent posts on your blog. looks like you’ve had some rough spots the past month. positive prayers coming your way for peace and persistence to keep up the fight for your ‘mom to be someday!’

  6. Hi Denny,

    Thanks so much for your site! I also started one and would love for you to check it out and add a tidbit of your own. The site is

    All the best,


    • LG–wow–I don’t know I missed this. You have a great voice about this, and hopefully you are still writing about it. Let me know if you’ve got anything new. I’d love to feature some of it on Almost A Father.

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