Episode 44 Transcript

Ep 44 | Mental Health & Family Building with Lori Metz, LCSW

Lori Metz
I am fortunate to be able to be somebody who is allowed into their life to help just talk about the process and work through it. So that’s really how I became involved.

Eloise Drane
Hello there. Thanks for joining me today on Fertility Café. There are many different aspects to family building and mental health is certainly one of the most important. Specialized mental health professionals not only support and guide those who are struggling with family building, they often weave networks of connection and support for the patients and those who feel deeply moved by the community. They truly go above and beyond as an advocate and work to create change on behalf of their patient communities. Today, my guest Lori Metz and I are going to talk a bit more about mental health and family building and on her efforts to expand inclusion and awareness for families and individuals who have worked with third-party reproduction. Lori Metz is a licensed clinical social work therapist and certified case manager. She works with individuals, couples, and families and specializes in relationships and fertility. She is the creator of I dreamed of you a children’s book about egg donation, written for a young audience to introduce the essential conversation of honest and honored origins, and also has her own podcast Love Insight, Fertility Experience. Lori is also the originator of the ASQ initiative, a mission, and petition which aims to improve health outcomes and normalize third-party reproduction by including such options on medical Intake forms under family history.

Intro
Whoever thought making a baby could be so hard? Luckily, the fertility journey isn’t meant to be traveled alone. Eloise Drane has helped hundreds of people build and grow their families over the last 15 years. And she’s ready to share insider knowledge and expertise with you. So grab a seat and let’s talk fertility and alternative family building in the Fertility Cafe.

Eloise Drane
Thank you for joining me today, Lori. I would love for you to share a bit more about yourself with our listeners and talk also about if you have any personal connections to the field of third-party family building, or if you’ve just been inspired primarily by your patients.

Lori Metz
Oh, for sure. Thank you so much for asking me to be on this. I’m so thrilled and honored and just reached out to me. But I did a lot of work with unresolved she’s awesome in terms of she was the leader of the advocacy day, so I got to meet her, and then I got to hear about your agency, which is fabulous. And the way I got involved with fertility is if you haven’t heard the story, I literally met somebody on the street corner of 91st and First Street, and this lovely woman just settled with me. And we talked for actually two minutes. And it turned out, she was an acupuncturist who specializes in fertility. And we exchanged cards, and she started to send me patients. And so I started to become familiar with the field. And she and I grew close professionally and personally also too, and we started to run support groups together, we did workshops together, and my practice infertility and my knowledge and fertility were able to continue to grow. And so I really love the field, you know, and the organizations ASRM and resolve that are very evolved to such wonderful work and the people who are on these journeys. And on these struggles, many times by the time they meet me it is a struggle because people don’t call me and things are going well. And you know, we many times go in thinking that we’re just going to have a baby and there should be no problem. And nobody anticipates just going to be a problem. And for so many people that are and I am fortunate enough to be able to be somebody who is allowed into their life to help just talk about the process and work through it. So that’s really how I became involved just standing on the street corner. And just working with people and so everything I’ve done, I think you may know is an outgrowth of my practice. Yep. And of that encounter with Miriam Canalis. You know, who’s a great acupuncturist and very kind person. So that’s how I got started.

Eloise Drane
Awesome. Well, and going back to your point, when it comes to infertility, often people don’t associate it with mental health. And of course, you know, they correspond to a clinic and begin their treatment, but they don’t necessarily look for assistance when it’s mental health. So would you mind sharing how I feel the two are related? And once someone begins down that rabbit hole of infertility, it’s also important to consider seeking assistance for mental health support?

Lori Metz
Well, first of all, infertility is a medical diagnosis. It’s nothing that anybody brings on or does wrong to themselves and with any medical diagnosis there becomes stress and anxiety and those are normal and with stress and anxiety come sadness or depression. They just go hand-in-hand and it’s something to think about, but it’s true, and everybody experiences different levels. So it’s almost like what I said before, right? We don’t go into wanting to have a child think there’s going to be a problem. But for many people there are. And it’s actually one in eight who seeks fertility treatment, that’s a very high number. And when we think about it means everybody knows somebody who’s been touched by infertility in some way, shape, or form. When you’re touched by something that you don’t anticipate and you don’t expect, well, of course, you’re going to struggle with that. And I think the longer you go down the road, and the more treatment options that you are given, the more the struggle. Because what happens is you get thrown into this will, you know, right, you get thrown into this situation, where you go for testing and, you know, they’re using words and terms, you don’t even know what they are. So that raises anxiety and stress. And then all of a sudden, you’re going to go for blood work and you know, your life becomes wrapped around, trying to conceive and trying to have a baby and build this family that you want. And some people feel stress and anxiety as soon as they walk through the door of a reproductive endocrinologist because that is the type of doctor who treats this condition. And some people don’t immediately, but if they’re into it for a while, they do. So it’s a very, very common emotion, what you want to do is you just want to recognize it as such. So if you are struggling with some type of sadness, or depression, or anxiety or stress that you didn’t anticipate before, maybe having problems sleeping, or eating more and exercising or exercising too much, because then the weapons can build up, it’s a time to check in with yourself and say, you know, could I benefit a little bit from talking to somebody about it? And so its mental health is very tied to fertility because it’s a medical diagnosis and one that’s not expected. And it’s not a surprise anybody wants. And I find very often that when I have people that I talk to, sometimes, you know, you don’t have to say very much, but just being able to talk to somebody who listens is very helpful.

Eloise Drane
How prevalent do you feel depression and anxiety is in patients who are struggling to build their families?

Lori Metz
I think it’s very prevalent. I think it’s, I think it is the rare exception when it’s not there.

Eloise Drane
Mm-hmm. Absolutely.

Lori Metz
And I’ve never met anybody who’s not struggling with stress, or anxiety or sadness, or depression or, or something.

Eloise Drane
And especially right now. Yeah, especially right now, I know you work with couples and individuals, can you share what an infertility diagnosis can even be due to a marriage?

Lori Metz
Well, what happens is there are always two journeys before the child is conceived. And then there’s three after the child is born. And whether it’s a marriage or a partnership, or, you know, even if you’re just doing this by yourself as a single person, it impacts all your relationships. Because if you try to conceive, and you’re trying for more than six months to a year, you begin to notice that there’s a situation that needs to be addressed. That’s hard and as a woman, you know, we take on that it’s our fault immediately. But it’s not, it’s just much a factor of the malefactors, it is a female factor. And that is something that’s truly being investigated these days.

Eloise Drane
That’s right.

Lori Metz
And it’s an important note that men don’t like to talk about it as much. But as women, we typically take it on as if we know our bodies aren’t doing what they’re supposed to do. And we begin to feel very badly about it. And we want to talk about it. And we may actually want to talk about my partner. And if it’s a husband, maybe our husband, you know, wants to talk about it, wants to break from it. And if you’re in a same-sex relationship, maybe the person who’s not putting the medication into their body doesn’t want to talk about it quite as much. So we need to figure out how to find a balance and how to communicate. And then if you’re doing this bite alone, as a solo parent, you need to find your support system. Right? And what do you find with that, you find that your support systems totally change. So in relationships, whether it’s if it’s a couple, there’s a lot of stress that goes on in both ways. Some couples actually don’t address it right away and it leads to a lot of fighting. It has a financial, it has an emotional, it has a physical impact on everybody. And if we look at the three spheres of life, those are the three spheres of life, at least in my mind. Biopsychosocial in the mind-body connection, it’s really the biopsychosocial component. And, and that’s fundamental. So when every single part of those three spheres is hit, we need to kind of reevaluate how we want to proceed.

Eloise Drane
Yep.

Lori Metz
It only works with communication.

Eloise Drane
Oh, god, yes.

Lori Metz
If there are problems in the communication prior, and let’s face it, nothing is perfect, I find that it increases in the time of a challenge. So anything that was bothering you, before you were trying to conceive, almost starts to bother you just a little bit more. And sometimes what we want is to learn how to communicate, where we’re able to talk, but we’re also able to listen.

Eloise Drane
Yeah, and that is an extremely important point. Because you know, especially when you’re going through all of these emotions, and you’re going through all of these things, you know, you kind of forget that the other person that you’re with is also going through it.

Lori Metz
Yes. And we have to remember that because I’m so glad you said that, because so often I’ll have a couple in my office, and I’ll turn to the person who’s not the one who’s going to conceive. And I’ll say, How are you when you see this sigh of relief because many times they’re not asked because the focus is on the person who’s going for the treatment. But that person is trying to be supportive. They’re trying their best to be there for the person. And they want that child also, they want that family also, and they want to be a support system. But lots of times, they don’t know-how. So the beauty of talking about it, and listening when you talk is to the other person when they talk is the ability to then understand what his needs. So a few years ago, I had written this little newsletter blurb about communicating with your five senses. And it’s really true, right? We have five senses, and we do communicate with them, they’re very important to communicate. So sometimes it’s a touch or a hug that somebody needs. And I’m very big on that. As long as you respect boundaries, right? You know, I think it’s important. Sometimes it’s just listening with our ears, sometimes it’s just looking at someone, you know, sometimes you want to give somebody something good that they would like to taste or to talk about. It’s just Lighting a candle and aroma, these types of things, knowing what somebody needs is really important, because if we know what the other person needs, so we’ll go ahead and do that. The challenge comes in when we think we know what the other person needs.

Eloise Drane
Mm-hmm. Definitely. And I think the other challenge also is when we assume because they don’t feel the same way you do that it must be wrong, or that they’re not understanding what you’re are going through because their feeling is different than yours.

Lori Metz
Absolutely. Absolutely. And so what do you do with that?

Eloise Drane
Right, right, dealing with an infertility diagnosis is hard too, but it’s even harder to get the diagnosis and then be told also, you need assistance from a third party, such as a donor or a surrogate, and you have become an advocate to normalize third party assistance. Can you share more about the ASQ initiative, which is your effort to have medical institutions be more inclusive and thorough in their medical record intake process?

Lori Metz
I would love to tell you about that. Obviously, I get tears in my eyes, as you talk about my eyes tear lots from you know, we talked about the fact when people start their fertility journey, nobody goes in thinking unless is a non-heterosexual couple, right? We have a distinction between heterosexual, non-heterosexual, single parent, non-single parent, right. So if you’re not heterosexual, you assume you’re going to use a third party, you would have to. If you are a solo parent, you know, you need a third party. If you’re a heterosexual couple, you don’t. You just assume that you’re going to have this child. So in either case, it’s very hard when you bring this third party into your situation, because a third party can carry you through. And so what I found in my work is that people struggled with it. And one of the exercises I give to people in my support group for donor conception, and even for surrogacy is to write a story for the ones with donor conception while the baby’s in the belly. And for those with surrogacy while they’re expecting, because you are expecting if you’re doing surrogacy and if you’re adopting, you’re expecting when you’re adopting, right? It’s just you might not be carrying the child and might not be visible but you’re expecting. That child is on the way. That’s a very freeing thought. Allow yourself that thought. The purpose of writing the story is twofold, right? It’s a little bit obvious, I suppose to most one is to get comfortable with your story. We all had a hard journey before we get there. It’s not an easy journey. You’ve gone through testing and you’ve gone through contemplation and you’ve gone through thought and you know, a lot of self-exploration and hope. You want to be certain of your decision. You want to be comfortable with it, and writing the story allows you just to become more comfortable. And what I found was that many people struggled in writing their stories. Not easy to do. And so I wrote a story. It’s a simple little story that moms could be to their babies, that how they were dreamed of, and how they wanted them. And they looked for them, and they searched for them. And then they found them, and how much love they brought into this world. Because I do believe the children put into this world with third party reproduction, are very much wanted. It was not an easy journey when I’ve had the privilege of speaking to adult children, who were brought to this world through third-party reproduction. To quote one of them, he said, when every other kid said to their parents, I knew you didn’t want me, he said, I always knew I was wanted. That was never a thought in his mind. So I’d like to quote him. So through these conversations that I’ve had with women, and then what I found was very often, there’s a lot of feelings associated with using donor conception and when it’s not obvious, it’s sometimes it’s something that you want to forget. And when you go to the doctor, he may not mention it. And sometimes it’s important to mention because they might be searching for something based on history. And I wanted to open up the conversation and let people see that it’s okay to talk about. I keep saying to everybody, everybody is conceived normally, and everybody’s conceived the same way. Takes three things and that’s it, period. It takes an egg, a uterus, and sperm. That’s what it takes. And that’s how I teach, at least today.

That I don’t know science is suffering in the future, right? We’ve done remarkable, remarkable things in science in terms of helping people conceive. So what we want to do is we want to be sure that everybody feels comfortable, whether they’re conceived with a donor egg, or whether they’re raised through adoption. So the purpose is to open up the conversation. If we put it on a medical intake form, we are opening up the conversation. We are triggering the medical community to ask that question. And so the reason why I say ASK initiative on Instagram is that there’s just not enough space to write to normalize third-party reproduction. So I didn’t want to put that so I just wrote the word ASK because that’s what we’re doing. We’re asking the question. Yep. Yeah. My initial thought was to put the question under medical history, where it says, mother, father, siblings, and then other, you know that word other breaks my heart because nobody is another. We’re all conceived one way we’re all like, our families are built a certain way. So what I would like them to do is take out the word other and swap it for donor and add indices for adoption. And now, nobody’s another. We all fit into a category. And that provides improved medical care, physically and mentally. Because now people feel comfortable if they choose to share. And people may not choose to share and that is just fine. And epigenetics, they say you should fill in the information of the intended mom and the mom. So I think it’s to make people feel comfortable and I again, repeat if they choose to share that information because there’s a big push for transparency today. And it’s been proven that that helps, you know, to be transparent as early as possible so there are no secrets. But many communities are not comfortable with that. And we have to respect cultural differences. And I think we have to be sensitive to it, especially in the medical community. The other piece of this is that if it is on the form, everybody will see it. So Sally, filling out the form, who has no idea that anything in terms of family building situations will say, Oh, this is another way to build a family. So that’s the purpose of the initiative. And that’s really how it came about. So I was talking about it for a while, and I couldn’t figure out how to get it off the ground. Because I know people but I just couldn’t and when I mentioned it to people, a lot of times it was like a light bulb went off and they said what she said makes a lot of sense. So I really didn’t get any negativity from anybody. Everybody thought it was a good idea. I’ve had people, one of my closest friends actually is the director of medical records department, she was thinking, well, you need a small word to fill it in. So she went very much to the practical but when you go to the emotional everybody’s on board, even legislative people when I was talking about it in Albany, although we were not advocating for that at the time at all, but just chatter. So I reached out to Camille Gonti Camille, are you familiar with her? Camille is very, very active on social media and she’s an actress. She’s phenomenal. And she’s a huge advocate for donor conception, she has a child born through donor conception and she’s absolutely on board with me from the minute I told her about it. So she and I got together and we thought we’d start a petition, which we’ve started. And we have a time change.org. It’s called normalized third-party reproduction. I’m not sure how many suitors we have right now. I know we have well over 200. And what we want to do is when we want to get over 300 to present it to the AMA. We want this to come from the AMA also, so they could force the issue. The piece is that if we can get it on the form, and we can get people starting to talk about it, we can start to normalize it. And if there needs to be a trigger, though, and I used to be involved in developing electronic medical records. And I think this wasn’t anything that people thought about when the records were developed. And now I just think it’s a matter of reminding people that it needs to be there. And I think that they could probably put the resources together to swap one field and add another if there’s enough strength behind it. So I reached out to Camille and she was on board, and then Jay Palumbo, but she’s very much a volunteer and advocate for. So Jay got on board. And then I’ve done a series of Instagram lives with people from an array of settings like legal and advocacy and medical, and then we did a webinar. And so we’re going to start a letter-writing campaign shortly within the next few weeks. We’re just going to keep going until we are able to make this change. I think, when I heard the story of a college student filling out an application, who was adopted and didn’t know what to write, I really felt bad. I thought, why should they have to be reminded constantly of how they were brought up? Or how you were conceived? What is it that you do with anything, you’re being raised by parents who love you?

Eloise Drane
And going back to the kind of we’re used to talking about donor-conceived, you specialize in fertility and advocacy for donor-conceived people and as you mentioned, you wrote a children’s book called I Dreamed of You about a donor-conceived family building journey. What inspired you to write this book, which is now I understand in English, Spanish, and Mandarin and available now through Amazon?

Lori Metz
It’s available all over the place, actually any service you can buy it on. But yes, thank you, it is on Amazon. It’s my patients just when I was trying to have them write their story, and they were struggling with it. I wanted to write a story to maybe help them to model after a story that I wrote. And I found a wonderful Illustrator. And in the back of the book, we have a place for people to write why they dream to their baby. I do believe that telling the story to a child when they’re born really helps. It helps the mom, helps the dad. And it allows the child to grow up thinking that this is normal, but there’s nothing not normal about how they were conceived. The reason why I said three languages is just because everybody struggles with infertility, it doesn’t really matter what language you speak, you’re all going to struggle with it. And so I just wanted to be sure it was available in those three languages. I must admit the Mandarin was a bit of a challenge to get translated.

Eloise Drane
Yes, I can imagine. And as donor-conceived population ages and becomes more open, what shifts or changes do you expect we’ll see because you when you touched on, when somebody like the gentleman who was adopted and didn’t really have or wasn’t sure where to, you know, apply or what to apply on his application. It’s funny, though, because as a gestational carrier myself, when I go and I complete paperwork, and they ask how many pregnancies I’ve had, and I put it down, and you know how many children I have, I always have to kind of do a slash, like, Yes, I have four children. Although I’ve delivered a total of eight children, four of them are not mine. And, you know, but it’s kind of also a tricky situation too, because, and I know society, it wasn’t something that was prevalent, it wasn’t something that we did years and years ago, and the third party has really just become more prevalent in the last probably 40 years or so. Society is changing, and it’s ever-evolving. And we also need to evolve and everything also needs to evolve. So, you know, again, sorry, I’m going on a tangent, but what shifts or changes do you expect we’ll see, given that society is changing so drastically.

Lori Metz
I hope that what we’ll see is more openness and more willingness to acceptance of differences. I hope we find people finding strength in their uniqueness. I’ve told this story so many times, I always go back to the story of this little boy who he finally got that he was conceived through donor conception, his parents told him and I don’t know one day, he just recognized it through the story. And so he was at a show and tell and they teach us to, they may have anything to tell. And he raised his hand, and he got up and tells everybody how he was conceived through a donor egg because he was so proud of it. Right? So how wonderful is that to be proud of something that other people might be embarrassed by, or feel bad about and when you look online, you very often see people searching for half-siblings. I think it opens up a lot that maybe we want to look at on all different levels. But I mean, my hope would be that there’s much more openness for differences, and people could feel pride in it. And that’s part of what this initiative that I’m doing with Camille and J, that’s part of this. It’s to have people feel comfortable and feel good about themselves. I think, you know, they’re starting the whole initiative now and changing the way people represent themselves as she/he, her, them, right? So this is just another way of representing yourself. And that’s really what I hope. And when you fill out those forms about how many pregnancies you have, and then you put a slash? I’m sorry, I didn’t include that in the stuff, it’s along the same lines. And as somebody who is a gestational carrier, I mean, I think you were such a wonderful advocate to explain to people that you are not looking to have another child, you’re looking to give another child to somebody who wants it. And I think that’s a hard concept for many people to understand.

Eloise Drane
Absolutely. And kind of going back to a similar story with my own gestational surrogacy pregnancy that I carried. My second journey, my intended parents were very open with their son as well about his journey of coming into the world. And I wasn’t actually aware of it until they ended up having a second child through another gestational carrier and I went to his first birthday party, and unbeknownst to me, the first one that I carried, of course, I got there, and he comes up to me, and he’s saying hello, and he does call me Auntie L. And he was saying, hello, and then he took my hand, and he brought me over to his friends. And he was like, yeah, and here’s, this is Auntie L. This is my surrogate mom. And he, evidently for school and everything else, it was like, Yeah, I have a mom, and I have a surrogate mom, like, this is the most normal thing in the world. And what do you mean, you don’t have two people help bring you into this world? Like, you’re the one who’s unusual, not me. And it all it all goes back to what as a society are we teaching? What as a society are we thinking about? What as a society are we normalizing? Right? And I feel like we can do better in normalizing third-party family building.

Lori Metz
Absolutely. Absolutely. The other piece of this is, I think it’d be a lot of it begins at home. And that’s why the book and that’s why the story. Because we have got to have people be empowered enough to be comfortable with their journeys. And so from the first question you asked me until right now, it comes back to the same thing, we have to be comfortable with whatever journey we take. We have to feel good in our own skin and this is not an easy journey to go through or an easy process if you’re tired of the word journey, or an easy road. There’s nothing easy about it. I don’t know if you agree or not.

Eloise Drane
Oh, I agree.

Lori Metz
Yeah. So let’s just recognize it like that, it’s not. And so if we can recognize it, then at least we could take the first step of dealing with it. And I had one woman who I adore, I just did adore and she was in my support group the morning she delivered. And honestly, she was like, I don’t know what I’m gonna do with this child. How did I use a donor egg? I don’t know. And I went through the whole process with her for many years of her trying to conceive and that day, she was just so upset. And so besides that, she went into labor early that day, and she conceived and she delivered the child. You know, from the moment she saw that child, she was totally, totally in love with the child. And it now has a second with the same donor. And you know, thinking of a third so you’ve got I think if you don’t allow yourself to process the feelings, then it’s hard to get there. It doesn’t mean you won’t, I don’t want people to think that they won’t if they don’t because we have to know how we process and everybody processes things differently. Some people are very quiet about it and they’re very thoughtful, and they kind of use those thoughts to help processes and people are much more verbal about it. What I really would like to do is give people just the ability to give themselves the gift of allowing themselves to go through it, and you will get through it. So I think if we can allow ourselves to get through this process, and then if we can bring this child into the world, and allow our families to understand that this is normal and that this is a loving child because everybody’s going to fall in love with the baby, nobody’s really going to care that much. Once that baby is here, then we can start to change it. I think it’s just a movement that comes from the ground. I don’t think it’s a movement that comes from the top.

Eloise Drane
Yes, I wholeheartedly agree. I mean, do you have any recommendations or small ways that we all can do a small part in helping to normalize third-party family building?

Lori Metz
Well, I do actually, I do. I think that for those in it like you or me, or people going through it, I don’t want to take credit for the statement, but she said, start to influence your spheres, your circles, reach out to them first. If you’re going to your doctor, talk to your doctor. Ask them to sign a petition, talk to them about your journey. If you decide that you want to share the information with your mother, your father, your sister, your brother, your friend, share it with them, start small, start with your circle. Now, if your circle is too intrusive, and you feel like they don’t have boundaries, and you feel like if you say something that’s going to trigger you will then maybe start somewhere else. Maybe talk to a therapist, maybe go to a support group, maybe write a letter to your doctor’s office through this, we’re going to be starting a letter-writing campaign soon. I think the key is to talk about it, where you’re comfortable talking about it, and everybody has a different level. Some people will jump on board, and they will say, you know what, I’m going to do this, but I’m going to start with my sibling, or you know, I’m going to start with just talking to myself in an easy way. And some people will say, you know what, I know somebody, the AMA Lori, and I’m going to contact them for you. Everybody’s gonna have their own comfort zone so I would say everybody could do something that way. Now, if this is something you know nothing about, and you kind of stumble upon it. And you say, geez, this is really interesting. Well, maybe you’d look into it just a little bit more, maybe you could just give it a second thought. And think maybe this makes sense. Maybe it’s something I should include when I talk to people, you know, like, geez, I heard this joy, but they’re starting something where conception should be normal, regardless of how it is. So I’m sorry, that might be a long-winded answer. But I think as you start where they’re comfortable and I think the more information we get out there on whether social media or in the paper or any ways that people get information, the better.

Eloise Drane
Yeah, and I think another thing too, is normalizing that if someone having to go this route because they’re dealing with infertility is that infertility is a disease. I cannot just continue talking about this and stressing it enough. Infertility is a disease. Diabetes is a disease. Cancer is a disease. Infertility is a disease as well. And, you know, for if somebody asks you for well why aren’t you, you know, whatever, well, I can’t eat that because I’m diabetic, it literally rolls off the tongue like it’s nothing. And again, I really do feel like we as a society have done a disservice to the infertility community.

Lori Metz
Yeah, I agree with you. I have seen a shift with infertility where people talk about infertility these days, I have not seen that much of a shift to third-party reproduction. It’s going to take longer because I think what happens is, it is all a medical diagnosis. But this one is a little bit more so. Not more of a medical diagnosis, but it touches the heart just a little bit more for some. Because when a baby is first born, everybody talks about their attributes. What is there to talk about, right? And I think that becomes hard because the vision is still even with IVF and the Clomid and all the treatments you’re going to go through that you will have that DNA connection and that’s where I think people start to feel uncomfortable and I would love to do anything I could to make people feel comfortable about their conceptions. And science has moved forward but I don’t think our population has moved forward even the people going through it as quickly as science has.

Eloise Drane
Oh, yes, exactly. Yeah. I agree, definitely. So do you have any final thoughts that you’d like to share with our listeners?

Lori Metz
I’m just, I really, I wish there was like a magic something we could give people to realize that it’s okay to recognize that things can be challenging, and they can be hard and they can be really difficult. But if we allow ourselves to go through it, typically, it will work out the way we want it to in the end when it comes to family building. It might not be what we went in thinking it was going to be, but it can come out being a beautiful thing. And that can sound cliche, and I do have one person I work with who always says these things sound so cliche, but I think many times infertility in a family building journeys, things do sound cliche, but there’s a reason for it. And that’s because there’s a truth behind it. And it’s just finding that individual truth for each person. So please try and be comfortable in your journeys, regardless of what it is, that would really be my final message. These children are always brought into this world with such a desire to have a family and so much love.

Eloise Drane
And that’s the ultimate goal is to be able to have these children to be able to love them, obviously, you parent them and all of the other things, but ultimately, it is all about that love that you’re going to have for that child.

Lori Metz
Yeah, I was gonna mention something when you’re talking before but we got a little sidetrack. So if you don’t mind, I do think it’s important for people to know that a lot of the surrogacy agencies that I’ve spoken to have guidelines for who the intended parents are, not just to the surrogate is, and a lot of them aren’t going to take people who just don’t want to carry.

Eloise Drane
Yes.

Lori Metz
They will only take people-level medical diagnoses where they are not able to carry.

Eloise Drane
Yes, no social surrogacy is what it’s called. And yeah, we are, as an agency owner, myself, I do not do any social surrogacy whatsoever. And especially given that as a gestational carrier myself, yes, I was willing to help another family who couldn’t have a child because of a medical necessity. But I’m not willing to put my life at risk and my family’s life at risk for the fact that you don’t want to stop as your career is just too much going on and so you don’t feel like it’s the right time. Well, but why should I risk my life then for your benefit because you don’t feel like it’s the right time? I just Yeah, I just have something about social surrogacy that I just completely just do not agree with.

Lori Metz
And I think that’s so important to know. And I think, you know, it’s time to end with that. Because the more educated we allow people to become, the more open and accepting they will be of all of these different processes.

Eloise Drane
Yeah, absolutely. Well, Lori, thank you so much for joining me today. I’ll be sure to add all of your information to our show notes. But I really do appreciate your time and definitely, everybody goes on change.org and looks up the ASK initiative.

Lori Metz
Actually, I’m sorry to interrupt you. On change.org. it’s called Normalized Third Party Reproduction change.org/thirdpartyreproduction. If you have a problem with it, if you go on my Instagram page, it’s @lorimetlcsw is on there with the link file, it’s the second one there so it’ll bring you right to it.

Eloise Drane
Okay, awesome. Yes. And we’ll definitely make sure to add it to the show notes. So I really appreciate all your time.

Lori Metz
Okay. Well, thank you so much. And thank you for having me. It’s really a pleasure.

Eloise Drane
Absolutely. Thank you. I hope you found this discussion helpful as you weigh your next steps. We will love for you to rate us. So if you haven’t yet, go to your listening platform of choice and subscribe, rate, and review this podcast. Five-star reviews are our favorites. You can follow Fertility Cafe on its Instagram and Facebook channel Family Inceptions. We’d also love you to share Fertility Café with friends and family members who would benefit from the information shared. Join us next week for another conversation on modern family building. Thank you so much for joining me today. Remember, love has no limits, neither should parenthood.

Outro
Thank you for joining us in the fertility cafe. Whether you’re an intended parent and woman considering egg donation and thinking of becoming a surrogate yourself, or a friend or family member of someone dealing with infertility, we’re here to help. Visit our website thefertilitycafe.com for resources on fertility, alternative family building, and making this journey your own

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