Support from organizations and businesses is crucially important to the National Fertility Support Center and the families and children it serves.
If you, your son or daughter, or a close friend or family member have ever experienced the challenges that infertility can bring, you are already keenly aware of the emotional toil and turmoil that facing such a difficult medical disease can inflict.
In the United States, the disease of infertility is on the rise. 1 in 8 couples are diagnosed with infertility. In addition to it's personal impact, infertility creates a substantial corporate impact as well.
• Statistically, approximately 10 - 15% of your workforce (ages 18 - 45) is struggling with infertility.
• Infertility knows no bounds and impacts individuals from all socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds and lines.
• Approximately 33% of infertility is attributed to to male factors; 33% to female factors; 10% to a combined male and female reproductive problem; and, up to 24% of infertility is medically unexplained.
• Infertility, like any medical disease, creates physical and emotional stress that can
negatively impact employee productivity and increase absenteeism .
Many corporations provide adoption assistance to couples that face infertility, however, they may not be aware that embryo donation shares many similarities with adoption! As traditional adoption becomes more difficult, many couples are turning to embryo donation as a way to build their family. While adoption deserves our continued unwavering support and is a true blessing for many, the reality is that the opportunity to build a family through adoption is becoming more difficult and challenging.
Infant adoption is becoming more and more difficult as the number of infants released for adoptive placement has significantly declined*:
• Prior to 1973, approximately 19.3% of children born to a single parent were placed for adoption.
• By 1975, less than 1.7% of children born to a single parent are placed for adoption.
• Between 2002 and 2007, U.S. domestic infant adoptions declined by an additional 19%.
In 2007 there were 18,078 domestic infant adoptions compared to 22,291 placements in 2002.
(* Source: Adoption Factbook V, National Council for Adoption, https://www.adoptioncouncil.org/images/stories/Adoption_Factbook_Press_Release_Extended.pdf)
Since 2007, the number of domestic infant adoptions has continued to decline (* Source: Adoption Factbook V, National Council for Adoption), while the annual estimated number of those interested in adopting an infant has grown to 1 million. (Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange; http://www.mare.org/ForFamilies/NewtoAdoption/FAQs.aspx)
Intercountry (International) Adoption
Likewise the possibility of adopting internationally is becoming increasingly difficult.
• From 2004 to 2010, the number of international adoptions declined by 51.7% to 11,059.* Most of those adoptive placements required seasoned adoptive parents prepared to parent older children, sibling groups and children impacted by a history of childhood trauma.
In 2012, the number of international adoptions further declined to 8,668 placements.*
There are many children in state adoption programs in need of loving families. Most of these children are older (age 6 - 18), are being placed as a sibling group, and/or may have special attachment or bonding needs. Most will require on-going counseling and support to help them over-come the significant relationship, educational and psychological impact that stems from prior child abuse and neglect. In most cases, these children have had traumatic past experiences that may include physical, sexual, or emotional abuse and/or severe neglect. Others may have been drug and/or alcohol exposed. All of these children have experienced the grief and loss of having been separated from their families.(Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange;http://www.mare.org/ForFamilies/NewtoAdoption/FAQs.aspx ) The organizations placing these children for adoption, often prefer that the adopting parents be seasoned parents with extensive experience and/or education about how to meet the multiple needs of a child that has experienced trauma. However, most infertile couples have no or very limited prior parenting experience and even with much specialized preparation and on-going support, not every infertile couple or individual feels able or ready to begin their parenting journey with a child much beyond the age of infancy.
As infertility increases, adoption becomes more difficult and medical treatment possibilities expand, more couples are electing to pursue medical family building options such as embryo donation. To read an introduction to embryo donation click here; to watch the short video about embryo donation, Snow Baby, click here.
Corporate support for employees struggling with infertility can be offered through medical benefits, continued support of traditional adoption and by expanding corporate benefits and support to include the amazing new path to parenthood now possible through embryo donation - relationally considered to be the earliest form of adoption possible.
By fully utilizing the newest technology available (internet, live video conferencing, communication services, webchats etc.) the National Fertility Support Center is able to provide services to employees from all areas of the United States.
Please contact us for information about adding beneficial behavioral health services for infertility to your company's Employee Assistance Plan.