The New Normal

There have been a spate of celebrities talking about their fertility issues recently, and while it is quite refreshing, it seems long overdue.

Famous spokespeople speak out for all sorts of causes. Cybil Shepard opened up about her irritable bowel syndrome. Brooke Shields took on Tom Cruise about postpartum depression. Bob Dole stood up for erectile dysfunction (pun totally intended).

While some celebrities are finally talking about their very personal experiences with infertility in very public settings, it doesn’t happen often enough. Infertility is very real, very painful, and sometimes fraught with stigma that could be eased if it were out front the news more regularly, with or without, a celebrity.

Does it really help to know that Sarah Jessica Parker used a surrogate? I think it might. Does it help to know that Hugh Jackman has spoken of his wife, Deb, who suffered a long history with infertility before they finally chose to parent through adoption? Of course. Sure, these people have plenty of money, not to mention personal assistants and make-up stylists on call, but they are also people who, in the end, just wanted to have a family. 

Just like you. Just like me. Only more sparkly.

One of the biggest advocates to put herself out there is Brenda Strong of Desperate Housewives fame. As spokesperson for the American Fertility Association, she has put a face and a name on a world where many of us often feel like the only one in our own little worlds facing the difficult path toward parenthood when the so-called “normal” path doesn’t work. 

It’s time for the “new normal,” and I’m not talking about the television show, but I certainly like the idea of two loving Dads raising a surrogate-begotten son. Better yet, maybe it’s time to put “normal” in a new place and embrace a world where families come in all shapes, sizes, colors, sexes, derived by various means, be it biological, adopted, ICSI’d, or surrogotten.

Anyone looking to create a family understands we are all in the same boat. At any moment, you could be at your clinic, or your specialist’s office, or at an adoption center and find yourself sitting next to Brenda Strong, or Sarah Jessica Parker or even Hugh Jackman. (Wouldn’t THAT be refreshing!)

As time marches on, hopefully more advocates will surface, realizing that putting their famous face on this difficult issue can help so many. 

Think about being an advocate, yourself, when the time is right. If you are interested in more information, go to RESOLVE to learn more about Advocacy Day at http://familybuilding.resolve.org/site/PageServer?pagename=advday_home

You may end up creating the new normal for families all over the world, as well as your own.

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