Officially, my week in New York was to have been vacation only, (and New York is one of the few USA states were surrogacy is not permitted) but those who know me best know that I am not awfully good at sitting still.
In between checking out all of the usual tourist haunts (this is my first ever trip to the USA, so I have busied myself in each destination with taking in as much as I can of the local things to do and see) I had an opportunity too good to refuse, and diverted my stay for an overnight trip to Pennsylvania. I had the opportunity to spend some time talking to Dr Andrea Braverman; Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Dr Braverman has published widely in the area of fertility counselling and presents an annual conference designed to train new counsellors to the area of fertility counselling
Dr Braverman was extremely generous with her time and expertise and I really enjoyed discussing our respective experiences of fertility counselling. I found her insight into surrogacy counselling really helpful, and the fact that she has previously visited Australia a number of times to speak at Fertility Society of Australia conferences, meant that she really understands the Australian experience of fertility treatment.
The visit to Philadelphia was not initially part of my itinerary, and I am particaulry grateful to Dr Braverman for making her time (and hospitality) available to me at such short notice. I’d also like to plug the conference that she is involved in organising for fertility counsellors- 2016 will be the third time it has been held. This is the only conference I am aware of that is exclusively designed to train fertility counsellors in the ethical, legal, medical and emotional aspects of infertility and its treatment. I would have loved to have had the opportunity to attend something like this when I first entered the fertility counselling field, and I do hope I can find a reason to get back to Philadelphia in the next couple of years and attend a future iteration of this conference. When It Takes More Than Two To Make a Baby: Basic and Advanced Skills
Sculpture from the Met (The Metropolitan Museum of Art) by Bessie Potter Vonnoh from 1896: A Young Mother