Posts Tagged ‘Finances’

Resolve TeleSeminars!

Resolve, the National Infertility Association is hosting teleseminars!!! Here is the info:

RESOLVE’s Summer TeleSeminar Tour: Spend Your Summer Educating Yourself on Your Family Building Options

Join RESOLVE for one or all of these upcoming FREE TeleSeminars, hosted by RESOLVE professional members—family building experts from across the country. Seminars will take place on Thursdays at 9:00PM ET.

August 6: I Need Someone To Talk To: Why Join a Support Group?, with Gretchen Kubacky, PsyD, CBF
August 13: Anonymous Donors: Are They Really?, with Amy Demma, JD, Prospective Families
August 20: International Surrogacy, with Cameron Castleberry, M, JD
August 27: Acupuncture & Infertility, with Sadie Minkoff, LAc, FABORM, Central Family Practice
To register, click here. For a complete list of TeleSeminars throughout the year, visit RESOLVE’s website.
Teleseminars generously sponsored by
Fertility Lifelines Logo


Sticks and Stones…

I love Comedy. My husband and I collect dvd’s of comedic standups we love, I am an avid viewer of comedy central standup hours, and I even have a comedy digital playlist on Imeem. When I was a little girl, my mother would banish me from the room during Def Comedy Jam, though I would find a way to either sneak the channel on my television or watch from a hiding place in the dining room. One major comedian during the late 80’s of my childhood was the late, great Robin Harris. A native Chicagoan and comedic powerhouse, Robin Harris was the inspiration for such comedians as Chris Rock and Martin Lawrence. I myself was and still am a fan of Mr. Harris’ work, and his trademark characters, “BeBe’s Kids”.

While ranting about the unsavory wards of his fictional girlfriend Jamikka, Robin would tell an intriguing and very funny tale of how he came to deal with the kids she babysat, “BeBe’s Kids.” When extremely frustrated with one of the children, Robin would call them a , “TestTubeBaby!” to the great amusement of his audience. We retold the joke to our friends. We took it to school. We laughed while trying to replay the account to coworkers. It was the funniest thing we’d heard! And we couldn’t stop saying it. Calling people, “test tube babies” and snickering. It was a joke.

But while most of black america was laughing at this new joke and the “crazy things white folk do”, we were unknowingly growing a barrier between ourselves and a perfectly acceptable, if not dynamic route to parenthood. We do and say so many things in my community without thinking about the ramifications and implications. This joke, was more powerful than it seemed, and caused countless African American families to shun the practice of In-Vitro Fertilization.

We wouldn’t dare have a “test tube baby”. Folks weren’t gonna be laughing at our expense. And meanwhile, while we were busy hiding behind our pride, other ethnicities were reveling in the new-found science that was helping them reach their dreams.

Now this is not to say that other races weren’t hesitant to assisted reproduction, in fact Center for Disease Control (CDC) statistics from 1998 show that there was only a 26.5 percent change in the amount of ART procedures and clinics between 1996 and 98 and that in 1998 there were only 360 ART clinics in the U.S. But, I do believe that stigmas tend to be hard to shake in the black community.

I look at friends and acquaintances now, who still, yet another 10 years later, see IVF as a last resort technology. Or a strange and far-fetched therapy that we add to the list of things that we think “only white chicks do or can afford”. Its funny when you think about it, how hard we still have to fend off the stereotypical thinking we were brought up with.

But, maybe these are just the ramblings of an over-observant writer and librarian who is up at an odd hour…yet, somehow,…I don’t think so.

R.I.P. Robin Harris, and hopefully R.I.P. to the stigma of the “Test Tube Baby” in the black community.


Talk about making omelets out of broken eggs.
Meet Tarah.


First a little bit about me and how I got here.
I met the love of my life in 1997 and we’ve been together ever since.
In 2005 we tied the knot and soon realized that we wanted to build our family.
Sadly, growing our family didn’t come easy.
We have suffered 3 losses and after the third loss I had some testing done.
We found out that I have a Balanced Translocation.
What this means is, when I was conceived, 2 of my chromosomes switched places.
This condition doesn’t effect me per se, but it does affect me when it comes to trying to have a baby.
When conception begins and the cells are dividing my embryo’s no longer develop because of the 2 chromosomes that are switched, ending with the loss of a baby.
My Husband and I have options to build our family.
However, they are costly.
We are currently exploring an option that costs $20,000.00.
Which leads me here.
I started to make my bath and body products to raise money for our family.
Our insurance doesn’t cover any of the procedures.
That leaves the burden of the expense on our shoulders.

You can have baby smooth skin as you help us reach our goal of having a baby.


Awesome right? I know. Head over to Tarah’s Heaven Scent Boutique and place an order! Help someone out and smell good at the same time? Amazing.


An interesting Perspective from CNN

Though not directly related to the plight of health and fertility, this recent interview by CNN pertaining to single Black women adopting, really touched on some very serious points in my opinion. The fertility rate in our community is not only affected by health reasons but also by a lack of quality relationships to form ready and willing African American families. These African American women, however, have taken it upon themselves to make a difference in the lives of children who NEED a family. I commend them, and applaud their dedication to preserving the family unit, with either one parent or two!


Single black women choosing to adopt

By John Blake

(CNN) — Wendy Duren thought she did everything right.
She broke off relationships with men who didn’t want to settle down. She refused to get pregnant out of wedlock. She prayed for a child.
Duren’s yearning for motherhood was so palpable that her former fiancé once offered to father a child with her. But he warned her that he wasn’t ready for marriage.
“I get bored in relationships after a couple of years,” he told her, she recalls.
Those events could have caused some women to give up their dreams of motherhood. But Duren, a pharmaceutical saleswoman, didn’t need a man to be a mom. At 37 years old, she decided to adopt.
“It’s the best decision I could have made in my life,” Duren says, two years later. She’s now the mother of Madison, a 1-year-old daughter she raises in Canton, Michigan.
“People say I have never seen you so happy,” she says, “but it’s also the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”
What’s driving more single African-American women to adopt
Marriage and motherhood — it’s the dream that begins in childhood for many women. Yet more African-American women are deciding to adopt instead of waiting for a husband, says Mardie Caldwell, founder of Lifetime Adoption, an adoption referral and support group in Penn Valley, California.
“We’re seeing more and more single African-American women who are not finding men,” Caldwell says. “There’s a lack of qualified black men to get into relationships with.”
The numbers are grim. According to the 2006 U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 45 percent of African-American women have never been married, compared with 23 percent of white women. Sound Off: What are the biggest challenges for black families?
Yet the decision to adopt isn’t just driven by the paucity of eligible African-American men, others say.
Toni Oliver, founder and CEO of Roots Adoption Agency in Atlanta, Georgia, says her agency sees more single African-American women adopting because of infertility issues.
Some of the infertility issues may be related to advancing age or health issues, she says. But the result of not being a mother for many older African-American women is the same: panic.
“Their doctors, friends and family are telling them the same thing: ‘You’re not getting younger; you better hurry up,’ ” Oliver says.
The unfulfilled desire to be a mother can damage a woman emotionally, Oliver says. Her agency provides counseling to prospective mothers who have invested so much of their self-worth into being mothers.

“In many cases, it [the pressure to be a mother] begins to set up feelings of unworthiness, poor self-esteem and the feeling that ‘I’m not fully a woman,’ ” Oliver says.
That pressure can cause some African-American women to rush into a marriage with a man they should not partner with, says Kenyatta Morrisey, a 34-year-old mother of three adopted children in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Morrisey wants to be married, but says she’d rather become a mother now and wait for God to guide her to the right man.
“I am not going to settle and get married just for the sake of being married,” Morrisey says. “I’d rather trust God to fulfill all of my dreams instead of relying on a man to fulfill my dreams.”
Some single African-American women deal with another challenge: criticism for bringing another African-American child into a single-parent household.
Kaydra Fleming, a 37-year-old social worker in Arlington, Texas, is the mother of Zoey, an adopted eight-month-old girl whose biological mother was young and poor.
“Zoey was going to be born to a single black mother anyway,” Fleming says. “At least she’s being raised by a single black parent who was ready financially and emotionally to take care of her.”
Yet there are some single African-American women who are not emotionally ready to adopt an African-American child who is too dark, some adoption agency officials say.
Fair-skinned or biracial children stand a better chance of being adopted by single black women than darker-skinned children, some adoption officials say.
“They’ll say, ‘I want a baby to look like a Snickers bar, not dark chocolate,’ ” Caldwell, founder of Lifetime Adoption, says about some prospective parents.
“I had a family who turned a baby down because it was too dark,” she says. “They said the baby wouldn’t look good in family photographs.”
‘You have so much love to give’
Skin tone didn’t matter to Duren, the pharmaceutical saleswoman. She says she just wanted a child to love.
She was so natural with children that all of her friends predicted that she would be the first to marry, she says. But adoption was “never an option” for her.
“I wanted my genes, my looks to be passed on,” Duren says. “I wanted to see me.”
The African-American men she dated, however, didn’t want to marry, she says. She dated African-American professionals: engineers, attorneys and managers. But there were so many eligible African-American women, and they still wanted to play, she says.
Time was running out for her. At 37 years old, Duren had earned an MBA degree, a six-figure income and had traveled widely. But she couldn’t find the right man to raise a family.
One man she thought she would marry broke off their relationship because he said he wasn’t ready to be a father. Then he had a child out of wedlock with another woman, she says.
“He broke my heart,” Duren says.
The persistent heartache ate away at her.
“I was struggling,” Duren says. “I prayed: ‘You know Lord, I worked so hard. I have my integrity, morals — how did this happen?’ ”
A turning point came when she was playing with her niece and nephews. Her brother, their father, asked her why she didn’t adopt a child when there were so many black children who needed adopting.
“You have so much love to give,” he told Duren.
Duren didn’t have an answer. She then went online and learned about Lifetime Adoption, the agency based in California. The agency referred her to a married woman who already had five children, but says she couldn’t afford to take care of another.
The woman put her through an interview process. She asked about her family history; how she would discipline her child; and what she would do if her baby woke up screaming in the middle of the night.
The woman eventually picked Duren. When the woman gave birth, she invited her to the hospital and handed Duren her daughter.
The adoption process — from the beginning to receiving her child — took eight months, Duren says. It cost about $15,000.
“It was so smooth,” she says of the adoption process.
What single moms lose and what they gain
The adoption process will go smoothly if a prospective mother prepares well, Caldwell says.
She suggests that prospective single mothers prepare a notebook that will answer vital questions: Who is going to be the guardian of my child if I get sick? Who are the men in my life that could serve as good role models? Do I have life insurance?
Becoming a single mother means a “complete lifestyle change,” Caldwell says.
“You might have to give up getting your nails done,” she says.
But you gain something better in return, Duren says. Her life is tougher, but its purpose has shifted.
“Tired is my middle name now,” she says. “I’m always tired. Naps don’t exist anymore.”
And at times, being a single mother can be scary, Duren says.
“When my daughter got sick in the middle of the night in the middle of a snow storm, I didn’t have anyone to turn to,” she says. “I had to do it. There was no one to talk to.”
And at times, there is the temptation for an open-ended relationship with men to take away a little of the loneliness.
One ex-boyfriend came around one day with gifts for her daughter, Duren says. Duren told him to make it his last visit because he was still seeing another woman who had his child.
She told him she wasn’t going to be his woman on the side.
“I refuse to be a woman with a man tip-toeing in the middle of my house late at night with toys for my daughter,” she says. “No one is going to disrespect me.”
Duren says she still wants to be married. But in the meantime, she can barely wait to get home to see Madison.
Her life is now shaped by purpose, not regret.

“I have someone to hang out with. I can never say I’m lonely,” Duren says. “She lies across my stomach every night, and I just stare at her.”

The Tinina Q. Cade Foundation’s Family Building Grant

The Tinina Q. Cade Foundation’s Family Building Grant provides up to $10,000 to needy infertile families. The grant is used to assist with the costs associated with infertility treatment or domestic adoption.

For additional information, feel free to call us at 443-896-6504 or email us at

Applications will be available at all TQCF activities in 2009 and online from July 15, 2009 until Sept. 15, 2009. Family Building Grant Applications are due on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2009. Applications will not be available at any other time or under any other circumstances. The TQCF will hold a teleconference to provide technical support for families submitting grant applications on Sept. 1, 2009 at 12:00 PM EST. Call information will be available on the “grant” page of on July 15, 2009.

Application submission and the review process.

The Tinina Q. Cade Foundation Selection Committee is responsible for the review of all Family Building Grant applications and makes the decision regarding funding. All complete applications are reviewed and considered regardless of race, religion, ethnicity or national origin.

Grant funding will not exceed $10,000 per family
Support is considered only for couples who are US citizens with documented infertility who reside in the United States
Grant will provide financial support to assist with costs associated fertility treatment or domestic adoption after January 1, 2010
$25 non-refundable application fee (cashier’s check or money order ONLY) must be submitted with the application. DO NOT SEND CASH
Grant application must provide a detailed plan of how funds will contribute to overall costs associated with fertility treatment or domestic adoption
Grant MUST be used for the purposes described in the original grant application
Submitted applications must be complete to be considered. Applications missing any information or attachments will not be reviewed
ALL Family Building Grant recipients are expected to attend the 2009 TQCF Family Building Luncheon. The event is scheduled for Saturday Jan. 2, 2010. All recipients are responsible for transportation and lodging. Failure to attend will result in forfeiture of grant.

Black women and the desire for children, redux

Black women and the desire for children, redux

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