“Our Rainbow Family” – “Operation baby-making”

“Our Rainbow Family” – “Operation baby-making”, and quite an operation it is, far more difficult and far more expensive than the traditional way to which virtually all of us (98 percent or more) have become accustomed.

Check essentialbaby.com

We had fantastic support through our local IVF clinic, (SIVF Canberra) and were the first lesbian couple at the clinic at that time to request using eggs from one woman to use in the other. We did it this way for a number of reasons: Tanya would be more included in the process and would be the biological mother of our daughter, and I did not want to pass on any autoimmune diseases to our child, as many women in my family (father’s side) have lupus, thyroid problems or other autoimmune diseases.

It was not considered surrogacy or anything other than a couple trying to have a baby together. We were very lucky that it worked first go and we even had three embryos left to use in the future.

The “couple” involved in “Our Rainbow Family” – “Operation baby-making”made an attempt to have another baby:

Last month we started the process for adding to our family, using one of our frozen embryos. Unfortunately it didn’t take, so we will have a break over Christmas and try again next year. We have two embryos left and will put them back in one at a time.

I have no information on the costs of IVF procedures in Australia. Still, in Australia, as elsewhere, costs depends on success rates:

IVF success [in the US] rates are much higher than shown here for women under age 35

National averages
SART and CDC Data
Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology
Centers for Disease Control
Year Percentage of IVF cycles
resulting in a live birth
1985 5.3
1987 8.3
1989 11.3
1991 12.9
1993 15.8
1995 18.7
1997 24.0
1999 25.2
2001 27.0
2003 28.3
2005 27.8


“Our Rainbow Family” – “Operation baby-making” is not cheap.

How much does IVF cost?

IVF cost per single cycle (without ICSI) with all monitoring included

Medications not included

Cost of IVF $8,500

IVF with ICSI cost per single cycle with all monitoring included ($1200 for ICSI)

Medications not included

Cost of IVF with ICSI $10,000

$1400 discount given for the IVF stimulation monitoring done out of town (or if monitoring cost covered by insurance)

Optional IVF medications cost package plan
All IVF medications provided by our clinic

Additional cost $2700 per fresh cycle
Otherwise, meds are purchased by the couple from a pharmac


It’s not cheap, neither if the individual has to pay nor if “it’s covered by insurance” and we all pay, but what price is happiness for a couple or three new parents, right? Who knows? If the couple works at it long enough, and if neither the money nor the will run out, and if the ability exists, in the end there will be a baby who,

…will grow up to be a doctor, plumber or public servant; gay like her mums or straight like her dad; a wrestler like her uncle, an adult entertainer like her aunt (we are not voting for this one!) or a paramedic like her mummy’s cousin.

It appears that nothing is mentioned about the half of the child’s abilities and inclinations that come from her “dad’s” side, but one thing is certain, if the child is a girl, she will not be a sperm donor, not yet, anyway.


Update June 7, 2008:

Current total fertility rates (TFRs) for countries in the world – Rank Order.  The web page accessible through the preceding link lists the rank order from highest to lowest, with a TFR of about 2.2 indicating a stable population. The TFR required to maintain a given country’s population varies a little from country to country, depending on the life expectancy for the average resident in that country. (Source: CIA World Factbook)

As of June 2008, the CIA World Factbook showed 104 countries (generally the richest and most developed) to have TFRs of less than 2.2.  In other words, in those countries the indigenous population (not counting net migration) is in the process of shrinking. (Related Articles at Fathers for Life)

Update 2018 07 18: As of July 2018, the CIA showed 127 countries with TFRs of less than 2.2.


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2 Responses to “Our Rainbow Family” – “Operation baby-making”

  1. According to Infertility.com, “IVF is basically a safe procedure. However, as with any surgical procedure, a few patients will experience side effects and complications. As with any medical or surgical procedure, a few patients undergoing IVF treatment will experience side effects and complications. The most common complications associated with IVF treatment are the failure of treatment, problems experienced as a consequence of ovarian stimulation, the risk of multiple pregnancy, the risks associated with egg collection and the possibility of ectopic pregnancy.

    A recent study from the Netherlands showed that overall mortality in IVF pregnancies was higher than the maternal mortality rate in the general population(42 mothers’ deaths per 100,000 IVF pregnancies compared to 6 deaths per 100,000 pregnancies overall).”


    That web page shows links to: IVF treatment; failure of treatment; ovarian stimulation; multiple pregnancy; egg collection, and ectopic pregnancy.

    It mentions neither sperm donors, sources of sperm nor fathers.

    Most importantly, although it mentions women as “patients”, it says nothing about the quality of the children that will result, what to do about unwanted multiple pregnancies, and the chances that the resulting children can expect to be patients who do not live long or very complicated lives.

    However, already the next of a series of 22 web pages on IVF complications at that website already mentions that, “A significant portion of normal embryos are chromosomally abnormal and this proportion increases with advanced maternal age.” http://www.ivf-infertility.com/ivf/standard/complications/failure.php

    Still, that web page says nothing about what those chromosomal abnormalities may entail and how large that “significant proportion” is. I suppose that if we were to ask those children, if they live long enough, those that are capable of answering may provide some information on what those abnormalities may be and whether they are bothered by them.

    One of the web pages in the series identifies amongst other complications that the resulting fetuses will have an incidence-rate of moderate to severe handicaps that ranges from 65% in the 23rd week of gestation to less than 10% in the 28th week of gestation, which should make one wonder what it could possibly be than makes that incidence rate decline with the duration of gestation. The answer to that must be that the fetus will die on account of either spontaneous miscarriage or induced abortion.

    That web page also mentions that the survival rate over the same interval range ranges from 15% to 90%.

    Think about that for a moment. If you are a woman wanting to become a mother after natural methods did not make you pregnant, will you be willing to run the risk of becoming pregnant several times before you are finally able to give birth to a child whose chances of having a moderate to severe chromosomal abnormality are one in ten?

    There seems little point in learning more about the risky process of fooling Mother Nature for the sake of having a child whose chances of being abnormal are unacceptably high.

  2. marijkegbe


    Marijke here – it is my story you have linked to and commented on in this post. It is disappointing that you reproduced only a small section of our story to promote your own agenda. There were many references to Gabby’s dad in the story and what a great relationship we have with him and how involved he is in our daughter’s life. Not much was mentioned about his side of the family to respect their privacy.

    We chose to have a known donor dad for our daughter so she would have the opportunity to have a relationship with him. We could have chosen to have an unknown donor. We could have chosen to not allow or encourage a relationship between Gabby and her dad. But ultimately it is her right to know her dad and it is our responsibility to do our best for our child.

    I would hope that she would consider donating blood, organs or eggs to help others when she is older as her parents have done, but it would be her choice. She may encourage her partner in years to come to donate sperm too, or she may not, as is her right.

    Yes it was expensive, but we are all willing to pay differnt amounts to enrich our lives in various ways. We chose to bring a very much wanted child into a loving family through negotiation, honesty, respect and love. She was planned, wanted and every preperation was made for her arrival, which is more than I can say for many children being born today.

    I hope I have addressed some of your concerns. Comprehensive info on success rates and prices in Australia can be found on SIVF website: http://www.sivf.com.au


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