Dr. Kaylen Silverberg provides testimony to the Texas House Committee on Public Health in support of bill sponsored by State Rep. John Raney
Austin, Texas – April 14, 2015 – Reproductive endocrinologist Dr. Kaylen Silverberg, on the front lines alongside the 1 in 7 couples battling infertility in this country, testified on behalf of House Bill 1145 which would position Texas as the first state in the nation to consider creating a clearinghouse to connect couples who wish to donate embryos to couples who desire to receive them.
Infertility affects over 7.3 million couples in the U.S. Despite the fact that infertility is one of the few medical diseases that is curable, the treatment of infertility is rarely covered by insurance. Having access to unused frozen embryos would provide an affordable solution for many couples who cannot afford traditional IVF to build their families.
“Due to lack of clarity in the law, the absence of a mechanism for easy embryo donation, and potential exorbitant legal costs involved in developing ‘one off’ solutions, frozen embryos remain in a sort of legal limbo and remain unused, doing no one any good,” says Dr. Silverberg.
Silverberg, a longtime infertility advocate both here in Austin and in Washington D.C., says that HB1145 would create a process for transferring embryo ownership from a couple who is more than willing to donate the embryos to a couple who is more than willing to receive them.
Texas Fertility Center has worked closely with the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) to suggest modifications that would enhance HB1145, such as ensuring that the Health and Human Services Commission allows for the donators of the embryo to remain anonymous should they choose, and differentiating between embryo donation and embryo adoption, as these are not interchangeable terms.
“A major problem has always been legal and financial hurdles surrounding the term ‘adoption,’” says Dr. Silverberg. “Embryo adoption creates a boon for attorneys, while donation of embryos for reproductive purposes is fundamentally a medical procedure.”
Texas Fertility Center physicians and staff support a Bill that would be a beautiful “win-win” for the infertility community.
“An embryo registry would allow for potential donor couples to give their embryos to a couple who desires nothing more than to have their own child,” says Dr. Silverberg. “Potential recipient couples are waiting to hear that there is a solution that would allow them to receive these embryos, carry them to term, and raise them in a loving environment as their own.”
HB1145 paves the way for frozen embryos to achieve their potential and infertile couples to resolve infertility.
“We are very supportive of anything that will make it easier for our patients to donate and receive embryos,” added Dr. Silverberg. “We acknowledge that there is a big problem with thousands of embryos [currently stored in cryobanks] that couples would love to donate and others would love to receive.
Texas Fertility Center is asking patients and friends of the infertility community to contact their representatives in support of legislation that puts the weight of the State of Texas behind previous embryo donation laws and establishes a registry to facilitate embryo donation.
HB1145 moved from committee meeting on April 14, 2015 to the floor for a vote and then over to the Senate.
About Texas Fertility Center
Texas Fertility Center (TFC), one of the nation’s leading full-service infertility practices, provides advanced Infertility and Reproductive Endocrinology services to patients throughout Texas, the Southwestern United States, and the Americas. Since 1980, TFC has been recognized nationally for outstanding pregnancy rates, cutting-edge laboratory procedures, and innovative research programs. For more information, please visit www.txfertility.com.
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