Just hosted the National Jewish Fertility Network video conference about adoption. Experts represented an amazing array of approaches – adoption agency, adoption support, law firm, and Jewish adoption advocacy. Indeed adoption is a very Jewish and beautiful pathway to parenthood. These experts helped educate Hasidah and others in the Jewish community supporting family building. We learned more about the benefits, issues, and challenges of adoption as well as how to support those considering adoption.

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Lots of news articles and social media posts say what to do to combat infertility, how to get pregnant, 5 ways to “fix” your infertility, or other simple solutions to painful, complex and difficult barriers to building your family. These articles may have some new research to share or possibly an intention to be helpful, but often thinking an easy solution exists leads us to more disappointment

Summary of the these answers: make healthy choices and seek support and advice. No silver bullet exists. Be skeptical of anyone who gives a simple “solution” or any advice without knowing a whole lot about what is happening in your situation.

To save you reading about the magical powers of walnuts, the new research on smoking, the ancient techniques that still work in the 21st century, the secrets to infinite fertility, and how you can take control of your womb/sperm/ovaries/reproductive health, here are the basics that summarize most of those articles:

Eat a healthy diet if you are not
Quit smoking if you are smoking
Lose weight if you have a lot of excess
Be kind to yourself if you are struggling
Find support if you are feeling alone

Notice that this doesn’t even begin to diagnose the majority of fertility issues or speak about treatment or other family building options. These basics alone take some effort to maintain.  No silver bullet can do them for you.

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Hasidah organized the first National Jewish Infertility Network teleconference on September 3, 2014 .  The goal of the first conversation included identifying the challenges and opportunities for infertility support in the Jewish community and outlining underlying issues to address in the Jewish community with regards to infertility. The conversations included lay leaders, Jewish professionals, and representatives from organizations including including The Red Stone, Uprooted, Priya, and New York Jewish Free Loan Society.

Hasidah’s threefold focus (awareness, network navigation and financial assistance) was developed with change in mind: awareness leads to more interest and resources, which helps develop a network of support and provide financial assistance for medical treatment. Another outcome we seek in the area of awareness and networking is the empowerment of those interested in making change in the Jewish community in regards to infertility and raising the level of conversation and action surrounding infertility. It was with that in mind that the first National Jewish Infertility Network teleconference was established. The group will be meeting again to continue the dialog in early October.

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