Planning Parenthood: Strategies for Success in Fertility Assistance, Adoption, and Surrogacy

John Hopkins University Press

Jill Hayes, PhD and coauthors Rebecca Clark, MD, PhD, Gloria Richard-Davis MD, Katherine Theall, PhD, and Michelle Murphy, JD.

From the Publisher: Specialist authors first describe fertility assistance, surrogacy, and adoption, clearly outlining the requirements of each strategy. They compare the medical, emotional, financial, and legal investments and risks involved with each of these options. Then they introduce the issues that people will need to consider when deciding which path to parenthood is best for them. Along the way these experts offer encouragement for changing course under any number of circumstances. Supporting the detailed information in this book are personal stories of the often long, winding, and emotional road to parenthood — from in vitro fertilization to egg donation to surrogacy to adoption. Armed with professional knowledge and inspired by the experiences of others who have gone before them, prospective parents will be informed and reassured by this unique resource.

Dr. Jill Hayes brings to life the psychological elements in this authoritative yet practical work that assists readers over the complicated and serious personal journey of infertility. Writing with her colleagues from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, she helps combine the medical and psychological landscape for the modern woman or man who is part of the more than one million couples seeking help to become a parent. The educational track of the book is amplified by personal accounts of individuals’ journeys, and rounded out with legal perspectives.

Planning Parenthood covers the depth and breath of this important topic by tapping the knowledge, wisdom, and empathy of five female authors—two physicians (Clark, Richard-Davis), an epidemiologist (Theall), and attorney (Murphy), and psychologist Dr. Jill Hayes. The authors produce a readable, timely and reliable work for those dealing with the emotionally complicated situation of infertility.

“I was in the right place at the right time,” Jill answered as to how she became a coauthor. “Dr. Clark and I both had fertility problems. She and I had worked at the HIV Clinic in New Orleans together for a number of years, had written another book together, and had enjoyed that process. So she asked me to be a coauthor with her on her newest book.”

“Dr. Clark identified a niche that had not been filled by the various books on fertility and other pathways to becoming parents. Her vision was to provide prospective parents with a “cost-benefit analysis” of the various ways they could become parents, including discussions of the pro’s and con’s of the various methods, and inform future parents of when enough was enough and when it was time to move on to the next step.”

As to writing with coauthors, Jill notes that it was, “Painless for me.” She said, “Dr. Clark may not say the same for working with me. She’s great taskmaster. Her gentle nudging was just the right touch to make me meet most of the deadlines.” But it wasn’t always easy to find time to write. “The two biggest issues for me were carving big blocks of time out of my schedule to do the research and writing that was necessary, and then making myself write instead of the 20 million other things that seemed much more important, like rearranging my sock drawer.”

While Jill admits it might sound like a cliché, she said that the most fulfilling part of writing is “helping people during troubling times.” She was stunned when she found out her first book was going to be reviewed by the New York Times. But then, she said, “I realized that our book was going to help many, many people.”

The authors have produced a compassionate, informative guide for the growing number of couples who receive fertility assistance, seek information about surrogacy, or benefit from help in changing directions toward the choice of adoption. Planning Parenthood is available at bookstores everywhere.

Jill Hayes, Ph.D., is a clinical neuropsychologist in private practice and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center.

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