Cry for Help from Young Woman Conceived with IVF

I hate to start the new year with a sad post, but if we can help this young woman, it will be worth it. Her e-mail broke my heart. It is a cry for help from someone who mourns the loss of her siblings that didn't make it. It is also a look at the darker-side of IVF that no one wants to talk about: the massive loss of life inherent in the IVF process. She writes:
I was wondering if you knew of any websites or resources that support people struggling after being conceived using IVF. I've been searching and searching online, and I've been unable to find a single source of advice.

I was one of three embryos created in the process, but I was the only one who survived. I mourn my siblings every single day. I can't talk about them with my parents, because bringing the subject up inevitably causes fights, and they don't feel the way I in the do. They don't regret what they did, they don't see anything wrong with IVF, and they don't count my siblings as members of the family. They never bring them up in conversation, and when I talk about them, they'll concede that they are my siblings, but it's only to make me feel better. I don't think they really believe it. If they did, they'd regret what they did. When people asked how many children they had, they'd say three. They'd talk about them as members of the family, and say how much they wished they could be there at Christmas and birthdays. My mum would light candles for them at church and have Masses said for them. But it's just me. I'm the only one who seems to care about them.

It hurts me every time I see in the news something about IVF, because the media treats it as if it's okay. There's never any mention that people die during the process. I don't even know if there's anyone else out there who feels the same way I do. If there is, I've never met them. Sometimes, I feel like a freak. The only person I've found who understands me at all is my local priest, who I've spoken to about everything, but I can't be bothering him all the time! It'd be nice to have someone else who understood.
The support groups I know of are for those conceived with donor gametes. I do not know of any support groups for those conceived with IVF without donor sperm or egg.

Does anyone know of a group that could help this young woman? Her pain is very real, but I am sure when she talks about it, she is dismissed and told that she should just be grateful for her life. She needs others who can understand what she is feeling.

Rebecca Taylor blogs at Mary Meets Dolly


  1. I don't know of an ivf specific group, but there is a great group of Catholic women at the Real Catholic Moms Facebook group who are tremendously supportive. And, you don't have to be a mom to join. It is closed, but if she says that she was referred, I'm sure she'd have no issues joining. In the meantime, I will pray for her. What a burden to bear!

  2. Yesterday I saw a news that animal rights activists wrote this to a student:"If you had died as a child, no one would have given a damn.":

    And I think to myself this is a terrible think to say, but they are right, unfortunately. I think this woman knows it.


  3. I have a 4 half siblings lost to abortion. I think about them a lot and ask them to pray for me along with the two babies I lost to miscarriage. I don't bring them up with my parents b/c there are so many hard and painful feelings involved. I've never looked for a support group, but I perhaps I'll bring it up with my women's group at Church. I can't be the only one with this experience.

  4. It is crucial that the Church provide specific help to those who were conceived in the terrible inhuman system of IVF. They ought to be offered acknowledgement, consolation and support. I remember once speaking to the mother of a child that had been produced to order in a laboratory dish - when I offered my condolences on the death of the two children who didn't survive, the mother refused to acknowledge their humanity. That is the attitude that IVF supports in people - the embryo human is just a thing that you can make to order, use or discard as you wish. At some later arbitrary point you can decide that he or she is a person and not your possession and the means to your desired end. I remember feeling cold and shaky when I heard the mother refer to her two children in this dismissive, calculating way.

  5. To be fair, there are many pro-life Protestant infertility specialists who insist on implanting every embryo they create through IVF. As Catholics, we know that the IVF process is immoral, but it is important to acknowledge that not all physicians who do IVF are responsible for the deaths of embryos.

    1. The reason that three of the embryo humans are usually implanted in the womb in each "round" of IVF, is that one or two at least will usually die. The norm among IVF practitioners is to "cultivate" at least eight embryos per "round" so that the "best" can be chosen for implantation, making the chances of "success" greater over fewer "rounds". It's still a numbers game - if fewer embryos are facilitated in coming into being in a single round (so that all are implanted in the womb) then more rounds of IVF are generally "required" before the goal is attained.

  6. Read Humana vitae. It addresses a lot of the dehumanizing effects of treating reproduction as any other process. Regarding support groups, I know of only the one, holy Catholic and apostolic church as the support group for everything that ails you. Look there first. It holds what God has revealed to us.

  7. Unfortunately the net seems focussed solely on the parents issues. There is one site:

    where children of IVF can have a say.

    Will pray for her.

    God Bless and keep you.

  8. After having suffered from infertility and not choosing ivf I ended up doing a term paper on it for my Master's degree 25 years later. IVF is one of those times when desperate people decide that the ends justify the means. It is unjust on soooo many levels. The pain of this "survivor" is just one example.

  9. To the other me: I don’t know if you will check back, but I hope you can find support in that group. I feel that you may get support especially from women who have had miscarriages because they have felt in a deep way what that loss is to them. I think they would identify with your pain over siblings, having carried their own pain and dealt with society's dismissal of the lives of their children. (I've had 4.) Anyway, I hope you find peace! It's a hard burden to carry when it's unacknowledged. I've also lost 5 siblings to miscarriage/infant death. It's hard. I hear you! (((((((Hugs!))))))))

  10. For the most part, the pro-life movement has lagged behind in speaking out against IVF as a violation of human life & human dignity. My prayer goes out to this woman & all those whose lives are lost through IVF.

  11. Hopefully she'll but th priest every time she's despairing.. That's what he's there for!
    The great tragedy of the scandal is that there are all these wonderful priests who can be perfect father figures for the legion of children abused by their leftist parents, but bitter, hateful secularists spread myths that it's the priests who are unsafe, despite that they have much lower rates of abuse than any other authority figure.
    It's still such a tragedy what Satan has done with the priesthood in the West.

  12. The prolife organisations ought to be able to help this lady find some support.

  13. As a Pro-Life Psychiatrist, I have come across this before. It is a complicated bereavement reaction because no-one is willing to validate your loss. I would be happy to help in any way I can, considering that I have no idea where the lady comes from. I can be contacted at

  14. She's not alone. My sister used IVF and it's been a mourning process -- but not for the rest of my family, who think it's ok. I get it; it feels like it's a cross to know the truth. She IS NOT ALONE, and she is in my prayers.


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