When Louise Brown was born in 1978 she became the first IVF person in the world. Now, IVF is a worldwide phenomenon with thousands of organisations devoted to fertility issues
Each month Louise Brown will look at a single organisation and explain what they do and how they support fertility issues.
This month she takes a look at RESOLVE USA, an organisation that has been running since the early 1970s
“When I was 15 years old I flew to Washington DC with my parents to attend a reception in the historic Union Station as a guest of RESOLVE – the National Infertility Association. It was the first time I knew about them.
“I was there with Bob Edwards, the genius who invented IVF with the science that led to my birth and Howard Jones, who was responsible for the first IVF baby in the USA – Elizabeth Carr.
“A few days later we went to Montreal in Canada where Bob Edwards and my family were presented with the Barbara Eck Award. Barbara Eck founded RESOLVE in 1974. She was a nurse who had set up a “hotline” and support group to help infertile couples in her own home, after experiencing difficulties herself in accessing the help she needed on her fertility journey.
“When we were in Montreal we were told the kitchen table helpline had grown to a nationwide organisation with over 25,000 members.
“RESOLVE is still going strong today. It provides free support groups in more than 200 communities; is the leading patient advocacy voice; and serves as the go-to organization for anyone who finds challenges in building a family in the USA.
“The RESOLVE support groups can help people at certain points of the infertility experience: when faced with making a difficult decision, when embarking on new parenting options, or when dealing with a major loss.
A typical comment from a support group member is: “This was a group of people who knew my pain and did not judge me for it. We shared in each other heartbreaks and celebrated each other’s successes. These men and women cried with me when I cried and made me laugh at times I didn’t know laughter was possible.”
“In the USA access to help in having a family can be impacted by insurance coverage and by state or federal legislation. The advocacy part of RESOLVE helps people advocate for insurance coverage and for legislation that improves their options, and to fight legislation that restricts options. In recent years, RESOLVE has seen an increasing need to bring together the community, including patients, families and experts, to ensure that voices are heard and issues are addressed.
“RESOLVE is also a great source of information for those with fertility issues. It is fantastic that an organization started by one woman – four years before IVF came about – has now grown into a strong organization that is a huge source of help. I have put some links below to help people source support from RESOLVE.”
To read more about how the wonderful RESOLVE can help you on your journey, click on each of the links below.