Who the IVF are they?
When Louise Brown was born in 1978 she was the first IVF person in the world. Now, it 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.
In 1988 when I was ten years old my family appeared on the Wogan Show – a major chat show in the UK – and the subject was the controversial ways people were fighting infertility.
It was the last time I saw Patrick Steptoe, the amazing gynaecologist who helped my mum to have me. Also on the programme was Kim Cotton, who was at that time still at the centre of a storm of media attention as she had been paid to have a baby on another couple’s behalf for an American agency.
I met up with Kim again recently when she invited me to a meeting of COTS – Childlessness Overcome by Surrogacy – an organisation she formed to help people through surrogacy.
Thankfully a lot of the controversy and criticism that Kim Cotton faced 30 years ago has now died down, but surrogacy is still a difficult route for an infertile couple to having a baby, and surrogates also have many issues to overcome.
COTS is a place where surrogates and would-be parents can share their collective experience and be guided through the process of a surrogate journey. There is also a splinter group called Triangle, where members can actively seek to match potential surrogates and intended parents.
Surrogacy has grown enormously since the controversial days in that London TV studio and, of course, is important to many same sex couples wanting a family. For those wanting to know the legalities of surrogacy and whether it is right for them COTS provide expert vital information and experience from those who have successfully been through it.
To find out more about COTS click here