Support in Family Building Options

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    While a cancer diagnosis and treatment is an extreme hurdle for these patients, the thought of a life and future with others after the treatment can propose another obstacle.  It is evident in this video that both Jose and his girlfriend (Cheryl) are looking forward to expanding their lives together and building a family.  One of the most important things I believe the social worker did well in this discussion is providing examples that this couple isn’t alone in this process, that a good percentage go through this same obstacle regardless of cancer being a cofactor.  The social worker provided a natural option (adoption) and assistive reproductive technologies.  Although, she acknowledged that Cheryl hopes to be “pregnant”, which would not be available through adoption.  Religion and community support seems to be an important aspect of this couples outlook on fertility methods.  As technology has skyrocketed over the years, religion is slowly coming to terms with modern fertility methods.  As Cheryl expressed, she stated that these assistive reproductive technologies are viewed as “sci-fi” from many of her supporters. One of the options the social worker provided both Cheryl and Jose, both of which seemed extremely optimistic towards was a peer support group regarding infertility.

    I, myself, reside in Atlanta, Georgia, which many of my friends, peers and patients rely on a religious supportive community.  Despite a cancer diagnosis, I have friends who face infertility and fear talking to their churches about support as their religion does not believe in assistive reproductive technologies.  I have one friend in particular, who feels much like Cheryl, and shelters herself from this dependable support system as she fears stigmatism.  Social support groups and counseling could benefit both Jose and Cheryl in preparation for and during infertility treatment.  These infertility support groups offer services to families, individuals, and couples with numerous infertility sources.  Atlanta fertility offers the ability to cope with stress, emotional distress, decision-making, and communication techniques with partners.  Support groups is a an inexpensive (sometimes free) resource to these patients, as Jose said, the infertility process is expensive process, and this is resource that provides financial relief.

    As technology is very prominent in our daily lives, it could be beneficial for this couple to reach out and see what individuals have experienced through online blogs.  Through careful online searches, it could provide them immediate relief that they are not alone.  The social worker could provide them with these resources that have worked for other families/couples and also provide them with physicians in REI that have a strong religious background.

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