Click here for a Reading Group Guide for The Gulf with discussion questions. If you'd like Belle to join your book club's discussion via Skype, email her at belleboggs [at] gmail [dot com].
A collection of the resources I mention in The Art of Waiting or that were suggested to me by people I interviewed is below. If you have additional suggestions you'd like to contribute, please email me: belleboggs (at) gmail (dot) com.
RESOLVE: The National Infertility Organization (resolve.org): a national nonprofit that provides education and resources for, and advocates on behalf of, women and men experiencing infertility or reproductive disorders. Their web site offers medical information about infertility; suggestions for emotional coping; practical guides for interviewing doctors, adoption professionals, and therapists; guides to family building options including adoption and ART; and links to online support communities. RESOLVE also offers free training to people who want to start peer-led support groups, and Resolve.org offers contact information for its 261 support groups in 44 states, plus D.C. The support group I mention throughout the book is a general RESOLVE infertility support group. Some cities offer more specific groups that are focused, for example, on secondary infertility or adoption.
Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss (nationalshare.org): "a community for anyone who experiences the tragic death of a baby." Share's 75 chapters in 29 states welcome parents, grandparents, siblings, and other family members to their support groups and events, and their website provides information for bereaved family members and their caregivers.
Fertility for Colored Girls (http://fertilityforcoloredgirls.org): a nonprofit devoted to education and awareness about reproductive health in the African American community. The organization has chapters in Chicago, D.C., Richmond, and Atlanta and also hosts online events and fundraisers.
The Broken Brown Egg (thebrokenbrownegg.org): Regina Townsend's blog about her own experience with infertility, including discussions and education about infertility in the African American community, as well as a long list of African American and minority infertility resources that Townsend has collected.
Inspire (inspire.com): a privately held company that offers online patient communities for people with a number of health and wellness concerns, including infertility. They are partnered with RESOLVE in two online communities: finding a resolution for infertility and living after infertility resolution. More at: https://www.inspire.com/partners/resolve/.
The Noah Z. M. Goetz Foundation (nzmgfoundation.org): education and financial assistance to infertile couples and individuals pursuing domestic adoption. Domestic Adoption 101 is a two-hour group workshop offered in the Triangle area of North Carolina for a small fee; Domestic Adoption 102 is offered one-on-one and is available in person or by phone or video conference. The nonprofit foundation also offers grants of $1000 each, which are intended to help offset the cost of infant domestic adoption.
Adoptive Families Magazine (adoptivefamilies.com): a quarterly digital magazine for adoptive-parents-to-be and families raising children through adoption. Their website provides access to articles about every stage of the adoption process.
Adoption.net: an online resource for parents, birth mothers, and adoptees that provides information and online forums about foster care and adoption.
Creating a Family (creatingafamily.org): a national nonprofit organization providing information and resources about infertility and pre and post adoptive families. Creating a Family hosts a weekly radio show that is available online, publishes a newsletter, is active on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Infertility and the Creative Spirit, co-written by clinical psychologist Roxane Head Dinkin and history professor Robert J. Dinkin: The authors, who could not have children themselves, use the life stories of seven prominent women to make the argument that those who want children but cannot have them often channel their desire into lasting creative accomplishments.
Silent Sorority by Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos: a memoir of Tsigdinos’s experience of moving on after unsuccessful fertility treatments. Tsigdinos also maintains a blog with insights and commentary about living childfree after infertility on her website, silentsorority.com.
RESOLVE also offers resources and personal stories related to childfree living at www.resolve.org/family-building-options/living_childfree/.
Pay it Forward Fertility Foundation (payitforwardfertility.org): a nonprofit organization providing financial assistance to couples who could not otherwise afford IVF. payitforwardfertility.org.
The Tiniana Q. Cade Foundation (cadefoundation.org): a nonprofit that provides information and financial assistance to needy couples embarking on medical fertility treatment or adoption. The foundation's website has a lengthy list of additional resources related to grants for adoption and fertility treatment, access to discount medications, and fundraising.
See the Noah Z.M. Goetz foundation, above.
"Recovery from Traumatic Loss: A Study of Women Living Without Children After Infertility" by Marni Rosner (http://repository.upenn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1020&context=edissertations_sp2 ): a comprehensive guide to the common struggles of infertile women. Dr. Rosner is also a psychotherapist practicing in New York, and treats individuals and couples struggling with anxiety, relationship issues, trauma, loss, and infertility.
Open Path Collective (openpathcollective.org): a nationwide group of licensed mental health professionals who have agreed to provide in-office psychotherapeutic treatment for rates that range between $30-50 a session. The website is searchable by specialty, including infertility, and some therapists offer remote therapy through Skype.
Path2Parenthood (path2parenthood.org): a nonprofit "committed to helping people create their families of choice," has a searchable database of mental health professionals specializing in infertility and family building.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (cdc.gov/ART/index.html): federal agency that collects and publishes information related to ART and fertility. The CDC releases an annual report of statistics and success rates from more than 440 ART clinics nationwide, and their page of patient resources includes links to clinical trials.
The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (sart.org): a nonprofit that collects and publishes information from more than 90% of the ART clinics in America. Their web site allows you to search for clinics by zip code or state and view corresponding IVF success rates by age, diagnosis, treatment type, and number of embryos transferred.
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (reproductivefacts.org): a nonprofit that offers patient information and outreach. Their website includes access to studies and medical journals, fact sheets and information booklets (also in Spanish), information about fertility after cancer treatment, a state-by-state guide to insurance laws, and educational videos.
Love's Promises by Martha Ertman: a book about the power of contracts in what Ertman calls "Plan B Family Formation." Ertman provides a detailed overview of the way formal and informal contracts affect families, including those formed through assisted reproductive technologies and surrogacy. The book also includes sample contracts for cohabitation, coparenting, and third party reproduction.
The Family Equality Council (familyequality.org): an organization that "connects, supports, and represents the three million parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer in this country and their six million children." Their website, is a good resource for information about protecting the legal status and rights of family members and children, as well as state-by-state guides to nondiscrimination laws, adoption and foster care laws, parental recognition laws, and family leave laws.
Center for Infertility Justice (resolve.org/get-involved/the-center-for-infertility-justice/federal-legislation/): this RESOLVE program monitors and lobbies state and federal legislative issues related to infertility, the practice of ART, and adoption, including the Family Act, the Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act, Reproductive Treatment for Certain Disabled Veterans, and the Women Veterans and Families Health Services Act.
Rage to Redemption in the Sterilization Age by John Railey: a powerful overview of the history of the eugenics-based sterilization program in North Carolina and the ultimately successful fight for compensation for its victims. Railey, a longtime reporter, columnist, and editor for the Winston-Salem Journal, has written about eugenics-based sterilization for more than a decade.
My piece of longform journalism about eugenics-based sterilization and North Carolina's victims and advocates, "For the Public Good," was published in 2013 by The New New South.