Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-12-13



Building a family through surrogacy: One couple's story
Third part of a series on LGBT surrogacy
by Charlsie Dewey

This article shared 18193 times since Wed Jul 27, 2011
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Ashley Hemphill has always known that she would have a family that included children. Once she realized she was not going to be in a heterosexual relationship, she said it never occurred to her that children might not be a part of that future.

Today, Hemphill and her partner Pam Netzky, who live in Chicago, have experienced two successful in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures with the help of Fertility Centers of Illinois (FCI) and aParent IVF.

"We had a couple of straight friends who had used Dr. Brian Kaplan [physician at FCI] when they were having some fertility issues and highly recommended him," Ashley said. "From the moment we met him, it was truly love. He makes you feel comfortable and he is just the sweetest man. I can't say enough good things about him, truthfully."

Hemphill and Netzky decided that they would use Netzky's eggs, but that Hemphill would carry the baby.

"I guess I felt, having been adopted, I am very clear on the reality that it doesn't matter that you are biologically related to have this feeling of family and this is your parent, and love, but Netzky wasn't adopted. I felt like it would allow her to feel closer to the baby, because even though she wasn't giving birth, she would know that it was her's. I knew that for me that wouldn't be an issue."

Once they had made the decision to have a baby through IVF and had met with Kaplan, the couple had to face the issues of legal documents and insurance coverage.

"The first thing we needed to do, because we are not married, is we had to get our own lawyers and have legal documents drawn up to ensure that all of the parameters of how we were going to raise this child and allowing the child to be adopted would be handled as soon as the baby was born. This would ensure that if anything happened between Netzky and I, that because we did this together, the original intent would be there so we would both be able to raise the child. In Illinois, the birth mother is actually the legal parent. So even though biologically they were Netzky's children I was legally the mother so I had to let Netzky adopt her own children."

Hemphill also worked with her insurance company to get the approval for the procedures.

Kaplan explained that insurance can be a trickier issue for a same-sex couple, having to prove that they have been trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant for a certain period of time. Still, he said that his organization works with the couples to help them make their case for special approval from their insurance.

Just like any other IVF couple that might be using someone else's eggs or a carrier, Hemphill and Netzky also had to go through a list of required screenings, including medical history and psychological testing, to qualify for the procedure.

Several shots were necessary to prepare for the pregnancy, but the first cycle was a success. Hemphill found out that she was pregnant after the first IVF cycle. She then said she had another series of shots, 72 shots to be exact, for more than two months. The couple had their son Brody in 2006.

After a year had gone by Hemphill and Netzky began the process for a second pregnancy. During the initial IVF cycle they had chosen to freeze Netzky's eggs for a future pregnancy.

Hemphill said that after the first time had been so easy, getting pregnant so quickly, the couple hadn't really considered that the second time might not go as smoothly.

"They actually did testing at the lab for a number of genetic issues, and we are really happy that they did because with this second round there were a number that looked good on the surface, but after getting the genetic testing back would not have made it through the full pregnancy."

In the end, Hemphill did get pregnant during the following cycle and delivered the pair's second baby boy, Landon, in 2009.

Even with the challenges, Hemphill recommends IVF to other couples struggling to have a baby.

She noted, "When you think about all the people who are at FCI not for the reasons that we are, because we are a same-sex couple, but because they truly have tried for years to get pregnant and just haven't been able to and they've tried cycle after cycle. For us, you have to keep it in perspective, which is, we've been so lucky."

This article shared 18193 times since Wed Jul 27, 2011
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By


Gay News

First Queer and BIPOC-owned Illinois cannabis company opens Northalsted dispensary
A small group gathered April 12 at 3340 N. Halsted St. to celebrate the grand opening of a historic new Northalsted business. SWAY, Illinois' first queer and BIPOC-owned cannabis company, marked the opening of its dispensary ...

Gay News

VIEWPOINT Meditation on the killing of journalists
Trigger warning: I am a journalist and I read newspapers. I've been reading newspapers since I first learned to read. Newspapers were a lively part of the daily life in my family. I even wrote letters ...

Gay News

David E. Munar reflects on Howard Brown leadership and new Columbus, Ohio post
On April 1, David E. Munar started his tenure as CEO of the Columbus, Ohio-based non-profit health system Equitas. The date marked the latest chapter for Munar, who previously helmed AIDS Foundation Chicago and, most recently, ...

Gay News

UK's NHS releases trans youth report; JK Rowling chimes in
An independent report issued by the UK's National Health Service (NHS) declared that children seeking gender care are being let down, The Independent reported. The report—published on April 10 and led by pediatrician and former Royal ...

Gay News

LPAC, Arizona LGBTQ officials denounce Arizona Supreme Court ruling on abortion
--From a press release - Washington, DC — Yesterday, in a decision that starkly undermines reproductive freedoms, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled to enforce a 160-year-old law that criminalizes abortion and penalizes healthcare providers who ...

Gay News

For Deb Robertson, the end-of-life issue is very real
For just about everyone, life is hard enough. However, talking about ending that life—especially when one is terminally ill—is just as difficult. Ten states have authorized medical aid in dying, although Illinois is not one of ...

Gay News

KFF survey shows extent of LGBT-related discrimination
KFF—an independent source of health policy research, polling and journalism—released "LGBT Adults' Experiences with Discrimination and Health Care Disparities: Findings from the KFF Survey of Racism, Discrimination, and Health." This ...

Gay News

NATIONAL mpox, Trans+ Day of Visibility, police items, Best Buy, Gentili's death
The CDC has concluded that mpox cases are on the rise in the United States, increasing to almost double what they were at the same time last year, according to ABC News. There is a national year-to-date estimate of 511 cases ...

Gay News

DoJ accuses Utah of bias against incarcerated trans woman
The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) filed a lawsuit against the State of Utah, including the Utah Department of Corrections (UDOC), alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ...

Gay News

How safe are we really? A look into Illinois' LGBTQ+ protections as hate rises nationwide
Illinois has long been known to have some of the strongest LGBTQ+ legal protections in the country. Its first anti-discrimination laws go back several decades, and the state boasts a wide variety of protections of LGBTQ+ ...

Gay News

Munar starts as head of Columbus LGBTQ+ health organization
Former Howard Brown Health CEO and President David Munar will now head the Columbus, Ohio-based LGBTQ+ health provider Equitas. Munar began his new position as Equitas CEO on April 1, Columbus Dispatch reported. "I am honored ...

Gay News

First of LGBTQ+-owned dispensaries set to open in Northalsted
By Tatiana Walk-Morris - Since 1970, 3340 N Halsted St. had been the home of the Townhall Pub, the beloved cash-only dive bar known for its tasty drinks and friendly staff. But after Townhall's former owner William Bucholtz passed away ...

Gay News

Chicago's transgender community kicks off Transgender Week of Visibility with daylong conference, resource fair
Transgender community leaders, allies and politicians kicked off a weeklong celebration of transgender visibility in Chicago with a one-day conference and resource fair. More than 100 community members attended the ...

Gay News

Biden administration's LGBTQ+-health expert discusses equity goals
Adrian Shanker, who advises Biden administration officials on a broad range of issues pertaining to LGBTQ+ health, has ensuring access to competent medical care for all LGBTQ Americans as a key part of his job description. ...

Gay News

WORLD Israel court, conversion therapy, death sentences, Georgia bill, fashion items
Israel's Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the Population Authority must register female couples as mothers on the birth certificates of their children they have together, The Washington Blade reported. The decision was made following a petition ...


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.