Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Special Guest: Lisa Leibow!
WHAT MAKES A FAMILY?
A family need not be a mother, father, sister, brother. Thankfully, we live in a diverse world. Today, in any random-neighborhood, suburban street, or city block, a single mother with three children, might live next to a couple who, married for the second time, blended their families like The Brady Bunch. Across the street might live two, happily-married, gay men with their four-year-old, adopted daughter. Three houses down, a dual-income husband and wife have been married for years but struggle with infertility.
As the infertile couple works with a doctor, they are likely to investigate the myriad of options available for them to start a family. They might look into domestic and international adoption, they could try artificial insemination, or more invasive procedures, like in vitro fertilization. If the husband learns he has problems with sperm morphology or mobility, they might look into obtaining donor sperm. If the wife’s eggs are not viable, they might consider donor eggs. They might even begin to investigate opportunities to obtain donor embryos.
If successful, either in adopting or giving birth using assisted reproductive technologies, the infertile couple may raise a child not biologically-related to one or both of them. Back to my initial question: What makes a family? Certainly, biological relation does bind some to their families. However, it need not be a factor. To me, it doesn’t matter how the family came to be, unconditional love, support, a sense of belonging are the hallmarks of family.
What’s striking about my debut novel, Double Out and Back is that it explores from a literary perspective, some of the social issues faced by a generation that has more options than ever when it comes to starting a family. What fascinates me is that when it comes right down to it, even with the technological advancements in reproduction and healthcare, families still must rely on one another to thrive.
Lisa Lipkind Leibow is the author of Double Out and Back (Red Rose Publishing), which takes the reader on the roller-coaster ride of infertility treatments as seen through the eyes of three women.
Originally a lawyer, Lisa traded the billable hour lifestyle for fiction writing. Lisa’s work has also appeared in Pisgah Review. She lives and writes in Northern Virginia with her husband, three sons, a clumber spaniel, and two red-eared sliders.
You can learn more about Lisa and her writing at www.LLLeibow.com.
Double Out and Back available now from Red Rose Publishing.
Not every woman who rides the fertility treatment roller coaster winds up like Octomom!
Who will find friends, family, and fertility?
Three women’s lives are intricately intertwined, as Amelia Schwartz and Summer Curtis struggle with the complex dynamics of intrafamily embryo adoption, and Chandy Markum strives to make her patients’ dreams a reality.
After more than a decade, of mourning her parents’ deaths, anal-retentive Amelia Schwartz decides to take control of her life, pursuing single motherhood via embryo adoption. While her fertility doctor, Chandy, is preoccupied with the destruction of the cosmopolitan Cape Town of her youth and her first love in apartheid-torn South Africa, believing all is lost, her niece, a young, married, overachieving attorney Summer Curtis, juggles zealous career ambitions, demanding bosses, and friction with her husband over family and fertility issues. They must confront the painful reality that, no matter what technology humans devise to manipulate reproduction, prolong life, and construct family units, they have not yet mastered control over their beginnings and endings.
Thrown all into this is one story that can make or break. Are you up to it?