The Creating Your Family program brings together the renowned physicians at the Fertility Centers of Illinois (FCI) and the incredible embryology staff at aParent IVF Laboratory and assists patients from all around the world in finding the best option for them to build their families. Whether itâ€™s finding donor eggs or sperm, a surrogate or another attempt at IVF, the Creating Your Family team guides patients through every step of the process. With an in-house egg donation program and access to a variety of egg donor and surrogacy agencies, as well as the option for frozen donor eggs, the Creating Your Family program is uniquely positioned to assist patients with their family building options.
The physicians at FCI have been helping create families since 1976 and with this experience, have created one of the largest fertility practices in the United States. Their knowledge and experience, coupled with the excellent lab technologies available at aParent IVF Laboratory, sets them apart as leaders in the field of third party reproduction.
The family building options available through the Creating Your Family program are available to help build families of all shapes and sizes. Whether married or single, heterosexual or LGBT, patients can feel comfortable that they are being served by a staff that knows and understands how to care for all types of patients. The Creating Your Family team has the resources available to make sure that any of the unique challenges that arise in third party reproduction will be handled smoothly and successfully.
The in-house donor egg program at FCI stands apart from other programs by providing patients with the opportunity to choose a pre-screened donor that has undergone rigorous physical and psychological screening in order to be approved in the program. FCI also has relationships with a variety of egg donor and surrogacy agencies and will help patients find the best egg donor and/or surrogate for their needs. For patients that are in need of preimplantation genetic screening or diagnosis (PGD/PGS), the embryologists at aParent IVF utilise the most advanced technologies available to ensure patients have the best possible chance for pregnancy. When utilizing an egg donor and PGS, FCI has pregnancy rates that surpass 70%!
In addition to the world-class technologies and physicians, patients are also treated to an outstanding concierge service that helps simplify the process every step of the way. From coordinating travel and accommodations, to providing transportation to and from the airport and appointments, the concierge service helps create a stress free environment for patients on their family building journey. This unparalleled service helps patients feel informed and confident and enjoy their trip to the amazing city of Chicago.
There are plenty of options to finance care at FCI, including a shared risk program that gives a 100% refund if patients donâ€™t go home with a baby as well as the option to utilise a split donor for a reduced cost. Rest assured the Creating Your Family program at FCI and aParent IVF Laboratory gives patients top notch fertility care coupled with a world class, stress-free experience. Whatever options patients are looking for to build their families, the incredible Creating Your Family team will ensure that every avenue is explored in order to create the best fertility plan for each and every patient.
Doctor Angeline Beltsos is the Medical Director of Fertility Centers of IllinoisÂ Â Â
What made you embark on your career?
As a medical student, I walked by the IVF area in the hospital and as soon as I saw what was being done in the lab, I fell in love with the field of infertility and I knew I wanted to help couples have a family.
What services do you offer to same-sex couples?
At Fertility Centers of Illinois (FCI), we have a large and growing practice that is able to help couples in all aspects of 3rd party reproduction. From donor sperm insemination for lesbian couples, to egg donation with surrogacy for same-sex males, we have many options for same-sex couples to create their families. What makes the physicians at the FCI some of the top doctors in the field of reproductive endocrinology is our Creating Your Family program, which partners the patient with highly successful laboratories who allow embryos to be genetically screened.
Our lab directors, Colleen Wagner Coughlin at our aParent IVF lab and Juergen Lieberman at our River North Chicago lab, are top embryologists and thought leaders in our field who specialise in PGD/ PGS. The pre-implantation genetic diagnosis or screening specifically reduces the chance of Down’s syndrome and other genetic problems that can lead to an increased risk of miscarriage. By coupling this technology with the use of healthy eggs and an optimal uterine environment, FCI is uniquely positioned to help couples grow their families.
Another differentiating factor we offer at FCI is our 100% refund program which allows couples to have multiple IVF attempts to get pregnant and if the couple does not end up with a baby, they get a 100% refund. In addition to these advantages, the laws in the state of Illinois regarding surrogacy are some of the best in the world. The law is written to protect the rights of the intended parents as well as the surrogate.
Lastly, an extremely helpful characteristic of CYF at FCI is that Chicago is an easy city to get to as a major destination site in the US. We have a Concierge service that is led by Donna Burch and we will make sure that every detail of the trip has been prepared to make it a turn key experience. When couples arrive, a car will be waiting at the airport to ensure easy and stress free transportation to their accommodations and appointments. We also have a dedicated 3rd party nurse who is assigned to our international couples who will be able to communicate via Skype, email, and by phone. We are very excited about working with same sex couples from around the world to help them create their families!
Apart from fertility treatment what other services do you offer?
We assist our patients with finding surrogacy agencies that will help our patients identify gestational carriers, who are then screened for eligibility at our clinic. Due to our close relationship with these agencies we have the ability to find a carrier very quickly. We also have many options for egg donors, including fresh eggs from our in-house egg donation program and frozen eggs from Donor Egg Bank USA.
In addition, we offer a wide range of complementary services to make our patientsâ€™ experience seamless. We provide access to two full-time psychologists who assist with questions and issues about 3rd party reproduction that couples may be currently facing or may occur in the future. Furthermore, we work closely with holistic practitioners like “Pulling down the Moon,” who provide acupuncture and yoga. We also assist our patients with finding top attorneys in reproductive law both in Chicago and their home country.
Are there any criteria LGBT couples must fulfill to make use of your services?
After meeting with the physicians either by Skype, phone or in person, LGBT patients would undergo necessary testing or evaluation of ovarian reserve, uterine cavity or semen analysis as it pertains to their care. FDA testing per our government standards, along with legal and psychological consultation to help guide the process and protect interests of each participant, will also be performed.
Are there any special things or issues LGBT couples should take into consideration?
There are many important aspects to take into consideration by LGBT couples. These include picking donor gametes and/ or the right gestational carrier for them. This may include using one partner’s eggs or both partnersâ€™ sperm in the process of IVF. If preferred, siblings of couples may be utilised to help with the family building process. Sharing all this with their community of work, friends and family can be challenging and is something that our psychological team will discuss with each couple. Bringing the child or children back into their country with citizenship, as well as the finances needed for treatment, can be complicated, but FCI will link couples to resources to help assist them through the entire process.
Why not adoption?
Adoption is another beautiful way to have a family. Both straight and same-sex families often struggle with trying to navigate the adoptive process, both domestically and internationally. Should couples be interested in taking that route, we have resources available to assist them.
For the initial consultation would I have to travel to the USA, or can that be done from the UK?
The initial consultation is complimentary and will be done by Skype or by phone.
Why choose aParent IVF?
Choosing to work with FCI and aParent IVF Laboratory is a great opportunity to work with an embryologist team who are top in their field, along with an excellent physician team that will help create your family. The CYF program provides a comprehensive turn key experience that integrates all the elements you will receive from beginning to the end. From the seamless concierge service that helps facilitate doctorâ€™s appointments and visits to US all the way to a live birth, the CYF program is here to help create families.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is seeing new parents with their babies and watching them and their extended family and community enjoy a new life! Being a part of the way couples create their families is such an incredible and fulfilling experience.