Conceivability with Elizabeth Katkin
Part memoir, part guide, this personal and deeply informative account of one woman's gripping journey through the global fertility industry in search of the solution to her own "unexplained infertility" exposes eye-opening information about the medical, financial, legal, scientific, emotional and ethical issues at stake.
Although conception may seem like a simple biological process, this is often hardly the case. While many would like to have children, the road toward conceiving and maintaining a pregnancy can be unexpectedly rocky and winding.
Lawyer Elizabeth Katkin never imagined her quest for children would ultimately involve seven miscarriages, eight fresh IVF cycles, two frozen IVF attempts, five natural pregnancies, four IVF pregnancies, ten doctors, six countries, two potential surrogates, nine years, and roughly $200,000. Despite her three Ivy League degrees and wealth of resources, Katkin found she was woefully undereducated when it came to understanding and confronting her own difficulties having children. Shattered by her inability to get and stay pregnant, Katkin surprised even herself by her determination to keep trying. After being told by four doctors she should give up, but without an explanation as to what exactly was going wrong with her body, Katkin decided to look for answers herself. The global investigation that followed revealed that approaches to the fertility process taken in many foreign countries are vastly different than those in the US and UK.
Elizabeth (Liz) Katkin, is an accidental fertility expert. A lawyer and mother of two, Liz was in private practice for over 15 years, until her struggles to have children led her down an entirely new path. Her unexpected difficulties plunged her into the then-unknown world of reproductive medicine, leading her to explore every conceivable (and inconceivable) route to having a baby.
Her legal career, fortunately, took her to live and work in London, Moscow, and the United Arab Emirates, with frequent trips to Switzerland, Germany, and South America, exposing her to different approaches to fertility around the globe. Armed with years of practice in the international arena and a global network of supportive friends and colleagues, she undertook the massive and multi-faceted research project involved in having a baby. She saw doctors in six countries, and educated herself on state-of-the-art western practices as well as ancient eastern and traditional approaches to fertility challenges.
Having successfully navigated her way to having her own two children, Liz has a passion for sharing what she has learned with others. When she is not talking about fertility with hopeful parents, she is often working with nonprofits, currently serving as Co-Chair of the Board of Trustees of Colorado Ballet.
In her spare time, she enjoys skiing, swimming, cycling, traveling, and spending time with her family.
A graduate of Yale University and Columbia's Law School and School of International and Public Affairs, she lives with her husband, Richard, and their children in Denver, Colorado.