I had the pleasure and the honor to participate in research on involuntary childlessness yesterday. I say pleasure because it is nice to be asked questions about my experience and have someone listen to my answers with their full attention. I say honor because I believe it is important to research our experiences as involuntarily childless adults. Research drives legislation which drives policy. Until we have evidence about our experiences, we will continue to be overlooked in the various sectors of society.
And we matter! Our experiences matter!
Before participating in this interview, I emailed my research advisors to make sure it was okay. They did not see any conflict of interest and encouraged me to participate. (This researcher and I are both examining involuntary childlessness but through the lens of different professions and for different implications.) Then I told the researcher about my upcoming research project, but she did not see any conflicts of interest either. In fact, she is excited to have met a colleague researching involuntary childlessness. We were able to talk briefly about methodology and other aspects of our research.
This researcher is looking at people who used services from fertility clinics and who did and did not go on to have children. She shared that she is having a hard time finding people who did fertility treatments but never had children and now live a life without parenting. She still needs 5 - 6 more participants from the U.S. or Canada. I offered to write a blog post to get the word out, so, please, if you are over the age of 38, have failed fertility treatments, are living your life childless-not-by-choice, and can participate in a one-on-one anonymous and confidential interview, let me know! You can email me at infertilephoenix at gmail dot com. I will forward you the researcher's email address. This project has Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, and it is all legit.
As for my research project, I am applying for IRB approval this semester. Then I will conduct my research in the summer. I am very, very excited. I will be interviewing women across the world who are involuntarily childless after infertility (fertility treatments not required), but I'm still working out the details of methodology so this is not an official announcement or call for participants or anything. It's more of a "heads up."
I believe in the power of research. As I learn how to advocate for my profession and my patients, I am learning that evidence-based rationales are the most persuasive. I am happy to contribute to the body of knowledge myself, as a research participant and later this year as a researcher.
Thank you for your consideration!