We came back from the Friuli area of Italy on Tuesday. If you are not familiar with this north-eastern corner of the blessed country I highly recommend a visit. Not many Brits make it past Venice, unless it is to Lake Garda or Verona, so cities like Udine, Cividale, Palmanova, Aquileia or the more well-known Trieste, get passed by. All are four star attractions and well worth time spent in.
No sooner have we disgorged our luggage of T shirts and sun-cream (it was hot over there) than we are packing up again with jumpers and trousers to go to Limerick tomorrow. No it’s not the hurling that is the attraction, although I understand that the replay of the final between Cork and County Clare is exciting a huge amount of interest, but once again we have been invited to talk with Irish potential and actual parents about Telling and Talking about donor conception. The event is a conference organised by NISIG, the Irish infertility organisation. Although it is a general infertility event, there is an emphasis on donor conception. The only personal story being told from the main platform is that of a couple who went to Spain for egg donation. Apparently she is going to say that she researched egg donation in the UK but was told that the wait, at that time, was six years. Now to my certain knowledge the wait for an egg donor in the UK has never exceeded three years, even at it’s worst, but that’s what she was told. Am I surprised? Well actually no, as individual clinics usually don’t have the slightest clue what is going on outside their own walls. I will certainly do my best to let people know at this event that egg donation is now widely available in the UK with little or no waiting list at all. Absolutely no reason to go to the Spanish clinic that will be represented by a speaker at this conference. Even prices are similar in both countries since the Euro and the Pound are virtually at the same value these days.
Walter and I will be making a short presentation in the morning plenary session largely setting out what we are planning to do in the afternoon workshops, but also stating the case for ‘telling’ and illustrating it with quotes from our lovely Zannah and Sam, a DC adult who has started commenting on this blog from time to time. As happened in Cork last December, we are hoping that we will find Irish parents in a very different place to not very long ago when few dared to speak about donor conception. My sense is that people in the Republic of Ireland feel more comfortable with these new ways that families are being formed than those in Northern Ireland where Protestant emotional constipation is more damaging than the remnants of Catholicism that remain in the south.
I love going to Ireland and despite the short turnaround and upheaval of travelling again I’m looking forward to being there and talking with everyone. Oh yes, there’ll be a lot of talking…