PG10: New Families On Trial

Date:October 12, 2013

Time:8:15 am - 5:00 pm

Location:Room 259 - Boston Convention and Exhibition Center


Andrea Mechanick Braverman, Ph.D. (Chair), Jefferson Medical College

Nanette Elster, J.D., M.P.H., Health Law Institute

Julia Woodward, Ph.D., Duke University Medical Center


Developed in Cooperation with the Mental Health Professional Group

Interpersonal and communication skills

The idea of Mommy and Daddy and baby makes three as depicted in the 1950s “Leave it to Beaver” representation of the family has been put into rerun by the new American family of “Modern Family” and “Two and a Half Men.” Many of the new families are made possible only by assisted reproductive technology (ART). Single mothers by choice and single fathers by choice are emerging as “choice” families. Co-in vitro fertilization (IVF) with lesbian partners sharing the genetic and gestational contribution to their children is now a common procedure. On the horizon are families where Mom freezes her eggs in her 20s or 30s but is now ready to fertilize an egg and get pregnant in her 40s and 50s. 

This live course will increase mental health professionals’ understanding of the many new ART families. This course will provide participants with the current research and theories explaining the needs and challenges for these families. Utilizing an interactive format of a mock trial, participants will have the opportunity to hear “testimony” and be “the jury” to identify the issues and concerns of these ART families. This course will equip mental health professionals in providing competent understanding and sensitivity to the ever-expanding All-American family.

At the conclusion of this course, participants should be able to:

  1. Describe the different types of families made possible by ART.
  2. Discuss the current literature on the new ART families.
  3. Explain the challenges to providers in counseling these new ART families. 


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