This book could not have been written without the participation of several hundred women and men who volunteered to be interviewed not once but several times. They did so with the knowledge that answering our questions would likely cause them emotional pain. They did it anyway, because they believed it might help other people confronting infertility to understand the issues and decisions, as well as the feelings, that arise for those undergoing medical treatment. Their commitment to this project reinforced my own determination to bring their stories to light. My first thanks go to them.
This study was made possible by funding from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), National Institutes of Health, Gender and the Disruption of Life Course Structure, RO1 AGO8973. An earlier pilot study was funded by the Academic Senate of the University of California, San Francisco.
I am indebted to my research partner, Robert Nachtigall, for his long-term support of my efforts. His medical expertise and his many insights into reproductive medicine and the growth of medical technology have greatly enriched this work. Responsibility for its content, however, is mine alone.
Research of this scope and length cannot be conducted without the participation of a dedicated team of researchers. Edwina Newsom, project manager for this and subsequent studies, gave this project her all, and I greatly appreciate her insights, her interviewing and organizational (p.x) skills, and her commitment. I am also grateful to those who interviewed people for this study with skill and sensitivity: Gary Cook, Jeff Harmon, Seline Szkupinski Quiroga, and Diane Tober. LaSonya Chatman diligently transcribed interviews. Leilani Cuizon-Canalita and Nury Mayen printed endless drafts of this manuscript and helped me with the final assembly. Their unflagging commitment to anthropological research such as this is deeply appreciated. I also acknowledge and thank the organizations that helped to recruit participants for this study: Catholic Charities Adoption Services, Northern California Resolve, and PACT—An Adoption Alliance. The enthusiastic support of health professionals for this project is greatly appreciated, especially that of David Adamson, Mary Martin Cadieux, Simon Henderson, and Cecile Lampton.
Many thanks to the reviewers for this book, Kristine Bertelsen, Robert Nachtigall, Virginia Olesen, Frances Winddance Twine, and an anonymous reviewer, for their valuable comments and suggestions. I am indebted to Steve Sturdy, who made extremely helpful suggestions about this research that I have incorporated. I also thank Jane Grimes and Alice Miner, who read the work for me to determine its intelligibility for a general readership.
Naomi Schneider, my editor at the University of California Press, has kept me moving forward with her relentless enthusiasm for this project. I appreciate her astute advice and support. Many thanks to editors Erika Buky and Sue Heinemann for their careful production of the manuscript.
Finally, special thanks go to my husband, Roger Van Craeynest, who lived through the experience of infertility with me and who has whole-heartedly supported my subsequent work on this topic, contributing many insights along the way.