A new film, Vegas Baby, by Director, Amanda Micheli, is a must see for anyone struggling with infertility, as well as those men and women who help them as surrogates, egg donors, sperm donors, IVF doctors, friends, and family. Produced by Morgan Spurlock, the film examines the world of in vitro fertilization and the marketing tools used IVF pioneer, Geoffrey Sher, and his Las Vegas clinic.
More specifically, each year the clinic holds a lottery where childless couples send in videos that make the pitch for a free treatment valued at approximately $20,000.00.
“Vegas Baby” follows the stories of a diverse group of contestants. They include Ann and Brian Johnson, of Green Bay, Wis., an interracial couple (Micheli, perhaps wisely, does not comment on this) who have lost prematurely born twins. They have also been unsuccessful in adopting, and see this as their last chance to have a family.
Rosalinda and Dago Patlan, a Hispanic couple from San Antonio, have tried repeatedly without success to have a baby, despite the toll it has taken on their finances and relationship. Rosalinda, who at a young age lost her father and two brothers, insists that she be the biological mother. She refuses to adopt, an attitude that weighs on Dago, who was himself adopted as a child.
Athena Reich, from New York City, is a performer who works as a Lady Gaga impersonator. She finds it more difficult to admit to herself that she is infertile than it was for her to come out to others that she is gay.
There is only one winner, but the two runners-up also persevere in their wish to have the treatment, which Sher offers at a discount. Nonetheless the cost — not just financial, but emotional and in terms of relationships — is considerable.
This film is raw, full of emotions, certainly a film we should all see – especially since 1 in 6 are infertile.
As stated by the Director Amanda Micheli,
While I can’t control my fertility, I can use my skills as a filmmaker to try to give voice to the 1 in 6 — straight, gay, coupled, or going it alone — who struggle with infertility in isolation. By humanizing their stories, my goal is to break the silence around this medical and social issue and ignite a conversation about the flipside of reproductive choice: the choice to have a child.