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Service and Support Center

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Support Groups

Understanding and Insight During the Crisis of Infertility

Infertility is a deeply personal, emotionally charged subject. The inability to conceive and/or bear a child challenges our self-image, our sexuality, our hopes for the future. People experiencing infertility often find it difficult to understand and cope with the complex feelings that can arise during this trying time.

Infertility can complicate your most intimate relationship

Infertility brings many strains--on your time, your finances, your ability to make decisions, even your job. It can also make life difficult at home. Although you and your spouse or partner are experiencing infertility at the same time, you are likely to have different feelings, even widely divergent ones, about your impaired fertility. Misunderstandings often occur, and one or both of you may begin to feel isolated and alone.

Family, friends & co-workers may not understand

Letting others know about your infertility may put a stop to those hard-to-answer questions about why you dont have any children, or why your only child has no siblings. But going public may also elicit unwittingly insensitive comments, even from the best-intentioned confidant. People may be trying to help, but it hurts to hear remarks such as:

"Relax, take a vacation, youre sure to get pregnant"

"Why get upset? You can always adopt".

"Children are so much work and worry. Youre lucky not to have any."

Responses such as these can leave you feeling estranged from and angry at the very people you look to for sympathy and support.

AIA is here to help

AIA offers support groups in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Westchester County and Staten Island. Our support groups meet once a week for 90 minute sessions, over a period of eight to twelve weeks. All groups are led by qualified therapists who have themselves experienced infertility. We also offer four week mini-support groups and single meeting workshops on topics that can be addressed in a shorter format. There is a moderate fee for Support Group participation, and membership in The American Infertility Association is required.

How Can The American Infertility Association Support Groups help you?

Participation in an AIA Support Group can:

  • Help end painful feelings of isolation
  • Provide a forum for sharing information and experiences
  • Empower yo to become a more knowledgeable consumer of medical services
  • Increase you awareness of other options to resolve your infertility, including adoption and child-free living
  • Enhance your coping skills
  • Reawaken your sense of humor

How can you find out if an AIA Support Group is right for you?

Call us. We have been there, and we are available to talk to you now.


Who To Contact

For information on groups for: Adoption, Orthodox Jewish Issues, Are You Ready to Adopt?, Secondary Infertility, Pregnancy After Infertility - Contact Sara Barris

For information on groups in Manhattan for: Women and Couples, Lunchtime Groups, The Mind-Body Connection for Stress Reduction - Contact Joann Galst

For information on groups for: Living with PCOS - Contact Sara Barris

For information on groups in Staten Island for: Women over 40, Those Considering Donor Gamates, Premature Ovarian Failure, Women and Couples (in Brooklyn), Parents of Donor Gamete-conceived Children, Adoption - Contact Gloria Demby

For information on groups in Westchester: Women and Couples, Secondary Infertility, Adoption, Stress Management - Contact Elaine Robbins

Members interested in individual counseling may call Sara, Gloria or Elaine for referrals.


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Education and Research Partnership

AIA is proud to announce the start of our promised initiative to fund and conduct research. We applaud our first three partners in this initiative:

  • Ferring Phamaceuticals
  • Organon Inc.
  • Serono Laboratories

These partners are helping AIA fund and conduct research to help the lives of people experiencing infertility and reproductive disease. Through this partnership we have already begun work on two studies and have allocated money to be contributed to The American Society of Reproductive Medicine to fund research. The partnership is also supporting AIA's work to educate the general public to develop an understanding and awareness of issues relating to and affecting people who are struggling with reproductive disease and infertility.

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Peer Support Network

Our Peer Support Network is a service for AIA members only and can be accessed through our Help Line. People often wish to speak with someone who has experienced their specific problem or a particular medical procedure. If you are concerned about Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or Premature Ovarian Failure for example, you could call our Help Line and ask the Volunteer for the names of people who have signed up to be a telephone contact on these topics. You would then call them and discuss any questions you may have. The Peer Support Network is a wonderful way to speak directly with people who have similar experiences as yourself, but who have already "been there".

To get in contact with our Peer Support Network please call our Help Line at .

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Infertility Reference Libraries


The AIA collection of books and audio tapes on infertility and adoption can be consulted at the Center for Medical Consumers, 237 Thompson Street (between Washington Square South and 3rd Street in Greenwich Village). The Center is open to the public Monday through Friday 9 AM to 5 PM, and until 7 PM on Wednesdays.

The AIA/MOHR Infertility Resource Center, located at the Medical Offices of Human Reproduction (MOHR) 635 Madison Avenue, 10th Floor, is open during regular business hours and is available for use by all AIA members.

Staten Island

The Staten Island Satellite Library on Infertility and Adoption Books and Materials is located at the Staten Island University Hospital, Wellness Center at the Staten Island Mall. Anyone wishing a bibliography please call . For other information please call


The Chappaqua Library has a collection of books, articles and newsletters on infertility and adoption available for reference and circulation. The library hours are Monday-Thursday 9 AM to 9 PM, Friday 9 AM to 6 PM and Saturday 9 AM to 5 PM. For more information Call Carolyn Resnick at .

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Monthly Open Support Groups Offered

For those of you waiting to join one of our regular support groups and those of you wanting to join with others immediately, we are offering several open groups in the evening each month that you can attend until one of our other groups is ready to begin.   For women, men, and couples:


2nd Thursday of the month, for those of you who are new to your infertility treatment.
First open group: Thursday, January 13.

4th Monday of the month, for those of you who have been experiencing infertility for quite some time already.
First open group: Monday, January 24.


3rd Sunday of the month, open to all who are experiencing infertility.
First open group: Sunday, January 16.


1st Thursday of the month, open to all who are experiencing infertility.
First open group: Thursday, February, 3.


3rd Thursday of the month.
First open group: Thursday, January 20.

These groups will be led by mental health professionals experienced in infertility. There will be a fee.
We will need a minimum of three people to offer each of these groups so call now to reserve your spot in one of these groups.

For Manhattan groups: Call Joann Galst, PhD at
For Queens group: Call Sara Barris, PsyD at
For Brooklyn group: Call Gloria Demby, CSW at
For Westchester group: Call Elaine Robbins, CSW at

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