Web series from Laurier alum tackles infertility

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Over five million babies have been born with the use of in vitro fertilization since its development over 40 years ago.

In vitro fertilization, commonly known as IVF, is an assistive technique to improve the chances of conception.

It involves combining egg and sperm within a laboratory, then transferring the embryo into a woman’s uterus. Used by individuals struggling with infertility, IVF is often a difficult subject to discuss in the public sphere as many lack the fundamental knowledge of the process.

Priscilla Galvez, a communication and film studies alumna from Wilfrid Laurier University, is the producer and director of an upcoming web series called “How to Buy a Baby.”

This witty yet educational series follows the life of a couple struggling with infertility, emphasizing a challenge faced by people around the world. Not only are the issues of infertility faced, but marriage under the lens of infertility is challenged.

The web series was created and written by Wendy Litner, who has personally went through in vitro fertilization treatments.

“It’s a very specific experience that is shared by people more commonly than it is known to be,” said Galvez. “Hopefully this series will prevent people from feeling shamed or have pity taken on them because of how common this situation is.”

Galvez attended an event in Toronto hosted by the organization, Women on Screen, which held workshops and networking events to develop writers’ ideas and introduce filmmakers to new scripts. The script that Galvez, along with her producing partner Tanya Hoshi, chose as their project would set the stage for the web series.

“I knew coming from a production standpoint, the script had the potential to be something more than what most web series are today,” said Galvez.

“This has an intention to educate an audience about something that isn’t so widely known in popular culture.”

Infertility is a rising problem worldwide that happens more often than people may think. With people deciding to start families later in life due to career or financial situations, the probability of becoming pregnant is reduced in comparison to younger individuals.

“I started developing and producing the series, and forgot a close family member of mine had experienced it,” said Galvez. “I didn’t have the language to talk about it growing up.”

Infertility has remained behind closed doors for so many people out of fear of judgment, said Galvez. It’s an issue often difficult to talk about and ought to be addressed to a larger spectrum. Learning about IVF and the circumstances which it entails is important, whether someone plans on having a family or not.

By awareness of the possibility of infertility or simply being able to put aside the surrounding stigma, society can work towards supporting people who face this challenge — which is what Galvez is trying with this web series.

The production group is competing for the Independent Production Fund so future funding and completion of the web series can be achieved.

“Young people don’t think about this happening in their future, but it is so common,” said Galvez.

“Hopefully this series will inspire other types of media, and other creators to be able to talk about the issue.”

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