The Sher Fertility Institute in Las Vegas, Nevada has helped bring over 18,000 babies into the world. But a controversial contest run by the facility has some people wondering about the institute’s true intentions.
In the beginning of June, the company ran a contest, in recognition of Father’s Day called the “I Believe Video Journal Project” where couples who were struggling with fertility and adoption could have the chance to win a shot at a free round of IVF. To be considered, the couples had to create a video detailing their journey down the road of trying to have a baby. The couples shared their trials, tribulations, the happiness, heartbreak, sadness and every other emotion involved, and explained why they deserved to have a baby.
Among a total of 45 competing videos, the institute ended up picking not one, but three winners. But for every other couple, it was heartbreak all over again. Among the winners are one couple who had gone through three failed adoptions, a total of five miscarriages, and a full-term stillborn baby. A southern California couple from Camp Pendleton also won a free round of in-vitro fertilization.
When it had come time to choose, the judges had to decide which videos that they wanted to submit to the clinic for consideration, who in turn, turned the contest to Facebook for the public to choose in the end, and whoever’s video received the greatest amount of votes would win the treatment.
This has some people up in arms, with one of the judges Erica Tabke even saying that choosing who received the free round of IVF and who didn’t was like “playing God”, while Samantha Pfeifer an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Pennsylvania and America Society for Reproductive Medicine’s chair, said that the whole thing is just a “publicity maneuver.”