Infertile Muslim Couples Face Tough Choices, Pressure

Genetics counselor Lama Eldahdah spends most of her time thinking about reproductive probabilities, but when she sits down with Muslim patients who are battling infertility, the conversation rarely focuses on odds. “Religious people say it’s God’s will, non-religious people say it’s statistics,” said Eldahdah, who works for Chicago’s Reproductive Genetics…

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Accidentally childfree

I never imagined that I would one day be discussing a childfree life, let alone my childfree life. I had never been taught to think of this as an option. We’re a family-centered lot, you see. So family-centered that any display of individual separateness is rarely encouraged. You belong to us and we belong to you. And in continuing this cycle of our us-ness, we must have children of our own, for our own.

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No less a child, no less a woman

Our culture is one of procreation; children are regarded as blessings from God, and we are told our progeny will spread Islam. Delaying marriage, waiting to begin a family, or experiencing infertility each amount to disregarding this sacred duty. While it is considered taboo in many cultures to remain childless- and the Muslim culture is no exception- what viable options exist for couples who are unable to conceive naturally, or choose not to adopt? What space does our culture provide for women who are either unable or unwilling to marry, choose to remain married without children or suffer from infertility?

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