“License and registration” can be two of the worst words any driver hears: simply stated, you are so busted! No matter how loud the radio is playing and how good you feel driving on the open road, going 85 in a 60 is not a good thing. After the “Officer, I really wasn’t going any more than 10 miles an hour over the speed limit” and the half-hearted attempt to sweet talk your way out of the ticket without so much as a smile from the highway patrol guy or gal, you pretty much take your ticket and drive away.
And although you may vow to go to court and fight it, most of us pay our fine (ugh) and move on. And while no one likes to waste their hard-earned money, the downside of losing some cash is not so catastrophic (although points on your license can be a real bummer). However, errors in proper identification, particularly in a fertility office, can be disastrous.
In any medical practice, especially a fertility one, you want to be “pulled over” every time you set foot in that medical building. From the staff at the front desk to the chaperones who put you in the exam room to the medical assistants who draw your blood, asking to see identification is a good thing. In fact, the more people who ID you, the better (yes, we are looking at your age☺). When any gametes (eggs, sperms, or embryos) are being used, it should be even more in your face—in the changing room, in the embryo transfer room, and twice prior to the transfer. If you find yourself becoming annoyed, that means we have done our job correctly. While redundant, we want to be more sure than sure that we have who we think we have. Like the cop on I-95, we mean business!
Expect us to ask your name, your date of birth, your Social Security number, and your partner’s name and date of birth (here, we will give you a pass on the SSN). No need to call LifeLock. We’re not trying to commit identity theft; we’re just ensuring that we have the right players in this game of baby making. We ask repeatedly to eliminate the chance that any errors occur. We have systems set up to double check everything not only twice but also by two people. In fact, the most common words you will hear in an embryology lab are “Can I get a check?” No eggs, sperm, or embryos are ever moved without two sets of eyes—always.
When it comes to identification, we don’t mess around. We don’t even joke about it. So, if staff personnel don’t ask you these important questions and you feel uncomfortable, in the words of the NYPD, if you see something, say something. Voicing your concern does not make you annoying; it makes you on top of it. And if things don’t change, then maybe that is not the right fertility practice for you. In general, we are pretty good bouncers and know who should come into the club.
Trust us, even the best fake IDs don’t get past us.