So today is the day that I have decided to start a blog of our experience going down the road of surrogacy in India. I (and my partner) expect it be frustrating, expensive, exhilarating, stressful and emotional. But above all life changing.
How did we get here...? Cue the blurring reality, watery imagery, harp
and clock winding backwards...
The journey really started around 9 months ago when a work colleague
returned to work after being on parental leave for the previous 6 months.
As I had only commenced my role around 5 months earlier, I had never met this
person, but had heard from a number of staff that he and his partner had
recently had a baby through a surrogacy arrangement in India. My partner
and I had thought about being parents, although fleetingly, and knowing the
various - often inconsistent - laws across Australia, we knew our only real
option was to undertake a surrogacy arrangement. We knew the US was out,
purely because of cost. However, at the time, we had no intention of
becoming parents anytime soon so we could worry about that later. But as
I liked to be an informed decision maker, I thought it best to find out as much
as possible in advance of any intention to become a parent.
I plucked the courage up to e-mail the unknown work colleague, asking if he
would chat about his experience of going down the surrogacy route in India and
answer some questions. Thankfully, he was incredibly open to discussing
his experiences and was more than happy to explain the process and answer any
questions I might have. I rose to the challenge and spent an hour
practically interrogating him about prices, and how this worked and what
happened in that situation. The hour that I suggested we meet for barely
scratched the surface and we soon caught up again to continue our
discussion. Over the next few months, evenings were spent
trawling the internet for surrogacy information and e-mailing clinics, while
regular coffee shop debriefs with my new found work friend (of course peppered with occasional work gossip), helped me build a strong knowledge base of what to expect from undertaking surrogacy in India.
By November of 2011, I had become a quasi expert on surrogacy, reading copious
blogs and Wikipedia articles (the source of all truth) as well as IVF, egg
stimulation and the various drugs required to pull off this sort of
caper. My partner and I attended the surrogacy conference in Melbourne
run by Gay Dads Australia and Surrogacy Australia to know for sure what we were
getting ourselves into. By this stage, we had read a fair bit about potential changes to Indian laws as well as further intentions of the United Nations to develop a convention around surrogacy (possibly suggesting restrictions should be put in place), leading us to the conclusion that it was either now or possibly never.
After weeks of deliberation and a bunch of e-mails to clinics, we decided on
Surrogacy India (SI) as our clinic choice. As pricing between the 3
major players is fairly consistent these days, along with success rates and services offered, the final decider came down to the
responsiveness of SI. They quickly responded to all of our questions, and
unlike one of the other clinics, didn't take offence or become exasperated with our
detailed, but very relevant questions. NB: To date, Dr Ajja has been
supportive, responsive and considerate in all of our dealings and we're both
looking forward to meeting him imminently.
So, in February 2012 we underwent the barrage of blood and swimmer tests and
enrolled with SI. Thankfully, both of us were good to go and for the
first time in my life I finally knew my blood type! As the weeks
progressed we linked up with successful parents in the Ukraine to choose our
egg donor (ED) and continued working with SI to choose a surrogate. By
the end of April we had our date for travel to Mumbai.
And....Cue the blurring reality, watery imagery, harp and clock winding
So here we are today, 10th May 2012. Tonight/Tomorrow, we find out if
our ED has passed all her hormone tests. The ultrasound of her
follicles appears very good according to the doctor and other blood infection
screenings have all come back negative. The surrogate in India has been
chosen and the contracts are being prepared as we speak.
So on 4th June
2012 we fly out from Australia, heading to India to hopefully create a new life.