Thursday 21 July 2011

Some Awesome Stats.....

- 22 eggs retrieved from our donor

- 18 eggs fertilised (4 immature)

- 12 Grade I/II embryos at day 3

- 8 embryos frozen (6-8 cells, Grade II)

- 4 embryos transferred (8 cells, Grade I) to our surrogate

- 2 possible 'Dads to be' (20 fingers & 20 toes crossed)

Monday 18 July 2011

A Big Week Ahead......

Our wonderful donor has had her preliminary ultrasounds. Our equally wonderful surrogate is looking perfect (medically perfect that is......). So we're all ready to go.

Wednesday 6 July 2011

The Big Decision

So we’ve decided that a surrogacy arrangement in India is for us.  After all the ups and downs of thinking we’d found a solution only to find that our path was blocked.  Having put so much time and energy into researching every aspect. After spending so much time discussing how we feel about each complex part of the process.  It’s a great feeling that such a big decision has been made and to be feeling so comfortable with it.

Here’s the briefest of summaries of the legal aspects we’ve learned along the way…

International Surrogacy and UK Law

Our intention, if we’re successful and have brought baby home (I’ll write about immigration learnings later), is to apply for a Parental Order.  This will create a new birth certificate and name the two of us as the legal parents.  This has only been possible for same sex couples since April 2010.  The court will need to be satisfied that,
-          you’re in a stable relationship
-          no more than reasonable expenses have been paid to the surrogate
-          it is in the best interests of the child for the Parental Order to be granted.

The last point is the key one and it seems that the Courts are consistently taking as paramount the best interests of the child.  But problems can arise, especially in the area of eligibility to apply.  There are several conditions, but the most important one is to ensure that the surrogate mother is not married else her husband will be considered to be the father under UK law despite what any birth certificate may say.

Surrogacy and UK Immigration

Some enlightened countries like Australia use DNA testing to prove paternity and so automatic right to citizenship by descent.  The UK process is less straightforward.  It seems that British High Commissions have been tasked with looking closely at International surrogacy arrangements.  Whereas Australians can expect to be going home 2/3 weeks after the birth, Brits can expect to be in India for around three months waiting for a passport.

Monday 4 July 2011

Our Trip to Delhi

First Impressions

We had hoped to meet other couples during our trip but we didn't expect to get this off to such a quick start. We had barely checked in to the hotel when we bumped in to lovely Sam and Phil,
who have just become proud Dads to Ruby and Zoe.  Within moments of our arrival we were sitting at breakfast talking to them and another lovely family (Bec, Michael and their son Josh).  Wow, it's good to talk: after so much Internet reading, it was great to hear some real experiences first-hand.

And shortly after breakfast we were peering, gooey-eyed, into Ruby and Zoe's cot:

Awwwwww, so cute!
So within hours of our arrival we had met some lovely people and had seen for ourselves a wonderful happy ending.

Visiting the IVF Clinic

After having looked at various clinics in Mumbai and Delhi, we had planned our trip with Surrogacy India Centre, run by Dr Shivani (  We had been impressed with the their overall approach and the amount of information we'd received from Meg and Margarida, the client liaison team before we travelled.

Meeting Dr Shivani gave us just the right balance of personal care, straightforwardness and a matter-of-factness that only comes with experience.

Dr Shivani (right)
And the facilities are impressive.  I'm used to the contrasts of India, having travelled there before, but your overall impression is of a professionally run, modern facility.

 The rest of our trip

We stayed at the Svelte Hotel & Suites.  It's where lots of families using the clinic stay, so easy to meet people.  It seems to be the ideal place for people who are collecting their babies and expecting only a short stay before departure.  It's also attached to Delhi's biggest shopping mall with great restaurants and a cinema so perfect for avoiding the summer heat.

All of our meetings were efficiently planned by the SIC team and a car service that works closely with the clinic ensured you were never lost.

We even had time for some sightseeing.  The new metro is just a short hop in a rickshaw from the hotel, so it's very easy to get around......
Sam, Bec & Josh wait for the Metro

Destination Old Delhi

And here are some pictures of our cycle rickshaw trip around Old Delhi in the 40c heat....

Adam in a Rickshaw
Old Delhi Markets