As I mentioned in my last post, Travis and I wanted to have a family at some point, but knew that biological children between the two of us were not possible due to, well, basically our anatomy! As unfair as it is to us gays, nature requires male and female parts for procreation (duh). I know that ART (assisted reproductive technology) is a sensitive topic for some, whether or not they believe gays should have children. Debating either issue is not the point of this post, but they're subjects that I'll deal with in the future, I'm sure, as I understand there are valid concerns about how moral and ethical it is.
When we looked at how to start our family years ago, there were basically three options: fostering, adoption or domestic surrogacy. Surrogacy abroad never occurred to us, and I suspect was so new that there wouldn't have been much information available at the time. We tested the waters of fostering, with disastrous results due to interference from the relatives. Further, with fostering and adoption, we didn't like the idea of home studies and being judged and monitored. While we understand the necessity of this and have nothing to hide, the idea of being scrutinized and evaluated as parents turned us off. Additionally, you could go through the whole fostering/adoption process and the birth parents could change their minds or relatives could intervene--we had seen and heard this happen so many times. As an adoptee myself, I understood how adoption could be life changing, for both parent and child; but after all this, I also realized that deep down I wanted a biological connection to my child.
We looked into surrogacy and found that it was just too expensive--there were agency fees, legal fees, donor fees, surrogate fees, medical fees, fees ad nauseum--totaling from $75,000 to somewhere well over six figures. The costs ranged so widely, and after doing lengthy research, there were so many variables that could happen, the process of having a baby could become a financial disaster. Unlike the celebrity gays below and those more fortunate than us, surrogacy in the U.S. was not in our cards and we resigned ourselvs to being childless, but with fabulous pets instead.
Then about a year ago, we ran across an article in The Advocate about surrogacy in India. I guess we had missed the Oprah show from 2006 where she talked about Wombs for Rent in India (catchy title, wasn't it?). The cost for outsourcing your pregnancy to India? Less than $25,000. All of a sudden, we realized that a biological child for us was possible. There were obviously other considerations, but now the financial hurdle had been lowered.
After more lengthy research, we decided to forge ahead and chose SCI (Surrogacy Centre India) as our clinic. We contacted them and got the ball rolling. The following is an abbreviated version of what happened next: Agreements, check. Money wired, check. Donor selected, check. Visit India, meet doctor, tour facilities, check. Genetic deposit, check. Surrogates selected and fresh embryo transfers performed, check. Pregnancy, no check [buzzer sound].
Well, that was a disappointing whirlwind! Sorry for the synopsis here, but playing catch up to present day would be too much for one post. Needless to say, we were dejected (understatement) after investing so much time, money and emotional energy into the endeavor, putting all our eggs in two baskets, so to speak, yet coming up short with nothing to show for it. However, we were unwilling to give up so easily on our dream to become dads. After a few weeks of feeling sorry for ourselves, we decided to pursue another attempt, even though we would basically have to start over again. This time, we had fewer steps to take: Financial deposit, check. Donor and surrogate selection, check. Wait, check. Keep on waiting, check....
Fast forward to today, and our surrogate is currently preparing for transfer this week, and then we will officially be in the 2WW (Two Week Wait--yes, more waiting), the period between transfer and the first pregnancy test. I have come to think of it also as the Two Week Wish, because beyond waiting, you are wishing and hoping with all your heart that you are lucky enough to get pregnant, and ultimately join the ranks of parenthood.