Lut mentioned paperwork.

Technicalities, legalities, necessary paperwork: these I can discuss.  They are clear and black and white.  Sort of.

I live in a state that is good for using a gestational carrier in our situation.  Traditional surrogacy (using the carrier’s genetics in addition to her body) is not recognized here, but gestational surrogacy is.  Now, without getting political, the law is not written for GLBT persons who wish to use a surrogate.  It’s written for heterosexual married couples.

We have to be married, and we have to have a contract in place at least two weeks before the embryo transfer takes place.  If we do this, and our carrier gets pregnant, the surrogacy agreement is enforceable by the state, and we can file for a “pre-birth order” that will allow our names to be on the birth certificate.  There are specific requirements – click here to read more.  Other arrangements aren’t illegal, but they aren’t enforceable, either.

For the clinic, all of us (Mr. Hope, me, the carrier, and the carrier’s husband) have to do some psychological evaluation.  I’ve been seeing the same therapist off and on for years, and she’s one of the “approved” therapists, so that’s who we will see.  At a minimum, we will have a session with Mr. Hope and me, the carrier and her husband will have a session, then all four of us will have a session.

There is FDA testing.  The carrier and Mr. Hope have to have infectious disease screening (IDS) done at an FDA approved lab.  The carrier’s husband has to have IDS at any old lab, and I believe I’m exempt this go-round.  My clinic follows a 6 month quarantine rule (not all clinics do), so Mr. Hope has to have his blood drawn within 1 week of the quarantine ending.  The carrier can’t begin any medications until the results of that testing are received by the clinic.  I’m exempt because of the way the regulations are written for eggs.  It seems a little like overkill to someone standing on the outside, but I just try to tell myself there’s a good reason for it.

There are legal requirements – we have to have a contract outlining any reimbursement, expectations, requirements, etc. in place at least two weeks before the transfer.  I have a sample contract from a lawyer.  Honestly, I burst into tears reading it.  It’s hard to explain why – probably because it tries to take this very complicated issue and spell it all out in black and white.  It will never be completely black and white.  There are sections we will have to change significantly, but I’m avoiding spending excessive amounts of time trying to learn how to be a paralegal right now.

Medical testing – the carrier had to meet with my doctor for a history / exam / sonogram.  She had to have an HSG.  I’m waiting for official word, hopefully this week, that all of that came back normal.  Some of this is black and white.  For example, it’s clear as day to me that using a carrier is the safest option for my body.  What isn’t as clear is whether or not using my friend’s body significantly increases our chance of success.  Or whether or not the two embryos that are frozen are good enough quality to warrant putting her through this process.

So, it’s much, much easier for me to switch to planning, coordination, and legal mode.  These are things I can wrap my head around.

Questions?  I figure people might have a lot of them – feel free to ask.  Here, or if you’re shy, use the formspring link here, or the “ask me anything” link in my sidebar.

~ by Larisa on June 15, 2010.

4 Responses to “technicalities”

  1. I don’t have any questions for you, just wishing you hope and success. I’m here for support.

  2. There was legal paperwork and also psychological evaluations required when we underwent our donor egg IVF. So, I can understand some of what you are going through. It is hard to reconcile all the necessary legalities with the medical and emotional aspect of doing a cycle.

    I hope things go smoothly and quickly for you.

  3. No questions here, either. Just wanting this to be the answer for you, for Mr. Hope, for BabyHope…to end this phase of your life and kick-off the next one, full of light and happiness. Thanks for sharing so much.

  4. It’s great that your state recognizes gestational surrogacy. Having to jump through the hoops is a burden, but the rules seem to make sense at least. The advantage of an enforceable agreement is that you have a safety net in place that you hope you’ll never need to use.

    I don’t have questions right now either.

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