So we have officially completed our pre surrogacy counselling – yah!!!
Yesterday Chloe, Matt, Michael and I had our final session with our counsellor Narelle. I was really nervous, wondering what issues she would bring up were we might disagree. But amazingly there was absolutely nothing that we disagreed on. If anything the session just made Michael and I realise that we have made a fantastic choice with Matt and Chloe.
Topics that we covered included:
· How many cycles are we committed to
· Our thoughts on prenatal testing including amino
· Our thoughts on termination in the case of significant birth defects
· Would Michael and I attend all prenatal appointments
· What our thoughts were on what costs should be covered by Michael and I
· Who would the OB be and what hospital would the baby be born at
· How would Chloe give birth
· How soon after the birth would Michael and I be responsible for the baby
· Who would be first to hold the baby
· Would Chloe breastfeed and / or express milk for the baby
· How would we resolve any issues that arose during the process
· How would we feel if the process did not result in a pregnancy and / or baby
I haven’t provided our answers to these questions, mainly because who knows what the future holds and partly due to privacy. But the good news is that all four of us agreed on everything. We are not naïve and realise that issues may / will arise during the process, but it’s a good sign to see that from the beginning we are all on the same page.
So now our counsellor needs to write up a report saying that we are all fully aware of the process including the psychological implications. She sends this report to our fertility clinic so they know we have completed this process. Once we have the baby and apply for the parentage orders, she will need to provide the courts with an affidavit saying that we completed the pre surrogacy counselling.
Prior to the parentage orders we will also be required to attend post surrogacy counselling. We must find a new counsellor for this.
So what’s next?
Well Michael and I have an appointment with our lawyer (Kate Cherry) on Monday 7 January and then Matt and Chloe have an appointment with their lawyer (Agnes Mazur) on Thursday 10 January. At these appointments our lawyers will be providing us with independent legal advice as required by the Surrogacy Act.
Our lawyers will also review the surrogacy agreement, also required by law, but funnily enough not an enforceable document. I have drafted our own surrogacy agreement by reviewing others surrogacy agreements and basically cutting and pasting the bits I like. Chloe and Matt have also provided their input.
I have also asked two lovely lawyer friends to review for obvious errors and given my own legal background I think together we should come up with something have decent.
The law does not require lawyers to draft the surrogacy agreement, does not say what needs to be in the agreement and given the agreement is not enforceable as stated by law, I really see no point spending thousands of dollars for lawyers to draft it.
So I am hoping the lawyers don’t get dollar signs in their head, give us the required legal advice at the appointments and make minor (if any) changes to our agreement. Then we can all sign the agreement.
Once the agreement is signed we can officially start the baby making.
We have an appointment with our clinic on Monday 15 January to start the IVF process. This appointment cannot go ahead without the legal advice and agreement. So I am really hoping the lawyers do their thing quickly.
I know it might sound like I am bit relaxed about the legal part. But seriously given the agreement is not enforceable – how else can I be?? I mean I am fully across the Surrogacy Act and fully understand what can go wrong. I also believe Michael, Matt and Chloe are also.
So once we have our legal advice and sign the agreement – our lawyers then let the clinic know that we are good to go. So I hope all appointments go to plan and we are sitting in the clinic’s office 3 weeks from now getting ready to make babies!!
Bring on 2013 – this time next year hopefully we will be welcoming another little Delaware into the family.
Merry Christmas everyone – have a safe holiday and happy New Year.