Thursday, March 29, 2007

a man, a plan, a canal*

I just spoke to Sean, one of the coordinators at an agency that helps match people with gestational carriers. I get the impression that a lot of their clients are gay men for whom, in many states, it's legally much easier to work with a gestational carrier than it is to adopt.

The conversation centered around what kind of qualities/attributes I was looking for and what things I just wouldn't be able to accept. I'm really not too picky. All I want is someone who's delivered at least one healthy child, who hasn't had trouble getting pregnant and who doesn't have a history of losses. And, of course, someone who can be trusted not to do anything potentially harmful during the pregnancy. That's really about it.

I'm happy to have a open or quasi-open relationship with the gc after the baby is born -- if that's what's she wants. If she'd rather not see the baby or would just like an occasional letter or picture, that's fine with me too.

Surprisingly, Sean told me that, because of my openness to various types of gcs, I would be at the top of their list and would probably get a list of potential gcs in the very near future -- perhaps as soon as next week. Of course, there's no guarantee that the gc would actually get pregnant or would give birth to a healthy child.

However, there seems to be a strange new light shining through my window. Could it be a glimmer of hope?

*Oh, and sorry about the title. I just couldn't resist.


Sara said...

Very exciting! Wow. It's definitely a big sparkling glimmer of hope. A list of potential gc's next week? Wow. So when could IVF begin?

Aurelia said...

Your title...oh my...anyway, yes, it could be a glimmer of hope, but seriously even if they are pretty quick to find you someone, take your time to interview them and see if it's right for you.

You have some more embryos on ice, right? So you don't have as much time pressure as if your eggs were aging, which is good...

JuliaKB said...

This sounds very promising indeed. Glad to "hear" you sounding more upbeat.

Sheila said...

:) :) :) :) :)

(That's me, smiling with relief for you.)

(That's a very snapdragon title, you know.)

Lori said...

Wow... Well, that was exactly what I was hoping for- at least the glimmer of hope.

How are you feeling about this?? Now that you know your options, do you feel like you would be ready to move ahead quickly, or do you plan on sitting on this for awhile?

Magpie said...

Panama! It's the light at the end of the, canal? Good luck, sounds as though it was a promising meeting.

Patience said...

Amazing... I'm so happy for you that the hope is there (and incredibly jealous that we can't do it over here!!)

LeRoy Dissing said...

I am just a little confused. Is a gestational carrier just a woman who carries a fertilized embryo made up of your egg and your husband's sperm or is it one of her own eggs and your husband's sperm? Genetically, will the baby born be yours and his? Just trying to clarify in my mind what the procdure entails. Thanks!

niobe said...

To try to answer everyone's questions:

I'm actually shocked that the process can move so quickly. My guess (and I could be totally off base) is that some gcs are reluctant to work with gay male couples and also that my kind of pathetic story is likely to be compelling to many gcs.

Depending on how long the medical and personal screening (to determine if we're a good match with the gc) takes, we could start within the next couple of months or so. Because there's no guarantee that it would work the first time, I'd like to start as soon as possible, depending on the gc's schedule.

We have lots of frozen embryos left over from our IVF (which are ours, and genetically have no relationship to the gc).

There is a procedure called "traditional surrogacy" where the gc provides the egg, but, for legal and psychological reasons it's very rarely used these days.

And Patience, while surrogacy is, in and of itself, incredibly (I almost said inconceivably) expensive, would it be possible, if it were something you decided to do, to arrange for a gc in the US or some other more gc-friendly country? Or is that illegal as well?

LeRoy Dissing said...

Thanks Niobe...I'm not sure of the costs involved or whether your medical insurance carrier covers the gc person and the child once born? I would imagine the gc carrier is not although I can see how a case could be made for it. Legally, I would imagine your insurance carrier has to cover the baby once born since I imagine the birth certificate will show you and your husband as the parents.

In essence, you are actually renting the gc's womb for nine months and paying her for that any risks associated with the pregnancy. I am not sure how the legal proceedings work unless state statutes clearly do not confer any parental rights to the gc in cases like these. Technology is usually way ahead of the law.

I hope you find someone quickly and all goes smoothly!

Sheila said...

Leroy, even if Niobe is legally considered an adoptive parent, if there is an adoption agreement in place then insurance will cover her child as long as it is in her custody, even if the adoption hasn't been finalized.

Z.'s relationship to A. is protected by adoption, and A. is the one with insurance in our family. (And in fact, since we were co-petitioners in the second-parent adoption, my relationship to Z., whom I birthed, is also now technically one of adoption.)