It’s very encouraging to see progress on our surrogacy journey.
First of all, we received the MitoScores of our embryos. The two day-5 embryos (3AB and 3BB) both have a grade of A, which means that they have a high implantation potential of 81%. The two day-6 embryos (5AB and 5BB) are Bs with an average implantation potential of 56%. Dr. E recommended transferring one embryo with the MitoScore of A.
This is such excellent news. Both Bob and I are so relieved that we have embryos with excellent quality for a transfer.
On the gestational carrier front, we finished a questionnaire and signed an agreement for the escrow account with our attorney. Last week we had a very informative phone call for about 30 minutes with the attorney and her paralegal. As you may know, in order to make the surrogacy legal and for us to take our baby home, legal paperwork has to be filed in our gestational carrier’s state. Our attorney is located in that state and is very experienced with this type of contract. The following are the main points:
- We will receive the draft of our contract with our gestational carrier in the next week or so. We will read it over, make changes, and ask any questions or raise any concerns. Once we are satisfied with the changes, our gestational carrier will go over it with an attorney that will represent her. That should take about a week. We are hoping to get the contract done by the first week of October, and second week at the latest (because I am going to be leaving for Asia at the end of second week of October).
- At about 20 weeks of the pregnancy, our attorney will help us finalize the medical power of attorney which allows us to make decisions for the baby.
- Our gestational carrier’s state laws stipulate that we get a post birth order, which means that a court order is obtained after the birth of a child. The court will direct Vital Statistics to add the biological parent’s name (Bob’s name) on the birth certificate, remove our gestational carrier’s name, and grant legal guardianship to me as the other intended parent. This is done because we have used donor eggs. If we were both biologically related to the child, then we would both be added at that time. The hearing is scheduled every two weeks at the court, so on average we should have the hearing done within two weeks after birth if not sooner. The hearing should take no longer than 30 minutes. We will be asked a list of questions mostly by our attorney and may also be by the judge.
- We can leave the hospital with our baby and go home as soon as the doctor clears us to leave. Our attorney will represent us and we will attend the hearing via phone.
- We should get the court order a few days after the hearing. Then the birth certificate should be amended by Vital Statistics within 5 to 10 business days with only Bob’s name on it as if he has made the baby all by himself. 😉
- A recent change in the law in our GC’s state requires an intended parent who is not biologically related to the baby to file for a second parent adoption in our home state so that I will also be named on the birth certificate. We will need to hire a different attorney in our home state. I will have temporary custody of our baby until the court order is done, which will take three to six months.
- Our attorney stated that the court process is quite simple. She will prepare all the paperwork for us to read prior to the birth so that we just need to sign at the time of birth. She said that there are going to be many other things to focus on at the time of birth so she doesn’t want us to spend the time reading all the legal documents.
- One very important thing that our attorney wanted to speak with us about was the number of embryos to transfer. Our answer on the questionnaire said that we may transfer one or two embryos. She wants us to be very careful with this choice. Our gestational carrier lives in the northern part of the state and lives very close to the border of a neighboring state that is NOT surrogacy friendly. If we transfer two embryos and are expecting twins, the chances for complications and the need for a level 4 NICU are a lot higher with twin pregnancy. The hospital that we intend to have the birth does not have a level 4 NICU. If any complications arise, it is VERY likely that our gestational carrier will be transferred to a hospital with a level 4 NICU that is in the surrogacy unfriendly next state. It doesn’t mean that a singleton pregnancy is a guarantee that it will be free of complications, but the chances are a lot lower. So our attorney wants us to think long and hard about the number of embryos to transfer. And if we do transfer two and expect twins, she wants us to have a plan B for the delivery. Our gestational carrier can still give birth in the local hospital in her state and we can always transfer the baby/babies to the level 4 NICU in the next state if need be. If our gestational carrier gives birth in this other state, the legal ramifications would be great. We don’t want to go there. It all sounds very scary so I have already spoke with our gestational carrier and she is going to try everything possible to stay in her state when she gives birth to our baby.
Dr. E, Annie (our gestational carrier), and I have been coordinating the earliest possible date for a transfer. It would be the best for Annie if we could do a transfer on a Monday. She and her husband can fly in on Sunday, have the transfer on Monday, and rest on Tuesday before going home on Wednesday. She said that this has been a source of stress in her household because they don’t live near any family members so they couldn’t figure out who could take care of their two younger children. She thought about driving the whole family on a roadtrip for the transfer, or even flying the kids over with them. However, she would really want to take this opportunity to take a vacation with her husband by themselves, sans kids. She finally enlisted her 19-year-old son and his wonderful girlfriend who will watch the 3- and 5-year olds. We have now tentatively settled on a date: October 31, 2016. Halloween!!! Hopefully I won’t be jetlagged anymore (after my return from my trip on October 27). I mean, I will still have to figure out other things like buying the medication for her and arranging for local monitoring appointments. Nevertheless, this is an exciting time and I am so grateful for all these forward movements. I am also trying not to let my appointment with the Breast Health Clinic later today dampen my excitement.
Almost time to make a baby!