My poor fingernails had taken the brunt of my nervousness and chips of the dark grey polish lay littered on my bedspread. So far, mentally preparing to tell my parents […]
My poor fingernails had taken the brunt of my nervousness and chips of the dark grey polish lay littered on my bedspread. So far, mentally preparing to tell my parents about my decision to do surrogacy had been the hardest part of the entire process. Just pick up the phone and call her!
My mom picked up and after a few minutes of pleasantries, I dove in. I felt clunky and awkward but plowed through the conversation. I led with my desire to help families that wanted children and how much being a mother had changed my life. I told her about the screening process, the legal protections for surrogates in Oregon, the Swedish intended parents, the compensation for surrogacy and how incredibly excited I was for the whole process.
Bless her heart! What a bomb I’d dropped on her. She was careful and deliberate yet cautiously supportive in her responses and asked just a few a clarifying questions. Her main concern was my physical and emotional well-being, and close behind that was her concern for how my son would take the news. She knew she’d raised a determined only child and that I would not change my mind once it was set, and she did not try to alter my decision.
The conversation went as well as could be expected. Time to call dad.
This call was much trickier. My dad does not have much of a filter and he made it crystal clear that even though he loved me, this was not an idea he could support.
Hanging up the phone, I was neither sad or angry but a bit let down. As I rehashed our conversation in bed that night, my stubborn self reappeared. I knew he was pleased with 99% of how I’d lived my life and that I have no control how he reacts to the 1% of my choices he doesn’t like. Not sorry.
The surrogacy agency referred me to a wonderful lawyer. She was based in Portland so all of our conversations were by phone but she exuded competence, reliability and resourcefulness.
“I work with a handful of surrogacy agencies and I can tell that NW Surrogacy Center is by far the best one,” was one of the first things she said to me. Score! Best thing she could have said.
We reviewed the many intricacies of the surrogacy contract. The depth of detail was fascinating and I was very relieved at how airtight the contract was. What would happen if… the intended parents died? If they divorced before the birth? If the baby came early and they missed the birth? If anything happened not according to the usual 40-week pregnancy timeline? I had legally binding answers to all of these scenarios, plus many more. It also outlined all of the surrogacy compensation payments, insurance requirements, parentage rights, reimbursements – everything.
I legally agreed to no alcohol/drugs/smoking and to not travel to Washington state (where surrogacy for compensation is not legal) or more than 120 miles from my local hospital after week 32 of the pregnancy. Besides that, I was simply required to follow my OBGYN’s recommendations. My lawyer also suggested I be very careful on social media and that I not identify my intended parents without their approval.
Even though I couldn’t identify them on social media, once the contract was finalized I could contact them via Facebook.
Let’s have a baby! Here’s a friend request.
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