Friday, September 12, 2008
Major problem No. 2
It all comes down to money. And I HATE that. I am not whinging about my lot in life - we are very fortunate to be able to even consider surrogacy in the USA, but you can't pay for things if you don't have the money. And we need another $50,000. Gulp.
On Wednesday, my day of melt-down, I went to the bank and transferred funds to set up an escrow account, and fund to pay for our surrogate's lawyer. What started out as a US$550 payment ended up costing A$757. The US$800 escrow fee totalled more than A$1200. Gulp.
And why? Three reasons. Every time I do a wire transfer my bank hits me with a percentage of the amount being sent. Then the bank that takes the money and puts it into the payee's account adds on their US$25. US dollars are converted into Australian dollars. And the Australian dollar has dropped to 80 cents! My initial calculations were made with the dollar being 95 cents. So, effectively everything to be paid in US dollars has gone up 15%. That 15% is our "slush fund".
On smaller amounts like $550, the extra bit doesn't hurt so much, but this is just the start of the payments. And the dollar is dropping! When I paid my lawyer a week ago the exchange rate was 86 cents. Wednesday it was down to 79 cents. How much further will it drop? Who knows?Economists are not expecting it to go up.
I came home and recalculated the budget. In Australian dollars it came to $138, 655!!! Our ED fees are US$14,500, which is now A$17,500. The IVF clinic fees are US$20,900, converted they are A$29,000. Our surrogate fees have risen A$9,000. We just can't afford this!!!!
The $138,000 includes all travel, compensation, accommodation, lawyers - the LOT. It does not include $15,000 insurance for bubs to cover them in the event they need to go into NICU. If there are two, that $15,000 is doubled. It does not include subsequent FETs at $3900, nor ICSI at $2600, or additional medication for additional cycles. God forbid if something went wrong and we had to pay for surgery for our surrogate, we would have her compensation and surgery costs. Things never go 100 percent according to plan. $138,000 is the bare minimum assuming everything goes perfectly. It is a risk we cannot take.
The world is, again, conspiring against me.
I am an intelligent woman and I know how to problem solve. Amidst distress calls from various family members about the situation in my previous post, I begin to redo our budget. Okay, we lose the ED and accept my friend's offer to help us. Not ideal, but it is an offer that has been on the table and considered for a long time now. That saves $11,000 and covers our friend's lost wages while in the USA and airfare and accommodation. We're down to $127,000. I find a new clinic and save $15,000. We're down to $112,000. I, very reluctantly, remove travel and accommodation for the 20 weeks U/S visit. We're down to $101,000.
I breathe, a little. If the Aussie dollar was at 95 cents, we would be looking at A$85,000 - that would give us the money for insurance for bubs and a bit left over for extras that are sure to crop up along the line. BUT, at 80 cents and dropping (79 cents today) - $101,000 is out of our budget.
God, the world and the Aussie dollar are conspiring against me!
I am now in the unenviable position of having to decide whether to take the risk of continuing on with surrogacy in the USA, with a hope that we won't need NICU, or FET or anything surgery related, or can the whole USA idea and go to India.
This is not a decision I can make right now. We are not contractually obligates at this stage to go to the USA. We will lose the A$3500 fee paid to our attorney because the contracts are almost done, but not signed. We will possibly have part or all of the escrow and surrogate lawyer's fees refunded. That part I am not concerned about. My major concern right now, the one that is keeping me from sleeping, is letting down our surrogate. I have been awake since 4.30am stressing over this very thing. Our surrogate and I have been in contact for a year now. She has been there every step of the way for us. She has gone over and above what is expected of any surrogate, made phone calls to clinics and ED agencies and lawyers, and basically acted as a surrogacy agent and saved us $15000-$20,000 agency fees. I just feel terrible about even thinking about pulling the pin right now.
But what if the unexpected and not budgetted for occurs?
We will sink.
Posted by Phoenix at 6:10 AM