Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Okay, now I am REALLY pissed off

This is the fourth time I have attempted to post. Yesterday the power went off due to my dodgy iron, not once, but three times, and I lost everything I typed. Tonight I try again and my internet browser failed and I lost around 1000 words. Argghhhhh ... grrrrrrr ... this is just typical of the frustrating situation I find myself in right now.

I find myself acting in the role of legal researcher at present. There are some concerns with the legal people in India about us using an egg donor that we bring into the country with us. We have hooked up with an agency in South Africa, where commercial payment to egg donors is legal. We found the agency through Dr S at SI. We will be the first couple to attempt to bring an ED into India for surrogacy purposes. Now, why go to all this expense and trouble when we have a close friend who is willing and able to donate and travel with us. Her generous offer has been discussed ad nauseum for some months now. She knows what she is doing, has the full support of her family, and her motives are completely altruistic. So why don't we bring her? The Australian Government .. again!!!

Commercial surrogacy and egg and sperm donation is completely illegal in Australia. Altruistic donation is okay ... provided all parties have joint and individual counselling by an approved psychologist. Okay, fine, we're all up for that. nope, then there's a six month cooling off period. So basically, in order for our friend to get the tests required by the clinic in India, she has to expose herself to a government approved psychologist, then wait six months, then be re-counselled, then wait another three months, before any OBGYN can even draw the first vial of blood.

I do understand why these checks and balances are in place ... so women are not "enticed" or "coerced" into donating their eggs. But for fuck's sake!!!! We have been over and over and over this again and again. With our friend, with her mum and her dad. With my parents, with our friends. Everyone knows she wants to help us. Everyone supports us. Why can't we just go forth and multiply?!!! Because the good old Australian Government wants to stick it's freaking beak into people's private lives and make judgements about people's lives.

This is the same government that brought in this lovely financial gift (enticement)  called the "Baby Bonus". It started as a $3000 payment to new parents in the form of cash, cold hard cash, when they had a baby. The bonus then went up to $4000 and as of July 1, 2008, it reached a staggering $5000!!!

Now, those responsible parents said, "Yay, let's buy some baby gear". The less responsible said: "Beauty, we'll reuse the old baby gear from kid number one and buy a plasma TV". My well-heeled friend up the road bought a diamond ring. Hey, she went through the pain of labour, she deserves some bling!

This baby bonus was not means tested - anyone of any income could get it. No-one did a background check on who would be eligible for the bonus. No-one thought it inappropriate that a person earning a six figure salary may not need $5000 of taxpayer's money to have a kid.  It was always assumed that the money would be spent on the children. And no stupid-arsed bureaucrat anticipated the number of street kids, and single women and junkies who saw a $5000 gift as a great way to pay for their existing children, their plasma TVs, or their drug habits. Good on you Liberal Government. Add to that number of women who chose an elective C-Section after the financial year so they could get the higher rate, even at risk to their and their child's life.

Well, I am pleased to tell you that, with a change of government, the "Plasma Bonus" as it came to be called, became income tested. If you earn over $150,000 a year, you don't get a cent. The average wage in Australia is around $45,000. Two average wage earning parents on $45K each will still get a load of baby bonus. That's fine. The bonus is now given out in the form of vouchers or refunds for actual baby gear!!! Woo-hoo. What a great idea!

Of course, Bob and no longer qualify for the baby bonus due to income. Sucks to be us. I am fine with that. But as we pay 50 percent tax on Bob's income, I am glad OUR money, paid in taxes is not being spent on plasma TVs or drugs. WE don't have a plasma .. let alone a drug habit.

So why have I gone off the track here? because I am pissed off with silly laws and checks and balances and intrusion into our VERY private reproductive life, when the government just doles out money to all and sundry, without considering the consequences, yet WE have to be psych tested, and wait, and psych tested again before we can have children.

Screw that I say.


Jaymee said...

None of the red tape is fun. It will get better, and if it helps just think of all the people who go after you that will benefit from your hard work.

Rhonda and Gerry W said...

YOU GO GIRL!!!! They have that 'baby bonus' thingy in Canada too!