Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Options - so few - and very very pissed off with life right now.

We have the option of cycling in the country our ED came from and staying with the same agency. This will give us a caucasian ED, or we can go straight to Indian ED.

I am more than happy to go with Indian ED, at a price of $2950US (Aussies, add 30 per cent to this because of our crappy exchange rate. Going straight to Indian ED is our best option and financially the best way to go.  I personally do not care what colour or heritage our child is. 

My mum was crying on the phone this morning when I told her what had happened. She begged us to not give up and she begged us to not go straight to Indian ED, which is my preferred option, but not Bob's. I have to add in here that my dad is 72 years of age, he thinks what we are doing is brilliant. He feels guilty that, in some way, he has passed on dodgy genetics that have caused both me and my sister to suffer infertility problems. Of course he hasn't!!! Well maybe, yes, but our fertility issues could be from my mum's side.

But you can't get that through the head of a stoic Polish gentleman who suffered the horrors of a German work camp from 1945-1050. My dad is a really dignified and proud man. He has suffered at the hands of discrimination, was poorly educated, came to Australia at the age of 14 without his parents, made a life for himself, married our mother, who is also from an impoverished working class background, and together they provided an amazing life for their three children. My brother, sister and I are all university educated, all earning good incomes and we all remember and are grateful for the sacrifices our parents have made to give us such good lives.

My mum told me she doesn't think dad will cope with an Indian ED. It is bad enough that he knows the Polish genes will not run through our children's veins, but he has accepted that and he just wants to see his daughter happy. However, he is 72 years of age, his health is failing he thinks all Muslims are all terrorists, and to have a dark child as a grandchild, perhaps that is not something he could cope with. At least with the caucasian child we can pretend, but you can't hide dark genetics. There is no way I can make my dad feel comfortable about us having darker children. While I personally am fine with this, I do love my dad so very much and I care about his opinion. I just want him to be happy with the decisions we make on behalf of his grandchildren, who will, ultimately inherit a load of money from my parent's estate.

Not only that, he is so very excited about more grandchildren, as is my mum. So a failure for us, is a failure for an extended family - grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins, friends - all who have been 100 per cent excited and supportive with the decisions we have made. When we hurt, so too does our family.

So these are our options:

1. Indian ED - cost effective, I don't care, others do. $2950USD

2. Cycling with a caucasian ED in the country where our ED agency is located.

My mum has offered to help us with the costs of option number two. Honestly, why should she? She is still working caring for elderly clients in their homes, and she is almost 71 herself!!!

The costs for doing a cycle and shipping frozen embryos to India are: USD, so add 30 per cent for us. We are not even sure this can legally be done and are waiting for a response from the agency.

$2500 Agency fee
$2500 for fees in India (our clinic's international coordination fees of $500 and $500 for legals in India, the other $1500 is unexplained)
legals in foreign country - unsure
$1350 - ED payment
$5500 IVF cycle in a foreign country
$2000 - flights and accommodation to foreign country for two
$2000 - shipping frozen embryos to India
$1500 - for the lab our clinic in India uses just to accept the embryos ... how ridiculous
$1500 - for the lab in India to thaw the embryos
Total: $18, 850 USD

Add to that 30 per cent for exchange rates and we are stuffed.

We are stuck between a rock and a hard place. No wonder we are so very devastated and depressed. There is no way we can afford another caucasian ED cycle. We've already blown $14,000 on that. At the end of the day there are no guarantees. The agency has been paid, the ED has been paid, the doctors in the foreign country have been paid, so too have the lawyers, our clinic in India has been paid ( not without a major fight over a measly $330 Australian dollars and a lot of very hurt feelings). yet at the end of the day. we chose the "dud donor" and the buck stops with us. I so hate to call our Shyla a dud donor. It is not her fault. If anything good comes out of this mess, it is that Shyla will realise she may have fertility problems, and will get started with her own family sooner rather than later. She may even need an ED herself.

The only lessons I can offer out of this whole debacle are:

1. don't do anything for anyone over and above what is legally required

2. think of worse case scenarios re: finances because you will have signed a contract and you are responsible for paying off on what you have signed off on

3. never think any service provider with this journey is not making a good buck out of it, no matter how sweet and lovely they may appear, they are in it for the money

4. Always go with the price you have been quoted, it will change and change again. Be prepared to fight about your accounts

5. Assume all service providers think you are wealthy if you can afford to do even one round of surrogacy in India. I know we are not, but by Indian standards, we are super rich.

6. Others we consider have done little research, who are not committed to process, nor improving the process, may well have success. It is not fair, but life is not fair.

7. If it all goes bust, you will be okay, kids or no kids.


Kerrie and Mark said...

Oh Amani, your in an awful situation. I am so sorry to read all of this. I wish it were easier and positive. My father in law is your dads twin, 71, polish etc... I really understand your dad and the situation there as well. I hope one of the three stick. Do keep us posted. I am curious about who's accounting errors need to be adddressed (SA or SI).

Amani said...

There are loads of errors. I am sadly now aware of additional costs with our clinic and those with the SA program, which we can now no longer call a SA program. It is all very ugly, but i am happy to answer questions via email

Anonymous said...

You keep stating that an Indian ED doesn't matter to you but you also keep stating the $$ amounts involved with Indian ED versus Caucasian ED. So my guess is that it DOES MATTER TO YOU, at least on a subconscious level. Why else would you have a debate about the choice and throw costs in there? You also imply that if the "proper" choice isn't made, there may be an impact with any future children's inheritance from your parents. Is this another consideration you are grappling with but don't want to admit? I think you should do whatever you want and the heck with your parents. And stop talking about costs, it really doesn't make you look good. You are not shopping for a car here or a digital camera. Hate to be so bold but truth is these old-timers are set in their ways and thinking and there is nothing that will change it. Even if you get a Caucasian donor, they will still look at the child as "less than" because it's not yours biologically. They need to put their egotism and narcissism aside - that is after all what this is about - and accept whatever child comes into this world. Skin color is superficial. I have gone through surrogacy myself and I actually chose an Indian ED over a Caucasian ED because I felt Indians are actually smarter than Caucasians. So I'm not sure what your father's issue is exactly but from an intellectual standpoint his reasoning makes no sense. Besides, based on the stats he'll be dead in 6 years anyways so do you feel your decision will only have an impact for a handful of years. I hate to be so bold but I am disappointed with your posting, it smacks of latent racism. If you are not comfortable with an Indian ED, you should not be in India in the first place using an Indian surrogacy and you should go to some European country or the US where Caucasians are in abundance and get what you really want. I have lots of Australian friends and this sort of discussion seems to be common with them. I live in the US and could never understand it. But one friend who has mixed-race children told me it has to do with the aboriginals in Australia. The white Aussies don't want their neighbors to think that they have aboriginal children. I'm hoping that is not the case with you. And I hope you have the guts not to delete this posting.

Amani said...

Dear Gutless Anonymous,

I am absolutely going to leave your comment up to show what a gutless piece of crap you are to make an anonymous post that is so disgraceful. I thought about giving you a post of your own to illuminate your magnificent stupidity, but why focus on the dumb and dull ... no point.

Based on the stats in my father's family, all his sisters lived past 90, with the exception of one sister who is alive and kicking at 86. So go stick your stats and your cruel comment about my father's longevity up your feeble butt.

Of course I am talking about costs, we are now getting very stretched financially, not that it is any of your business, nor your concern. What the hell would you know about my subconscious. I already have a half-Indonesian step-son whom I adore and whose skin colour I never notice. Half-Indian children would colour-coordinate beautifully with my existing brood of one. Yes yes, I am so superficial I think about my children as fashion statements ... read what you like into anything i say.

So no, i don't give a damn about skin colour, but my preference is still to go with a caucasian ED for two very good reasons, apart from cost.. I do give a rats about my father's opinion, because i love him so much, and in many ways I still seek approval. That's my choice. We also receive very little medical background for Indian donors, the primary reason we went for an international donor ... we had a detailed profile and medical history back to the donor's grandparents.

And guess what, dumbo, kids at primary school talk. Why is your mummy and daddy white when you are choc? Oh yes, these kids call themselves caramel, and vanilla, and choc, and choc-chip - all ice-cream flavours with not a racist overtone amongst them. It is up to our child to tell people they are ED conceived, not the parents. So why put them in a position where they are being asked questions they may not want to answer? See, I have though t long and hard about the psychological implications for our children.

There will be no impact at all on our kids' future inheritance colour or not. How the hell did you come up with that gem of wisdom from my post. Any inheritance goes to me, my sister and brother, not directly to grandchildren. qwuite franky, i hope thee is no inheritance, and we are all trying to get my parents to blow it all on a holiday or even a fancy car, something for themselves, because it is their money and they should spend it. My mum continues to work because she wants to, she doesn't have to. But when people of my parents generation come from an impoverished background, they tend to hang onto their money.

You are truly a horrible person, you are gutless, and you are nasty. Talk about looking bad. Have you nothing better to do than visit people's blogs and attack them? Sad, truly sad.

Of all the surrogacy blogs out there, I post the most detailed information, blow by blow, the good and the bad, I think out loud on my blog, I make statements that I am not even sure I agree with. I share the process of my thinking as well as the journey itself. So get off my back unless you want to be helpful. Have you achieved anything positive at all by telling me I have racist overtones, that my dad may well be dead in six years and that I look like I'm shopping for a car or a digital camera? I can only assume you are drunk or retarded. Don't think about littering my blog with your toxic comments, this is the one and only comment you get to leave. If you have guts, you will email your comments to me directly using your real name.

But hey, thanks for the opportunity to have a vent, you were easy.


crystal said...

Hi Amani,

I wish you luck, and a happy outcome. I feel that I should respond as a Black women to your previous post. I think that Anonymous, has some valid points. My husband who is White, and was born in Melbourne, is the father of our baby, and we used an Indian donor. If his parent's for one second had a problem ever with the skin color of their grandchild, we would have to go seperate ways. If you are a black child, or a biracial child, or the child of a gay family, or just a child in general, you will always get questions about life. Many adults ask stupid questions as well, but those of us who have to answer questions, just learn to deal with it. It is part of life for everyone. It makes me feel hollow, when I see or read stories about people who feel superior to other cultures. I don't think age or educational level gives anyone a pass to be dismissive of other human beings.

MaryJane said...

Hey heart is just breaking for you right now...I also cannot believe people can be so mean and kick you while you are down....this is your blog you can vent however you want!!!! I personally LOVE reading your blog, I think you are hilarious and so honest! I can only hope and pray you will do whats right for you both and it will FINALLY work out for have had the WORST luck with all this...I am sending you HUGE hugs from Canada!!!

Amani said...

Thanks all,

Crystal, I cannot agree with you more. We are in a state of disappointment right now. I agree that it is not my dad's business, and really, I don't think he will care. when I blog, I write out what i am thinking at the time, as this is my journey. I am learning and growing, and my mind constantly changes as we face each challenge. Today I am thinking screw everyone, in particular anyone who is racist, including my dad. I have just realised I am still daddy's little girl and seeking approval. that is crap!

My primary concern is the lack of medical history given about Indian donors. But there is no guarantee that the international donors have not lied on their histories. And saying I am concerned about medical problems indicates I don't want a child with health problems. Well, no-one does, but we would love an unhealthy baby/child as much as a physically medically perfect child.

We are just trying to do the best for our children that we can.

Tigerlilycat said...

Amani, we've just realised that the $1500 'drop off frozen embryo' fee was in fact a fee to freeze embryos from a previous cycle - so we've got this one very wrong!!! Super sorry for adding an unexplained charge to the list which in fact doesn't exist.

Lisa + Nik

Stephanie said...

I'm entirely with you on this one, Amani. We had to make the same decision, and it was agonizing because of the lack of medical, educational, or aptitudnal (sp???) information about the Indian EDs. It is unfortunate that cost has to be part of the decision-making process, but it is a reality (and when you think about it, cost plays a part every other choice one makes in life.) I feel terrible that you have such thoughtless lurkers yanking your chain at such a difficult moment for you. I appreciate the honesty and humor in your blog and hope you'll continue -- it is providing much needed support and connection for others of us going through the same thing. I'd much rather read your honest ramblings than reading something that only shows the happy side of things.

Jim said...

Dear @Anonymous,

Please be careful who you judge as racist, lest you be judged.

You wrote:

"I actually chose an Indian ED over a Caucasian ED because I felt Indians are actually smarter than Caucasians."

You obviously don't understand that all humans are *potentially equal*, regardless of race. Please read the first paragraph of the following:

Just because India may have better access to schools and universities does not make Indians smarter than any other race.

To actually say that Indians are smarter than Caucasians, is about as racist as you can get without donning a white hat and attending the annual KKK Christmas party.

You also point out that surrogacy should not be a materialistic pursuit:

"You are not shopping for a car here or a digital camera."

Nor should we be shopping for an Einstein, should we? You based your ED decision on the intelligence of the donor. You may as well have chosen skin colour while you were at it.

The costs involved in surrogacy directly affect the potential parent. Of course, you can't put a price on the eventual child, thats already recognised here.

Attempting to make prospective parents feel guilty about minimizing procedural costs is about as silly as attempting to make actual parents feel guilty about sending their kids to a public school. We all will inevitably choose a path we can each afford, so why not discuss the costs openly?

In summary, while you may think that Amani's post smacked of 'latent racism' and showed an materialistic point of view, you have actually responded with a *more* racist comment, and have demonstrated that you are more concerned with having a smart baby than having one at all.

Little wonder you didn't want to leave a name. Shame on you.

Michaela said...

i realised after reading your blog, and the posts, that i think i forgot to breathe for most of the time. {{breathe deeply}}
i want to say i'm sorry you're going through all these trying times, it's so tumultuous for you and bob. but .. what i read underneath, is that you are rationalising everything. you are keeping your thoughts well in check, and you are reasoning out your options. i don't know any parent or parent-to-be that does that so rigorously, or diligently.
point #7 -- you're absolutely right. however, i wish you the happiness you both deserve. x

Amani said...

Hi Miss M,

Breathe. We have just started too. Right now we'll hang onto any hope we can get. it is not looking good, but we have the backup plan. you know us, there's always a backup plan.

It's okay.

Bob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.