So we had a group counselling session today with Nicole, the TrickCyclist and our surrogate angel who is turning out to be someone who is so excessively generous and genuine that I can see us being life long friends… it is rare that I find a female friend that I just ‘click’ with, but I have felt that she is just our kind of people, if that makes any sense.
We had pretty much the same chats with Nicole that we had had in our individual counselling sessions and covered off an extensive checklist of ‘stuff’ that they need to review. Basically the psych’s job in this situation is to make sure we have discussed a lot of the hard stuff up front and that there are no ‘red flags’ that would indicate that we shouldn’t go ahead. If anyone is interested these are the sorts of areas that they are required to discuss:
Areas covered with Intending parents:
Family and social support
Financial and work considerations
Relationship with the surrogate (current and future)
Disclosure of arrangement to others (including work and family/friends)
Considerations around informing the child
Intentions regarding continuing treatment in the case of failed attempts
Impact of the arrangement on their son
Implications of an unsuccessful outcome(s) on all parties (including their son)
Possibility of a multiple birth
Possibility of complications that may affect either or both parties (including loss of job, relationship breakdown, severe illness, injury, or death of partner, or death of both).
Control and complications during pregnancy (including activities/conduct/health of surrogate, prenatal screening, foetal abnormality, termination of pregnancy)
Possibility of a breakdown in the surrogacy agreement (particularly dealing with a disabled or seriously ill child issues around birth complications and decision making.
Areas covered with the Surrogate:
Motivation for entering into a surrogacy arrangement.
Current/ future relationship situation.
Family and social support.
Financial and work considerations.
Relationship with the intending parents (current and future).
Disclosure of arrangement to others (including work, family/friends).
Impact of the arrangement on her own son.
Future relationship with any potential child and the intending parents.
Intentions regarding continuing treatment in the case of failed attempts.
Implications of an unsuccessful outcome(s) on all parties.
Possibility of multiple birth.
Possibility of complications that may affect either or both parties including control and complications during pregnancy.
Possibility of a breakdown in the surrogacy agreement (particularly refusal of Intending Parents to accept the child).
Issues around birth complications and decision making (particularly the relinquishment of the child by the surrogate).
Possibility of loss of job, relationship breakdown, severe illness, injury, or death, including death of both intending parents).
Activities/conduct/health issues, prenatal screening, foetal abnormality, potential termination of pregnancy.
All good hard stuff to discuss I can assure you. And while everyone is entering into this with the purest of intentions… the whole situation scares the living hell out of me.
I just can’t bring myself to be happy about this, let alone be actually excited at the prospect. I have spent so many years managing my expectations regarding infertility, pregnancy, babies, children and all these things, that the idea of it actually working is such an anathema to me that I just can’t see it happening for us – and yet here I am going through all the processes anyway. The psych says ‘You should allow yourself to be excited about it, there is plenty of time for disappointment down the track if it comes to that’… but it’s just not that easy to let go of a mentality that you’ve been carrying around for a decade.