Well, we are getting all legal now. After the check up with the fertility specialist, and then the ‘go-ahead’ with the counsellors, the next port of call is legals. Never have I deal with lawyers and had such a feeling of pointlessness… yeah, I know hard to believe considering i have been the Claimant in two PI cases and been involved in a couple of conveyancing situations and worked with lawyers from time to time, and even have some friends in the legal profession… but yeah. Pointlessness.
We are getting a lawyer to draft an official Surrogacy Agreement which will demonstrate the intentions of the Intended Parents and the Surrogate birth mother to formalise our endeavour into surrogacy. And why does it all seem so pointless? Well, that would be because in the Surrogacy Act Qld, 2010, Chapter 2, Section 15 (right after they finish all the legal definitions BS) there is this little gem at the heart of the entire act:
That’s correct… we go to a lawyer (and again I hunted through the Surrogacy Forums and Facebook Groups to find a good one who doesn’t ream you on their fees) and we draw up what looks like a legally binding contract to state the intentions of both parties, and get it all notarised, signed off, filed and what not, and at the end of it we have a $2,000 piece of paper that is not in any way, shape, or form, legally enforceable. Because the Act pretty much provides for the surrogate to change her mind and keep the child… the government apparently is not in the business of removing children from their birth mother’s regardless of how those children are conceived or whose biological children they may be.
There are however, plenty of bits of the agreement that are enforceable – those would be the bits where we agree to to bear all financial costs for the entire duration as pertaining to the endeavour. But the agreement affords no protection for IPs that any successful live birth will be surrendered by the birth mother, and just as bad, no protection for the surrogate should the IPs decided not to accept legal responsibility of the child. Is it any wonder that this whole thing makes people so damn twitchy… talk about an exercise in trust and faith – two commodities I don’t really possess in any meaningful way.
We really want another child, and think that our son would be over the moon to have a sibling… But I can’t help feeling that if anything bad is going to happen – it’s going to happen to me. This unfortunately is based pretty heavily on personal experience – I have spent my entire adult life pushing shit uphill with a shovel. I honestly feel like the more I’ve ever really wanted something, the less likely it was to ever happen. So if a surrogacy arrangement is going to fuck up for anyone, and then those anyones are going to find themselves in the high court fighting to regain custody of their own child – then yes, that shit is going to go down on my watch, on my surrogacy agreement, with my child. And no one wants to be at the centre of a landmark legal case involving the wrangling over a small child… no one wants that to become their lot.
There’s no excitement here for me, only fear. And it’s not that I don’t trust our surrogate, I do. I do not believe she has any interested in effectively kidnapping someone else’s child (should we be so lucky as to actually have a successful pregnancy) – if she wanted another child, that would be easy enough for her to accomplish without going through this whole convoluted situation. No, I honestly believe she is entering into this with the best of intentions and the sincere and genuine motivation to help us.
But they’ve always said, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions…’ and I can’t seem to shake my habitual pessimism on all this.