Wednesday was our last day in Delhi… also a pretty big day. We made our third (last) donation, we met with Dr. Shivani (see photo below), and on Wednesday evening they collected eggs from our egg donor and everything was very successful, which is great news! The eggs and sperm will be “introduced” to each other over the next three days and then embryos will be transferred to our surrogate on the 23rd.

After our appointments we headed to Gurgaon for the night, which is outside of the city and closer to the airport. This is an upscale neighborhood with nice hotels and a CrossFit gym! Yes, we did CrossFit here… really fun and way over due!

It has been a wonderful trip, but we are glad to head back to the US.

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One thing we have realized, noticed, admired and struggled with is the extreme contrasts in India. While the country is crazy and over stimulating, there are parts that are serene and extremely beautiful… the Taj Mahal.

The Taj Mahal is often considered the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces. In 1983, the Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. When we entered the gates, life immediately slowed and there was a sense of calmness that was so very different than everything else we have experienced in India.

Needless to say, this was a once in a lifetime bucket-list experience – or twice for James! We hope you enjoy the pictures.

Christopher & James

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The sights, the smells, the noise… stimulation overload!

What a roller coaster of emotions it has been being in India! Although everything seems so much more real being here, sometimes we feel like we are watching ourselves as we are being filmed in a reality TV show. India is literally another world… everything is moving so fast yet nothing seems to get done? We have been very pleased with our doctor and the clinic, every appointment has either been early or on time.

Tuesday was our busiest day, we reviewed the legal documents, met with the attorney, met our surrogate (she is very sweet and beautiful), signed the contract with our surrogate and her husband, made another donation, met with the accountant, looked at long term apartment rentals, met John and Morgan from Boston (two dads here with their new daughter), and managed to get one tourist stop in at Dilli Haat market.

When we signed our contract, Christopher, being a lawyer, had some very valid concerns, and SCI’s legal counsel was able to thoroughly answer our questions. However, there are some concerns and fears that we still have that no contract can put at ease… only trust, faith and positive thinking can ease. Although we knew we would be meeting our surrogate, James’ eyes swelled with tears and our hearts were filled with gratitude and love!

The consciousness in India is one of ebb and flow, you just have to go with it…

James and Christopher

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We had two appointments yesterday, one at ISIS Hospital where we gave our first donations and the second at ISIS Clinic to meet with Dr. Shivani. (Sorry we will leave the details of the donation process to your imagination)! 🙂

Our first in-person appointment confirmed the reason we chose SCI, ISIS Clinic and Dr. Shivani – she is very knowledgable, thorough, transparent and compassionate. We will meet our surrogate and review our legal documents at our Monday afternoon meeting. If all goes well, the embryo transfer will take place on February 23rd, then we should know if we are pregnant 14 days later on March 9th. We have a 60 to 70% chance of pregnancy on the first transfer and a 35% chance of having twins! Being in India makes the possibility of having our own children seem much more real, however, it seems still seems like a pipe dream.

We made it to the New Delhi! We were greeted by Rahul! We meet with the clinic today, Saturday, at 1 pm!

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Our journey to building a family is not the traditional route by any means!  One of the most popular questions is, of course, “How does this all work?”  We have decided to go through all the details with the old school who-what-where-when-why.

Who:

James & Christopher – the bio dads

Dr. Shivani – our fertility doctor

Meg – our medical liaison

Surrogate – the gracious woman that will carry our child

Egg Donor – the egg donor (the egg donor is always anonymous and unfortunately, other than her profile and photos, we will never know her)

What:

Gestational surrogacy, which is different than traditional surrogacy.  With gestational surrogacy, we will both donate sperm which will be used to fertilize eggs that have been collected from our egg donor.  Once the eggs are fertilized with our semen, Dr. Shivani will transfer embryos to the surrogate.  Within 12 days after the transfer, we will know if we are pregnant.  The remaining embryos will be frozen for the future.  You may hear us refer to the “babies” in plural because the chance of twins is significantly higher with IVF procedures. 

From a legal perspective, gestational surrogacy is safer than traditional surrogacy because the egg donor and the surrogate have no biological connection.  For us, gestational surrogacy in India, adds another layer of uncertainty because our babies will be halfway around the world.  We are going into this knowing that we have to put a lot of trust in our doctors and, whether far away or close to home, we have very little control over what happens the next 9 months.  We just hope and pray for the best and are grateful for the love and support of YOU, our friends and family. 

Lastly, one of the biggest questions we get is “who is going to donate and who will be the dad?”  The answer is actually simple… Both us of are donating and half of the eggs will be fertilized by each of us, then, anything is possible!  There is a little science behind the process, but our children will hopefully 🙂 come from one of us and the outcome is not at all important to us. 

Ultimately and most importantly, both of us will be dads! 

When:

We left for India on February 14 – we are EXTREMELY EXCITED!  While in India, we have 3 appointments at SCI to take care of in-person introductions, discuss treatment plans, review surrogate profiles, semen donations, legal paperwork, etc., etc, etc. 

If all goes well and our embryos “take” on the first transfer, we will be headed back to India in October or November. 

Where:

Surrogacy Center India, New Delhi, India 

Why:

The choice to do Indian surrogacy made the most sense for us for several reason and we are happy to share those if you are interested. For us, this is an opportunity and an adventure to make our dreams of having a family come true!

Christopher and James

Now for the longest leg, 13.5 hours.

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The journey to parenthood has been quite exciting. We have tried and tried to get pregnant with no success, after visiting a fertility clinic we realized that we didn’t have the proper parts to make that happen, who knew? I didn’t learn that in 7th grade health class.

Oh, okay I did know that but it is funny to joke about because being a gay male couple we can’t have a one-night stand and get pregnant or pull the goalie and hope for a baby. We have had many intense conversations about why have a family and how to have a family. This is something that we have put a lot of time and effort in discussing and exploring.

For those of you that know my wonderfully intelligent partner, Christopher, you know that we have left no stone unturned in our journey of finding our pathway to parenthood. Over the last three years we have explored US local adoption, international adoption, foster to adopt, US gestational surrogacy, US traditional surrogacy and international gestational surrogacy. We have met adoptions agencies, surrogates and with gay couples that have experienced each of these pathways to parenthood. At this point in our journey we have decided that we feel most comfortable with international gestational surrogacy in India. Yes, you read it right, India!

We are going to India to build our family…

James & Christopher

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