Tag Archives: Gestational Surrogate

” If you imagine it, you can achieve it. If you dream it, you can become it.” – William Arthur Ward. One of our patient’s sucess story in his own words

My fatherhood story

From the age of 20 I know I will become a parent, but time past faster than I felt and I was over 40 still a single man with no clue how I am making my biggest dream come true. And it happened a few years ago I came to read in a local newspaper about a gay couple becoming parents to a child getting help by a surrogate via Rotunda.

 It took me more than 2 years before I got the courage to send a mail to Rotunda and on the second mail my angel on earth wrote me. It was Dr Goral who later I understood is going to be the most meaningful person ever for me. She personally was the doctor and embryologist who got my embryos created through egg donation and she personally was the doctor who selected and put back the perfect embryos in my surrogate’s womb.

But this I will tell later. Before I want to tell about how afraid I was to begin the path. I am a single man, living alone in Israel. I don’t have any will changing my status. The only thing ever I wanted was a family! My family! and at the age of 43 I finally said to myself that I can’t wait no more and I sent the first mail to Rotunda. Till that stage it was the most difficult thing I did. No one can understand how much courage I needed and if not the feeling that this is what GOD has wishing for me I would not have become a father. My first try did not succeed. It took me 6 more months and good words from Dr Goral to start 1 more time. Got 1 more flight to Mumbai and again sat in Rotunda while the egg donation and 2 days later getting  embryos back in my surrogate.12 days later Dr Goral sent me the best mail till then telling me there is a pregrancy.

8 months later I became the happiest man living on earth! I am a father of a daughter and a son.

 My twins are 1 year and almost 4 months now. The boy is running for almost 2 month and the girl is making her first steps now. There is no happiness bigger than my happiness! No argument about it. Thank God for allowing me to be a father to my twins and thank Gods angel on earth (Dr Goral).

For anyone reading this blog I wish to explain: You need to stand on your legs and want the impossible! It is possible, just decide you want it. Rotunda knows how to make our biggest dream come true. God is great. Thank you Rotunda and more than anyone thank you Dr Goral & Dr Allahbadia.

Oriah (meaning the light of God) – my daughter

Yehonathan (meaning God gave) –  my son &

 Me- Yehoshua / Joshua (meaning God will save)

Email: joshua40@walla.com

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Breaking News: Surrogacy not for married couples only – singles and gays will have legal rights to have surrogate babies

Single men, single women, gays and lesbians may soon get the legal sanction to undergo surrogacy in India.

The draft bill legalizing the surrogacy process in India has provided for Single parenthood by allowing “Unmarried Couples” and “Single Persons” from India and abroad to have children in India using ART procedures and surrogate mothers.

By conferring the right to have children on unmarried couples and single persons, the bill attempts to achieve several historic feats – legalizing commercial surrogacy, single parenthood, live-in relationships and entitling gays and lesbians to start families using surrogate mothers – at one go.

The bill proposes to set up a mechanism to regulate and supervise surrogacy in India.

The bill, with potential to rewrite the social landscape, may be tabled in the monsoon session of Parliament if the Union Cabinet clears it.

Read more about this on http://epaper.hindustantimes.com//artMailDisp.aspx?article=21_06_2010_001_020&typ=1&pub=264

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Indian IVF bill may stop gay couple surrogacy

In the name of the fathers ... John Allen-Drury, left, and his partner, Darren, nurse their son, Noah, who was born in India using a surrogate mother. Photo: Graham Crouch

If the parents of newborn Noah Allen-Drury are lucky, their son will sleep through the noise as their flight from India lands in Sydney this morning.

Noah’s gay parents, however, are aware of legal turbulence that could prohibit the surrogacy arrangements that fulfilled their wish for a child.

A growing number of male couples from Australia and other Western countries are hiring surrogates in India to bear children, but that might no longer be possible if a draft bill to regulate IVF in India becomes law.

R.S. Sharma, the secretary of the committee writing a bill to govern assisted reproductive technology (ART), told the Herald that unless gay and lesbian relationships are legalised in India, gay couples would be excluded from hiring surrogates.

Delhi’s High Court recently overturned a 150-year-old section of the country’s penal code that outlawed ”carnal intercourse against the order of nature”.

However, gay activists warn this ruling, which in effect decriminalised sodomy, does not legalise gay relationships, leaving the status of such relationships unclear.

“If our government does not permit gay relationships, then it certainly will not be permitted for foreign gay couples to come to this country and have a [surrogacy] agreement,” said Dr Sharma, who is the deputy director-general of the reproductive health and nutrition division at the India Council of Medical Research.

John and Darren Allen-Drury, who live in the Blue Mountains, raced to India earlier this month when their surrogate mother entered labour. She gave birth to Noah on April 8. John Allen-Drury said changes to India’s laws would be a great disappointment, if passed.

”It would prevent a lot of same-sex couples from coming here,” he said.

Although some gay couples sought surrogate mothers in the United States and Thailand, ”India really is the closest country to Australia that offers affordable surrogacy,” he said.

The draft bill could make it difficult for all Australian couples to use Indian surrogates.

One stumbling block would be a requirement that foreign countries guarantee they will accept the surrogate child as a citizen – before a surrogacy could begin.

Dr Sharma said foreign couples would have to obtain a document from their embassy or foreign ministry pledging the surrogate child citizenship of their country. “Only then will they be entitled to sign an agreement with a surrogate or an ART clinic,” he said.

Parents using a surrogate would also be obliged to accept the baby even if it was born with abnormalities.

”Under the Australian Citizenship Act, there are no guarantees,” a spokesman for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship said on Friday. ”What you can infer from this is that while it’s not illegal, we certainly wouldn’t be encouraging it by giving a rubber stamp to anyone who entered into such an agreement.”

Mr Allen-Drury said surrogacy in the US cost $200,000 or more. In India the arrangements could be made for $40,000 to $50,000. Thailand’s laws were changed last year to stop surrogacies for same-sex couples, although it remains legal for single males.

Mr Allen-Drury said a requirement for the Australian government to guarantee citizenship before a surrogacy could begin was impractical. ”That would just close the door,” he said.

Trevor Elwell and his partner, Peter West, have twin girls, Evelyn and Gaia, from a surrogate mother in Mumbai. Mr Elwell predicted parliamentary inertia meant the Indian laws were months or years off. But he was concerned that interim guidelines could be adopted and, in effect, exclude same-sex couples.

Mr Elwell said the citizenship proposal could pose an insurmountable hurdle.

”If you want to do that process earlier and confirm citizenship, you’re going to have to have a government process upfront,” he said.

The demand for a guarantee of citizenship meant the Australian government would have to grant it on the basis of a contract it did not recognise.

”It is a bit of a tangle, so it might affect heterosexual couples in the long run,” Mr Elwell said.

Since the publicity after they got their twins, Mr Elwell and Mr West say they have helped more than 100 couples – some gay, some straight – arrange a surrogate mother in India.

”The tip of the iceberg may have been us.”

 Source: The Sydney Morning Herald (26 April, 2010)

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Ethical Issues Related to Birth of IVF Octuplets : Not a Cause for Celebration, Doctors Warn

 

Two newspapers recently published two opinion pieces examining the ethical issues surrounding the recent birth of octuplets to a California woman, Nadya Suleman, who reportedly underwent fertility treatments. Summaries appear below.

 


~ Arthur Caplan, Philadelphia Inquirer: “Something has gone terribly wrong when a 33-year-old single woman — who has no home of her own, no job and a mother who worries her daughter is ‘obsessed’ with having children — winds up with 14 of them,” Caplan, director of the University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics, writes in an opinion piece. “Examining what exactly went wrong may shed some light on what ought to be done,” Caplan says, adding, “If doctors cannot prevent such shambles from recurring, then society must.” Caplan reports that Suleman became pregnant with all of her 14 children through in vitro fertilization. He writes that the “most obvious questions raised by this sad saga include: How did Nadya Suleman become a fertility patient? And how did she get eight embryos implanted when she already had six young children to care for in a tiny house, with no partner and no income?” Although “[s]ome fertility doctors would answer that it’s not their job to decide how many children a person can have,” Caplan writes that the “idea that doctors should not set limits on who can use reproductive technology to make babies is ethically bonkers.” He continues, “Society needs to discourage mega-multiple births. And it is clear what needs to be done to accomplish that.” Government “needs to get involved,” Caplan says, concluding, “Other nations, such as Britain, keep a regulatory eye on reproductive technologies and those who wish to use them, knowing their use can put kids at risk in ways that nature never envisioned. We owe the same to children born here” (Caplan, Philadelphia Inquirer, 2/6).



~ Ellen Goodman, Miami Herald:  The medical team that delivered the octuplets “expected kudos and high fives,” but “instead of smiles, they saw jaws drop,” syndicated columnist Goodman writes. She continues, “Attention turned from the doctors to the mom, from her courage to her judgment, from the medical success of this delivery team to the ethical failures of fertility treatment.” Questions about whether anyone has “a right to tell anyone else how many kids to have” and whether only women with husbands or certain income levels should have children are “questions that make us feel queasy when we are talking about old-fashioned families,” Goodman writes. She adds, “But they take on a new flavor in the unregulated wild west of fertility technology.” According to Goodman, the “heart of this case” is that “it turns out there are no laws in this country limiting the number of embryos that can be implanted in one womb.” She adds that it is “against all guidelines to implant more than one or two embryos in a woman under 35. Given our experience with the extraordinary high risk of multiple pregnancies for mothers and babies, those who endanger patients ought to lose their licenses.” Goodman also writes that the infants will need “at least $1 million in neonatal care and more if they have the typical range of disabilities for premature babies.” A “reproductive business that generates so much controversy has produced a remarkable consensus,” she says, concluding, “Infertility treatment for an unemployed, single mother of six? Eight embryos in one womb? There must be a proper word in the medical literature to describe this achievement. I think the word is ‘nuts'” (Goodman, Miami Herald, 2/6).

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Single men turning to surrogates

NEW YORK (CNN) — Jeff Walker says from as far back as he can remember, he always wanted to be a father.

Alexandra. 

Walker decided to father a second child through surrogacy after he and his parner split. The result: Alexandra.picture-1

“It was always something I knew, from the time I was a child.” Just like his 3-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, who says she wants to be a mommy someday, Jeff says, “I knew I wanted to be a daddy.”

Walker, a Manhattan music executive, says he and his partner had talked about adopting a baby years ago. But after three emotionally draining, failed attempts at adoption, they decided to turn to surrogacy. They contacted Circle Surrogacy, a Boston agency that specializes in gay clients. Their child was conceived with a donor egg, and then the embryo implanted in the surrogate, or carrier.

After Elizabeth was born, Walker and his partner separated. He then made a critical decision — to become a dad again, single, and by choice.

“I realized my family, my two-dad family was going to look different than I thought it was going to look,” he said. Without a partner, he would face even steeper challenges raising Elizabeth and a sibling alone. Walker says he gave the decision a lot of thought.

“That was the only part that was really controversial, because I do think there are a lot of challenges that single parents face, but at the same time I felt I was capable of handling those challenges,” he said.

His second daughter, Alexandra, was born two years ago to the same surrogate, implanted with an egg from a different donor.

Walker, 45, is one of a growing number of single men — both gay and straight — who are opting to become fathers alone, with the help of gestational surrogacy.

Surrogacy experts say because the practice is not regulated, many surrogacy arrangements are handled privately by individuals. Precise figures are hard to come by, but experts say there’s no doubt the United States is experiencing a surrogacy baby boom.

Celebrities like Ricky Martin and Clay Aiken announced this year they had had babies with the help of surrogates and the the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, representing scores of reproductive clinics, reports that the number of gestational surrogate births in the country quadrupled between 1996 and 2006. 

Surrogacy experts say gestational surrogacy has increased steadily since the advent of in vitro fertilization in the early 1980s, because it provides an extra layer of emotional and legal protection for the client. The egg donor usually does not even know the client, and unlike the legally contentious “Baby M” case from the 1980s, the surrogate is not giving birth to her genetic child.

“It rises as an issue far less frequently with gestational surrogacy, because women never see it as their child to begin with,” said John Weltman, president of Circle Surrogacy.

His agency, which expects more than 70 babies to be born in 2009, has seen a 50 percent growth in the number of single male clients over the past year.

Walker and other men are willing to pay well over $100,000 to have a baby through surrogacy — the final cost depending on the number of IVF treatments necessary and how much is paid by insurance.

Circle is not the only major surrogacy provider experiencing a single-dad surge. At Growing Generations, a Los Angeles, California, agency that facilitates about 100 births a year, the number of single men seeking surrogates has doubled in the past three years, spokeswoman Erica Bowers said.

Although most of their single male clients are gay, surrogacy providers say a smaller but growing number are straight. Steven Harris, a New York malpractice and personal-injury attorney, says he gave up trying to get married when he realized his primary motive was to start a family.

Harris, 54, says he knew he made the right decision after 21-month old Ben was born.

“I thought getting married was the only way to go, because I did want a family. But having Ben, I feel complete now,” Harris says. 

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America’s Funniest Surrogate Stories Contest Winner

The following was selected as the Winning Entries in America’s Funniest Surrogate Stories Contest: Grand Prize Winner:

“I’ll never forget our meeting in Virginia… My IM picked me up from the airport to take me for my sonogram and, after that, out to lunch at the local shopping mall. As we pulled into the parking lot, my IM realized that it was time for her Fertinex injection and being that I was an RN, I was elected to give her the shot. She also elected to do it right there in the parking lot!!! O.K… I’ll go along with this… I was nervously laughing about things… It was only the second time I had seen this girl face to face !! And here I was about to give her a shot in the thigh !!!!!

She was so organized, pulling out her ice water bag filled with injections and vials!!! We looked like a bunch of drug dealers in the parking lot dealing our stuff!!! Funny thing was that several mall employees were taking their smoke breaks while we had the car door open drawing up the meds. I was so nervous I couldn’t stop laughing. I was so worried that someone would think the worst!!!”

“Come on Deb, hurry it up !!!” I said. “Now slow down,” she said, “I have to draw up four vials’ worth and it takes time!!!! “Just stick your leg out and let’s get this over with, Deb !!!” She wanted everything to be perfect!!! I just knew we looked suspicious!!! I just knew the longer she took, the more trouble was headed our way !!!!!

She FINALLY let me give her the shot!!!!! Deb was such a PERFECTIONIST!!! I was the nurse and she was making me crazy!!!!!! Well, we were cleaning up our little mess in the car and getting ready to go into the mall for lunch and wouldn’t you know it!!! Mall security drives around the corner with flashing lights!!!! They were driving ever so slowly scouting out the parking lot!!!! I knew it … I just knew it !!!! All I could picture was trying to explain to the FAIRFAX POLICE that these were ONLY infertility drugs!!!!!! All I could think of was missing our transfer because we were locked up in jail for questioning!!! Was Deb worrried ??? OH NO !!!!

That’s Deb, cool as a cucumber, being dragged across the parking lot by her surrogate…. And all she could think about was the drop of Fertinex that leaked out of her injection site!!!!! We slipped away from mall security by the skin of our teeth that day… the closest thing I’ve ever been to being arrested in this lifetime…. and Deb ???? She still complains of MY injection techniques to this day !!!! I sure do love that girl !!!! God couldn’t have paired two funnier people together !!!!!

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Many women would ask a male friend to father their child

A survey of 3,103 men and women, has found that 45 per cent of women surveyed would consider asking a male friend to father their child in the absence of a suitable partner.

The report by the company reveals that both men and women have concerns about fertility issues, with two thirds of the women polled that were not in current relationships expressing doubts over their ability to conceive naturally, and 26 per cent of men voicing similar concerns.

The most intriguing trend to come out of the survey was women’s willingness to consider alternative means to conception in the absence of a suitable partner. Women between the ages of 28 and 31 were most likely to entertain the idea of turning to a male friend in absence of a partner, while half of the single female survey respondents thought about meeting a partner on a frequent basis. Many women questioned also made it clear that they would consider a ‘second best’ option in the event that they were unable to find their ‘ideal’ partner.

Psychologist Linda Papadopoulos commented on the changing social norms of parenting, which were challenging the conventional nuclear family unit. She stated that ‘reconstituted families, same sex families, and single parents are much more prevalent these days, and rather than ascribing to the ‘norm’ it seems that women and men are more flexible with their definition of ‘family”.

Posted by : Goral Gandhi, MSc,

                   Laboratory Director,

                   Rotunda – Center for Human Reproduction (Pvt) Ltd

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