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Journey To Surrogacy- Part 2

Hi all,


It's been a while since I've given a surrogacy update. This is for a couple reasons but mainly I wanted to ensure all the logistics and behind the scenes "stuff" and legalities were worked out and documented (which they now are- more on that later..) If you missed part 1 of this journey read about it here.


So let me catch you up... I started the process as mentioned before by submitting my application at a pre established location given the Intended Parents and I had already connected outside of an agency. This is perhaps not the "norm" but we had established we wanted to move forward together and she had already selected an agency on her end. Once approved and finalized with the agency and we were "officially matched" within the agency the excitement and meat of the process began.


First things first, medical clearance. This is probably one of the most obvious steps in this whole process. I had to go to our fertility clinic and have several medical items completed. They took SO much blood to run just about every kind of test you can imagine to ensure that things are normal and would be no risk for myself to carry someone else's child and no risk to the child for me to carry. I also had to have a mock transfer done early on along with a hysteroscopy and an ultrasound. Woah- lots of tests but understandable and necessary to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved.


For us we got out results back and hit the first road bump in the process. Like anything in life, there is bound to be hiccups and bumps within this process for everyone. For me, I had an active CMV infection. I was not aware what this was and was honestly a bit scared when I first learned of this. This is a common virus that affects people of all ages. Over half of the population has been infected with CMV in their lifetime. Generally it causes no symptoms and is a non issue for most people. This was true for me. I had no symptoms of being sick nor felt sick. Here is where it gets interesting. For most people it's essentially a non issue. For women seeking to become pregnant especially with the help of a fertility clinic, this virus is a small red flag. It can cause hearing loss and birth defects among other things for children in utero if the mother has an active infection during the first trimester.


With all of that information now brought to light we had to understand what was next. There is no treatment (especially since there are rarely symptoms) and doctors always recommend waiting 6 months post acute CMV infection to try and get pregnant. For us, this was essentially a non issue because I had all my initial labs and testing done and had this infection in November 2021 and we were not planning to complete the embryo transfer until April 2022 anyways.


Keith also had to undergo some blood work and labs to ensure as my parter there were no risks to the baby I was about to carry. The Intended Parents also had to undergo medical screening and clearances.


Next up, we had to complete psychological screening and testing. This also a step in the process that both Keith and I had to complete together. This was done with a professional psychologist and took about 1.5 hours to complete via the phone. She asked both Keith and I questions about our intentions, our home life, and my previous pregnancy and birth experiences. She also asked us our thoughts and views on more difficult things that may come up in the surrogacy process such as selective reduction, pregnancy termination, wants and ability to carry multiples, how many embryo transfers we would be willing to complete should the first one, two, etc not be a success... This for me was not a daunting thing but I understand for some it can be. The intended parents and I again had already discussed a lot of this outside of this and knew we were on the same page. In a surrogacy journey where there isn't previous discussions or relationships I could see this being a more difficult part of the process.


Both of these steps also had to be completed by. the intended parents.This is done with the opposite lens if you will but ensures the best is at heart from all parties involved.


The next step in the journey for us was legal. This part was honestly the most intimidating part for me and I'm not sure why. The agency that we are working with gave suggestions of lawyers to both the intended parents as well as Keith and I. We each had separate legal representation. I had a brief introduction call with the lawyer that was suggested to my by the agency and he instantly put my mind at ease. He answered all of my questions, was referencing state statutes and legalities off the top of his head, provided examples of past surrogacy court hearings, and also shared his experiences in family law. The intended parents and their lawyer drafted up an agreement and sent it to us. Keith and I met with our lawyer via phone to talk through every single part of the contract. This contract basically lays out every single step of the process from the transfer to hopefully the birth and every in between possible situation. Further it lays out what is expected of myself as the surrogate and what is expected of the the intended parents in all of these situations. It also lays out the financial aspect of the journey. Every single detail is documented in this contract along with both parties expectations which really put my mind at ease. We went back and forth with just a few edits and finally we were ready to sign. Once this happened we officially had legal clearance!


With legal clearance this also meant that we were officially given the green light by both the agency and the fertility clinic for transfer!


While this is really only 3 steps they are all BIG, detailed and intricate steps in the process... It's a lot of information to process and work through. I'm thankful we had a great team at the agency, fertility clinic, and law firms to help us navigate this process and feel comfortable with it.


This still doesn't quite catch us up to speed to current but this is enough information for anyone to read and a good place to pause in the sharing of our journey so far to becoming a surrogate.


 

If you or someone you know has questions-I encourage you to leave them in the comments or get in contact with me via the connect with me via the "Let Me Know What's On Your Mind" section at the bottom of my homepage. I will be happy to share my experiences although I am not an expert. 🙂


AND if you're interested in getting more information and behind the scenes looks at what this surrogacy journey looks like for me follow me on Instagram (@mariakemnitz) for my story updates. I also post weekly #surrogacysundays posts on Sundays in my feed.


Subscribe to my blog and follow me on Instagram to see how our journey plays out! I am so excited that one of my life long dreams is finally becoming a reality.


xoxo

Maria Elizabeth

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I am Maria -a 29 year-old Wisconsin girl who wants to share my life with all of you!

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