Sunday, July 19, 2009

Baby hiccup...

This past Friday we received a call that made us stop, assess what was happening, and shift gears a bit. Up to now, we have tried to remind ourselves that this is a complicated process, and there will be stumbling blocks, but that doesn't mean you can't react, right?? (please say "right")...

I'd had a bad taste in my mouth for a few days as I had been trying to get some answers from our Planet Hospital case manager about our upcoming trip to India in September -- no luck. After a few days of calls and texts and emails to her I started to get nervous. Something was up. When I finally did make contact the bottom line was that she was leaving Planet Hospital because she didn't feel confident they had their clients' best interest in mind. I swallowed hard and tried not to react (I mildly succeeded). While trying to process this and talk at the same time, I considered our options. Basically there were four. One, we could stay with PH and get another case manager. After some talking on the phone with someone who was leaving the company because she didn't feel they were ethical, that option was very low on the list. Two, we could go with our case manager who offered to work with us independently. To be honest, we trusted this person, we met her when we were in L.A. in April, and I could tell (for the most part) that she was genuinely excited for us as we continued on this baby journey. She also had a good relationship with the clinic in India, and Dr. Kadam. That was a good option. Third, we could abandon this idea of becoming fathers and cut our losses. To think of this was devastating to me. We had invested too much emotionally over the past few years and there was also the financial investment (which, to me, was very secondary to the thought of just not having a child). This was NOT an option. Fourth, we could contact Rotunda in India and work with them directly. After communicating with them a bit over the past few months, I had a fair amount of trust in them. I had also read several comments on blogs and websites that were overall very positive (some were negative, but everyone has an axe to grind, right?). I hung the phone up and decided that I needed to talk to Bill. That was a depressing call to make. But Bill is so level-headed, and really takes time to think about things, so I knew we would make the right decision, together.

After doing much more research and contacting a few couples online about their experiences with Rotunda, we decided to work with the clinic directly, and use our old case manager at PH as a consultant, if we needed her. This decision was cemented when I sent an email to Rotunda on Friday and received a reply within a few hours. In fact, I had several questions over the weekend that I sent their way and got an answer within 24 hours. This was much more than we had ever received from PH -- and they were only 3 hours ahead of our time zone. Sheesh!

Sunday during the day we spent with a gay couple that had two boys through surrogacy. We had so many questions!...and it allowed Bill and I to ponder things that we never thought of (with our friends as referees!). It was a fun day and they were so helpful. It's amazing that they just came in to our lives about a month ago, and we had never really met another gay couple who had children from a surrogate mother. It's crazy how the stars align...

That night I got a text from my niece. She had just finished her period and she was feeling great. She was off to apply for her passport on Tuesday for the trip in September. She commented that the birth control was having some positive (shapely) effects on her body that were appreciated by her significant other. She, too, seemed to be enjoying this ride...I laughed and called her "booby girl" and decided to call it a day before eating leftovers with Bill and watching a movie.

Before we sat down for a little dinner and television, I smiled and glowed in our sense of accomplishment. For a weekend that started out VERY crappy, it was ending on a very high note.

As a sidebar regarding the above, many of these feelings of anxiety regarding Planet Hospital and the eventual decision to work directly with Rotunda were alleviated by three couples who I've been emailing almost on a daily basis since Friday. I found them on the internet via their blogs, and each of them are in different stages of this crazy journey. The comforting part is that they are working with (or worked with) our clinic Rotunda. They have been an amazing resource for Bill and I. So I want to say MAHALO to Mike and Mike (who are fathers to two beautiful girls Rose and Eva, born in April), John and Chris (who are in Mumbai RIGHT NOW picking up their twin boys), and Terry and Steve (who are eight weeks pregnant!). You guys have been invaluable to us. Thanks for taking the time to answer emails and for being available in the midst of your busy lives.


  1. I have a baby from an Indian surrogate, and went the the Rotunda Clinic, using Planet Hospital. I didn't have a problem with them. I thought they were helpful in communicating with the Rotunda, since it was hard to get a hold of the drs sometimes. Who was your caseworker? I heard someone recently got fired from there and is being charged with embezzlement. Maybe it's this person?


  2. Hi Sarah, our case worker was awesome and I still communicate with her regularly. She did mention something about corruption so we are very happy with our decision to go directly with Rotunda. With everything that we've heard about the "big business" of fertility in the U.S. I guess it's not surprising to hear about third party organizations facilitating surrogacy overseas to take the same route. While I am sure there are many great people out there helping infertile couples have children the money gets in the way sometimes. So glad to hear you had a positive outcome! Thanks for your post.

  3. Doug

    Hi. I just saw your comments re PH.

    There is some heavy stuff going on right now with Planet Hospital. I would avoid working with them and anyone associated (past or present) until the dust settles and they are able to clarify what is going on.

    I highly recommend that you work directly with the clinic instead. Rotunda is a legitimate operation that you can trust.

  4. Thanks Jon. I just read your post, too. I had heard some rumblings on the internet last week, too. Talk about just in time...the clinic has been awesome to deal with lately. We are very happy with our decision and thanks for alerting everyone to this! Sad, but not surprising when there is money involved. Hope all the boys are doing well!!!
    Aloha, Doug