And so it begins.

With the exception of cameras being shoved up your nether regions, early on in a surrogacy arrangement, you can expect to get a LOT of paper cuts! The paperwork is insane.

I will give you a quick run down of all things surrogacy in VIC. Basically, surrogates and intended parents work with the clinic in order to get their submission for approval assessed by the Patient Review Panel (PRP). This panel is run by the Department of Health here in VIC and oversees all things ART. They give a yay or a nay to all gestational surrogacy arrangements in the state. You cannot transfer until you are approved.  Victoria is a little different to the other states in Australia the way it all works. For those of you who are interstate or overseas (Hi my new NZ friends!), check your local legislation and with your clinic for more specific info.

Now that our clinic has approved us internally, we can start our counselling. KiT/CaT have their first session next week and hubby and I have our first one the week after. Can I just say that geez some counsellors work cushy hours! No evening appointments, no Friday or weekend appointments. Pretty much only working between 9am and 2pm. Not easy to get time off work but we have managed to make it work as best we could by taking planned annual leave days. After your 1st clinic counselling appointment, you can commence with the independent counselling and legal advice component of the process. At some stage, no more counselling can be proceeded with until you have this so it is best to book these in early on in the process.We have independent sessions scheduled with and without KiT/CaT so that is all booked in and we are ready to go! The independent counsellor will also do our psych testing. We initially thought we didn’t have to do the psych test again and that they could use the report from last time, but that was rejected by the PRP, much to hubbys disappointment. He still has nightmares from that 300 question test! We are still discussing lawyers but that should be confirmed soon and then the legal component can commence.

In between all of this, one also needs the following:

  • Police Check
  • Child Protection Check
  • Proof of age/address/children

So I am copying, printing, filling our forms and posting everything we need to be sent here, there and everywhere. Some places just don’t make it easy, I tells ya!! The poor person who has to certify all our documents is bound to get RSI.

But it is worth it! The rigmarole one has to go through is for the right reasons. To create life and families. Could the process be more streamlined? Yes! Could it be a little less formal? Yes! But it is what it is- you could fight it but you wouldn’t get anywhere.

 

And what else has been happening with me?

I am in between uni semesters- the next one starts in just over a week. I am well into training for my 16km run in a couple of weeks. I saw Ethan on the weekend which was awesome! I love seeing my IP’s and the kids and watching all our little offspring play together, it is so sweet. Ethan is walking now and so proud of himself! I got some great belly laughs out of him which made me smile. We are catching up again at Easter which will be lovely.

And finally, the insanity that has been going on with this blog has been heart warming. More views in a week than I have had in total for almost 2 years of writing this- 5000+ views! That has to be the entire population of NZ, right?! 😉 Mind. Blown. And not just little flicks here and there over my blog- some people have read the ENTIRE thing! It definitely shows that there is just as much interest in surrogacy over there as there is in Australia and from what I have learned from a couple of my NZ, changes need to be made there too.

So even though laws differ between our countries, if you want to follow my 2nd journey, NZ friends (or anyone for that matter), you are most welcome! You can find the follow button on the bottom right hand side of my page and it will send you an email every time I make a new post. I would love to have you come along for the ride and all it entails- the good (babies!), the bad (my graphic descriptions), and the ugly (my grammar)!

I will keep you posted how counselling is progressing later this month. xo

 

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3 thoughts on “And so it begins.

  1. Hi Tummymummy,
    Wow, that certainly is a long process and sure seems like lots of paper work but as you said it is all worth it in the end.
    I am so pleased to hear your NZ friends are so keen on following your blog and why wouldn’t they,your blogs are always awesome.
    So good you are doing well with your running,good on you,keep it up.
    Hope all goes well with your uni work too.
    Good luck on uour journey and will look forward to your next blog.
    Julie xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the funny and informative post. You truely are a special woman. What are the timeframes that one would expect from the time you approach your clinic, to when the formal process of approvals and paperwork is completed. Years?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi lovely! Great to see you on here. In VIC, the length of the process varies greatly depending on whether intended parents are gay or heterosexual, whether they have embryos on ice or need a donor. Lets use as an example, a hetero couple who already have embryos on ice. For my first surrogacy, the process from independent obstetric assessment/initial FS appointment to the Patient Review Panel approval was 4 months- unheard of at that time. It was 6 months all up between saying yes and our first (unsuccessful) transfer.
      The fastest process I have heard of was 2 months at a different clinic. At our clinic, they still advise 4-6 months as a minimum but they did have a couple and a surrogate do it all in 3 months recently. If you add donor material to the process, it takes longer, as do any quarantine periods if they haven’t been served.
      In terms of the ENTIRE process for me, from date of saying yes until the SPO was granted through the court after Ethan’s birth was 2 years exactly.
      Hope this helps xo

      Like

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