Monthly Archives: May 2013

signed, sealed, and delivered.


both of our entire medical visa applications have been submitted.  the submission clerk and her manager reviewed them, i paid, and they are off.

the staff, as always, were very nice at the office.  the female clerk now recognizes me.. hehe!  i know a few of you have asked me this, so the fee, per application, is approximately $152 CAD.  also, this time they must courier it back to us, whereas for the tourist visa we were able to pick it up, so that’s a bit different and i hope it causes no delays.  i am so lucky to work at home most of the time, so i can be around (hopefully) when the courier shows up.

please, whether you send good vibes, burn incense or candles, pray, meditate, do magic, make offerings of food or flowers, throw pennies in a fountain, or whatever, please just put in a good word or two for us, for our medical visas to be approved in time for our departure, and then also for our surrogacy to be successful.  i am counting on everyone i know, and even you all i don’t know except through this blog, and i will do the same for you whenever you should need it.

thanks y’all!


i am pretty sure we have everything this time…


so i am going to submit our applications again this morning.  i so hope it’s all in order, because our trip is booked for us to leave on June 18th, so that doesn’t leave much time.  i am preparing myself for a constant state of anxiety while waiting…. sigh.

let the good vibage commence!!

a few things were missing…


ok folks, the BLS office (visa submission office) said that our packages were nearly perfect.  the only two things that were missing were a list of the costs associated with the surrogacy (which is no problem to provide) and then hubby and i were missing one other piece of important information, but it’s not going to be relevant to any of you, so i won’t mention it.  this will prove a little harder to get, but i am HOPING to have it in the next two days, so i can resubmit on Thursday or Friday.

apparently it takes “a fortnight” to process, which is two weeks, so we are really cutting it close here, because we really need to leave in three weeks, or wait til a new cycle.

i am going to need all your good vibes sent our way in the next few days, and then also in the weeks for processing.  i am happy to trade good vibes for others of you who need vibage for your surrogacy or any other ole thing… just let me know!!!

medical visa application stuff


finally we have gathered all the stuff we need for the medical visa application packages, and we are ready to submit them tomorrow.  what a lot of stuff.  i wanted to share the list of what we included, because the checklist in the “Useful Information” section on the right is only for a general medical visa (could be for any medical procedure), and the medical visa for surrogacy is much more complicated.  so here’s the list, NOT in order:

  1. the CHECKLIST – you have to sign it when you drop off the package, because they review your package with you to make sure you have everything, or they will write down what is missing (hopefully nothing)
  2. application form – signed with an appropriately sized picture pasted to it
  3. surrogacy letter for perspective parents – from the High Commission of Canada (or your country’s) in New Delhi
  4. surrogacy contract – signed by all parties and notarized
  5. letter stating we will support the child(ren) after born
    1. we included the notice of assessment from our 2012 tax returns to show our income
  6. proof you will be able to pay for the surrogacy and related expenses (bank account print out)
  7. letter from our doctor in Canada explaining why we need surrogacy
  8. letter from clinic in India explaining when we need to be in India for surrogacy and where the procedures will be performed and how long we need to be there
  9. information to show the clinic is an ART clinic registered by the Indian Council of Medical Research
  10. marriage certificate (holy crap, i thought i knew EXACTLY where our certificate was – in a file folder called “wedding” in the filing cabinet – so i didn’t worry about it.  then this afternoon i looked and it wasn’t there, so we had to tear through every single paper in our house.  eventually, we found an old box full of paper, and hubby said “oh, that just looks like garbage”, but i had been through everything else.  sure enough, there it was, in the exact blue plastic sleeve i had in my mind’s eye…. if we hadn’t found it, it takes something like $150 and 7 business days to get a replacement… close call!!!  now it’s in the “wedding” folder in the filing cabinet, where it belongs.)

so, hopefully that’s everything.  i will let you all know how it goes tomorrow morning.  fingers crossed, ‘kay?

***ADDED JUNE 4th*** – please ensure you include information or proof from your clinic that they are a registered ART clinic.  while we just included this info in amongst the information in the letter of intent to support the babies that are the result of this surrogacy, I would recommend that you get a letter directly from your clinic, or at the very least, print the 20 page list of ART clinics (in the Useful Information section of this blog) and highlight your clinic.  it will just be more clear than what i provided, and while the gentleman i spoke to at our consulate office was lovely, you might not be as lucky, so have your package as straight forward as possible.

travel clinic


so we went to the travel clinic this afternoon, as we were pretty sure we would need anti-malaria medication for the trip and our GP said she didn’t normally prescribe it because it’s best to be prescribed by someone who specializes in knowing what is needed for each country.

it was a good appointment, we were able to book as  a couple, and they were open late.  i am all for offices that are open outside of regular business hours because we are already having to take so much time off work for various appointments and for the trips themselves.  the nurse practitioner who interviewed us about our trip and also the nurse who administered the shots were very knowledgeable.  here is a list of things we talked about and vaccinations we received today:

  • hepatitis A and B – we had Twinrix in 2011, so were all good
  • tetanus – hubby was up to date here, not me though – covered by provincial medical plan
  • typhoid shot for each of us
  • hubby got Dukoral to take before the trip, which covers traveler’s diarrhea (e-coli and cholera); due to some pre-exisiting intestinal issues, she did not recommend this for me
  • anti-malaria pills – there were two options here – one was about $1/day each, but you take it for the whole trip and then a month afterwards and it has lots of common side effects like nausea, and the second was $5/day, but you only take it for the trip and then a week, and has no side effects – we opted for the ones with no side effects, as we don’t want to be nauseated on the trip if necessary – so this will be the most costly thing at around $150 each
  • a set of antibiotics each, just to carry in case (not sure how much this will cost, as we haven’t had the prescriptions filled)
  • we both got a booster of the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine, as apparently folks born after a certain year (some year in the 50s i think) are recommended to get a booster dose because the “new” vaccine isn’t as effective as the old from before that time) – covered by provincial medical plan
  • all of these things are good for varying amounts of time, between a few months to life, so i highly recommend seeing a travel clinic if you have any doubts as to whether you are up to date
  • we were provided with a list of things we should think about taking with us, that may or may not be readily available there; from tylenol to anti-nausea pills to epi-pens for allergies, bandaids, etc.
  • a whack of information about various diseases that are found in India, including info about mosquitoes.  it is recommended that we use heavy DEET mosquito repellent while we are there, as there are Dengue fever mosquitoes during the day, and Malaria mosquitoes at night.  unfortunately, there is no vaccine or cure for Dengue fever, so that’s what the repellent is for, better safe than sorry.
  • because we are only going to be in the urban areas, there were things we likely didn’t need, but i can’t fill you in on those.  if you are planning on rural travel, it would definitely be best to talk to a travel clinic nurse.

here is the clinic we went to and the hours and price list.  there are likely all kinds of travel clinics in every city, and i would highly recommend going to one.  this is the first time we have done so, even though we have done a fair bit of travelling, and it was very informative.  we feel much safer now :p

the importance of research


hubby sometimes says i research too much, and likely he’s right in many cases.  i chalk it up to some of the jobs i have had in the medical profession, including a trainer and a project manager.  healthcare, training, and project management all lend themselves to attempting to be thorough and to research the hell out of anything of interest or importance.

regardless of the choices you make when it comes to surrogacy, it’s probably most important to research clinics, so you choose the one that will fit your philosophy and surrogacy plan the best.  i think that loyal readers of this blog have seen that our journey has changed from the start to now, because my ideas of what i had hoped for in my mind’s eye were pretty lofty, and the limitations of what’s available do not make that situation particularly common.

when you start your own journey, you too will have an idea of how you want it to play out, and different aspects may diminish your choices.  whether you are a single person or homosexual couple who is trying to find a clinic that will manipulate the new guidelines to make it work for you, a couple with a limited income, people from a country that doesn’t recognize surrogacy, a couple where one person can’t travel because of health concerns, or any number of factors that deem your situation individual, you may have to make choices and compromises away from your initial plan.

i guess it’s because of this that i just wanted to stress the importance of research, because there aren’t very many guides on this route.  you can find some organizations that will help you, that have experience with surrogacy, and for a fee they will take care of all the details, and if you find this process intimidating, then that might be the right path for you.  some clinics are probably better than others at hand-holding, or might have staff that are dedicated to assisting you to find accommodation, flights, help with paperwork, etc.  each couple will figure out their necessary level of assistance required.

i guess the bottom line, is that it’s important to find a clinic that is going to suite your needs, no matter what they happen to be, and it’s key that they are a registered ART (assisted reproductive technology) clinic in India, because it’s now illegal to use a clinic that isn’t officially registered.  therefore, i wanted to share the most recent list i could find of clinics that are registered, so before you even contact a clinic, you can check the list, then ask your selected clinic if they are still registered (because the list doesn’t have a date on it, and i have no clue when/if it will be updated or how long registration lasts or how often it needs to be renewed).

another reason i wanted to share this list with you, is because it may be a jumping on point for you, because when i started this journey, and my subsequent research, it was rumoured that there were over a thousand surrogacy clinics in India (which sounds scary as all get-out), but you can see from the list that there are only about 150 registered at the time of this post.  in my discussions with other women who are undertaking surrogacy at this very moment, NONE of us are using the same clinic, and not many of them are using clinics i have ever heard of.  this is not to say that my clinic is better or worse than theirs, my point is that all it really takes to make a clinic look good online are a fantastic website designer and a bunch of good reviews (and how can you know if these reviews are solicited or faked or paid or real and honest?).  each of us has selected a different clinic, which means that each of these clinics had things that attracted clients.

so do your research, and by that i don’t mean just look online at the pretty, shiny websites.  see if you can talk to friends of friends who have undertaken surrogacy either successfully or unsuccessfully, make connections online with forums, facebook groups, chat rooms, blogs, anyone who will talk to you about their experience.  be a little bit skeptical of folks you don’t know who are just gushing about their clinic and experience, as no experience is perfect and flawless, and it’s a known fact that discounts have been given by some clinics so that the IPs will gush online about their experiences.  try to connect with people who will just get down and dirty with the details, and who will share the good and the “bad”.


Four Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Give a S***


This really has nothing to do with surrogacy, but I am willing to bet my bottom dollar that at least 51% of the readers will enjoy this post by Cappy. I thought the sentiments VERY worth sharing and since there is no update on our surrogacy just now, plus it’s a long weekend and there likely won’t be any updates for at least a few days, I wanted to put up something…. So this is what I chose.

cappy writes

I’d like to begin this post by establishing that I hate Lena Dunham, and it has nothing to do with her appearance and everything to do with her mind – which is the opposite of why most people dislike her. I think the show Girls is utter tripe and that I could probably write a more convincing show about today’s youth, but whatever. All that aside, I admire her for one reason: she doesn’t give a shit. When I say this, I mean she doesn’t give a shit about what people say about her body. And, she says, “I am going to show my thighs every day till I die.”

I recently read an article  about this, and the author made a few amazing points. Why should she, or any other woman for that matter, be constantly preoccupied with her looks or her weight? Why should she feel sorry

View original post 751 more words

not so fast, buster!


again, i get ahead of myself.  i realized that before we can apply for the medical visas, we need a letter from the clinic outlining when the procedure will take place and how long we will need to be there, so thank you to my clinic doctor for reminding me of this and offering to send the letters in preparation for a June treatment.

once we get the letter(s?), we can apply.  i also have to figure out exactly what other information i need to include in the application package.  one requirement that baffles me a bit is “Evidence of financial arrangements made for maintenance in India”.

i will email a few other Canadian couples i have been chatting with to see what they provided in this respect, and also call the visa office with other questions.

i have added the link to the medical visa checklist on my “Helpful Information” section on the right hand side of this blog.




we got the contract today, via courier.  it’s all notarized and stamped on every page, it’s very official looking!

now to get copies of it and everything else so we can apply for the medical visas.

one small step for us, one giant leap for baby-kind… (ok, that was geeky)

I forgot to mention


Ugh, there goes my tablet again with its pesky capitalizing. Oh well, I am posting from bed.

Bits of the whirlwind trip come back to me at odd times, and i think I forgot to mention a most amazing thing. Maybe I didn’t, it’s hard to go back in a tablet and look; no CTRL+F. If I mentioned it before, it was worth mentioning twice, at least for a weather junkie like me.

When we were flying from Seoul to Mumbai, maybe somewhere around Thailand (North of) kinda, there was the MOST AMAZING lightening storm. We were above the clouds, and therefore above the lightening, so it was a perspective I have never had before. The clouds were thick and grey and fluffy and parts would flash over and over and over. Then somewhere else, then move back to the original spot. Then at times the whole expanse would light up. Purple, my favourite; electric and alive. It must have been the biggest storm or set of storms, because even though we were flying fast, it was with us for somewhere between 1 – 2 hours. I never heard thunder, we were probably too far up, and i was never scared. It was just a truly amazing weather experience I will never forget.

Next for the monsoons in Mumbai?