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”.