You know, one of these days I will get to write a post announcing a pregnancy. Today is not that day. Trust me when I say I have planned many different options for how to tell the blogosphere we are finally expecting our baby, but until I get to put one of those plans into action, you get today’s post: all about the paperwork.
There is a terrible joke that when you are expecting a child by surrogacy or adoption you feel no labour pains, but the paper cuts are terrible. It’s not a funny statement, but I get where it’s coming from.
We have finally finished our legal paperwork and the surrogacy agreement is in place. I say “finally” not because dealing with the lawyers or finalizing the details of the contract stuff was particularly arduous, but because it has taken us so very long to arrive at these final stages. We are officially 35 months into our active work on The Off-Site Bakery Project. That’s just shy of three years of appointments, phone calls, tests, more tests, needles, horrid medical procedures, paying bills, paperwork and–worst of all–long periods of waiting. Legal bits and pieces are the final step before attempting a pregnancy.
It’s been a long haul, but we know it will be absolutely worth it.
Writing a legal agreement for an engineered pregnancy that’s happening in someone else’s pelvis is a strange process. We had to answer questions most couples never think of at this stage. Who will raise the baby if The Electrician and I are both killed while it gestates? What happens if we receive a devastating diagnosis for the baby in utero? I guess the usual process is to deal with the ugly stuff if and when, heaven forbid, it happens. We had to plan for every nasty possibility ahead of time.
In the end, we have eighteen pages of legal agreement designed to protect all the humans involved in this process and to make our intentions clear. We are fortunate to be working with an experienced lawyer who has done this many times before. A person pays for expertise, however, and we have certainly made an investment in ensuring our agreement is solid and adheres completely to Canadian law.
After going through all the possibilities of things that are so unlikely to go wrong but needed to be planned for, we are also deeply grateful to Auntie Stork, who has stuck by us even when the conversations get heavy and we have to address the stuff no one likes to talk about. There are days when I still can’t believe how lucky we are to know her.
Putting the legal agreement into place means the only thing left to do is transfer an embryo to Auntie Stork’s uterus when the time is right. In practical terms, we are in single digits for the number of weeks left to a pregnancy. Reality hasn’t particularly sunk in that we are so close, after nearly 150 weeks of waiting, planning, fighting, and all the rest of it. I think when there is finally a bun in the oven, I’ll be so stunned that I’ll need that first trimester of keeping the pregnancy quiet to wrap my head around the fact that we will finally, finally get to be parents.
While we acknowledge that medicine and biology could still fail us and that a baby is not guaranteed, The Electrician and I choose to refer to the baby stuff as a “when” and not an “if.” Positive thinking never hurts. Besides, focusing on the end goal has gotten us through a variety of speed bumps during this process, and we’re not about to shift gears in the home stretch.
Right now, all the news from our house is positive. Thanks, as always, to the folks who have been cheering us on. We are almost there.