About Me

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North Carolina, United States
(Allie & Harris) Wife, teacher, patient, thinker, friend, worrier, planner, seeker. These are the hats I wear on a daily basis for the roles in my life. Harris and I've been married since 1999 and we have two fur babies of the feline sort. We have a pretty good life, all things considered. But, it's not complete. Seven years ago I received a diagnosis of PCOS, a condition which has taken a toll on both my body and soul. It will not beat me though and we will be parents.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Square One, is that you?!?!

Wow, that new law from last Summer has really screwed with every aspect of the surrogacy process!  It seems like we are having to do every single thing over from the beginning just like we did when we first did this process...um, well, it seems like that because we are. 

We are once again asking the basic questions about timing, paperwork, and medicines which held our thoughts captive every moment the first time we did the process.  So, again, we're wondering how and if this is going to work.  How in the world is everyone getting all of the paperwork done in the wake of the new law??? 

The laughter, that has to inevitably arise in times of massive stress, stems from the fact that I'm also cycling off of my anxiety medication right now.  So, below I'm listing the questions we're asking (as American Citizens), and I will post the answers I get in hopes that it can help others hoping to do this process as well.  I know Dr. Shivani's staff will totally help guide us thru the process, but again, I feel like we're starting totally over. 

So here are some of the questions we've come up with (so far):

  1. When you say that we will "need to come to India to sign the contracts" you don't mean before June 12th, right?  You aren't saying that we'd have to make a trip overseas to sign contracts, come home, wait a few months, and come back for the procedure - are you? 
  2. Have people been having problems getting approved for the medical visa?  What kind of time-frame do we need for approval?
  3. How soon do we sign with the surrogate?  AND, what happens if that surrogate doesn't work out in the process and we have to change?  That's happened 2 times already...are we out of luck and unable to do the process?  OR, do we just sign a new contract and keep moving forward with the process?
  4. Do we have to have our medical visa in hand BEFORE we buy our plane tickets and book the hotel room?  I can't remember this from the first time we did this, and I don't know if the new law has changed any regulations in this way.
  5. In the "citizen eligibility letter" note, do you mean that we have to contact our Embassy now for that letter?  How does that work?  (**This was the information that said we'd have to contact the Embassy and make sure that a baby born abroad from surrogacy would be eligible for citizenship.**)


  1. I m confused as you are. Because we need to show a signed contract in order to apply for the medical visa, but we need a medical visa to enter the country to sign the contract. This is an egg or chicken story....I think we need to sign a contract, then apply for visa, the sign again in India?!? Is this make any sense? I will just harvest here, and maybe just wait and see as this drama unfolds.

  2. I think you can ask all questions to Meg or Margarida or in the forum. They can help you to understand. Good luck guys ! Best wishes

  3. Hey, As far as I am aware they do expect you to go and sign the agreement on a tourist visa and then return on a medical visa for treatment...You can't both stay home and have agreement sent as I think they now require one parent at least to be present in person at the signing....but I am not certain. Probably best to clarify questions with Meg and Margarida. I wish you lots of luck xxxx

  4. Embassy letter:

    We applied on Feb 10 - optimistic it should get approved, but do not have it yet.
    We were pregnant before the new requirements went into effect so I don't have any insight on the contract. Good luck!

  5. Yes, it's all very confusing. My understanding is that you can sign a surrogacy agreement on a tourist visa. However, you need a medical visa to begin procedures, and to secure one, you need to comply with the new directives: ie. be married for two years, be a heterosexual couple, have a letter from your govt. that you can bring the baby back, etc. In case medical procedures have already started exceptions shall be made, no worries! The ART clinics were to provide a list of names to the FRRO this month.

  6. I did asked, and we need to sign a contract at home, then get the medical visa to goto India to sign contract again and to receive treatment. Even we are not gay couple and want to ship over our cargo for FET

  7. The post that follows from a well-known Chennai based surrogacy lawyer may help clarify the situation.

    "India clarifies stand on Surrogacy VISA Regulation
    Written by Hari G Ramasubramanian on August 21, 2012. Posted in Blog.Surrogacy "

    “Ministry of Home Affairs declares that appropriate visa category for Intended Parents for traveling to India for surrogacy is medical surrogacy visa.
    ”I have finally heard from the Ministry of Home Affairs (Foreigners Division) pertaining to RTI Application filed by me dated 10.07.2012 on the surrogacy VISA category. From the reply, I see that the Ministry of Home Affairs had addressed a letter to dated 09.07.2012 bearing File No.25022/74/2011-F-1, laying down the procedure for grant of VISA for foreign nationals, intending to visit India for surrogacy arrangements. Interestingly, the communication has been dated 9th July 2012, just one day prior to the date of my Right to Information Application. However, the notification pertaining to surrogacy has been on the websites of the Indian Embassies for almost six months now.

    The following instructions were issued to the Ministry of External Affairs and requested to be circulated to all Indian Missions abroad as per the communication in File No.25022/74/2011-F-1. It is stated in the reply to RTI Application that the Home Affairs Minister has approved the Guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs. This is the basis on which the warning about surrogacy arrangements had been published in the websites of the Indian Embassies.

    Surrogacy neither allowed or prohibited by Home Ministry

    The Ministry of Home Affairs has not issued any guidelines either allowing or prohibiting surrogacy in India. However, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is the nodal Ministry in this regard.

    Medical Surrogacy VISA requirements

    The VISA category required for taking up surrogacy arrangement is medical surrogacy VISA. A medical surrogacy VISA for surrogacy arrangement could be granted on the fulfillment of the following conditions:

    a) The foreign man and woman are duly married and the marriage should have sustained at least for two years.

    b) A letter from the Embassy of the foreign country in India or the Foreign Ministry of the country should be enclosed with the Medical Surrogacy VISA application stating clearly that (a) the country recognizes surrogacy and (b) the child/children to be born to the commissioning couple through the Indian surrogate mother will be permitted entry into their country as a biological child/children of the couple commissioning surrogacy.

    c) The couple will furnish an undertaking that they would take care of the child/children born through surrogacy.

    d) The treatment should be done only at one of the registered ART clinics recognized by ICMR. (The list of such clinics will be shared with MEA from time to time)

    e) The couple should produce a duly notarized agreement between the applicant couple and the prospective Indian surrogate mother.

    If any of the above conditions are not fulfilled, the surrogacy visa application shall be rejected.

    Further, before the grant of surrogacy visa, the foreign couple needs to be told that before leaving India for their return journey, ‘Exit’ permission from FRRO/FRO would be required. Before granting ‘exit’, the FRRO/FRO will see whether the foreign couple is carrying a certificate from the ART clinic concerned regarding the fact that the child/children have been duly taken custody of by the foreigner and that the liabilities towards the Indiansurrogate mother have been fully discharged as per the agreement. A copy of the birth certificate(s) of the surrogate child/children will be retained by the FRRO/FRO along with photocopies of the passport and surrogacy visa of the foreign parents.

    However, the couple may visit India on a tourist VISA for executing the agreement on a reconnaissance trip, but no samples may be given to any clinic during such preliminary visit. "

  8. This is a follow-up on the previous post :

    My reading is that the regulations do not rule out the signing of a surrogacy agreement via international exchange of documents before leaving the home country, the logistics of course would need to be worked out with input from lawyers/notaries. This would save a trip. If a subsequent surrogacy is required, one might reasonably expect that it would be subsumed under procedures already underway. I do not imagine it would take more than a few weeks to get a medical/surrogacy visa if all documents required are submitted. Local Indian embassies may even forego the submission of each and every document, based on facts that they have before them, such as the acceptance of all genetically-linked babies born abroad by the home country, but it would be best to consult with them.

  9. Just catching up. How confusing and distressing. Right when you are cycling off anxiety meds to boot! BIG HUGS!