I thought I'd re-post the questions and update with information I've learned. Not everything has been answered yet, but I did receive a HUGE lot of materials today from SCI and we are working thru them to begin the process of applying for the medical visa. With that, here's what I know for now...
- 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? No, we don't have to come to India to sign the contracts. The contracts have to be signed by the Indian parties in India and then we sign them here and send them along with our medical visa application.
- Have people been having problems getting approved for the medical visa? What kind of time-frame do we need for approval? People have been getting an approval within a 10 day to 2 week period. This is about the same as the wait we had for the tourist visa. It looks like it will cost us each about $156 to do this application. We did make the independent decision to go ahead and get a medical visa for both Harris and myself just in case.
- 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? The contract will be drawn up with a surrogate who might be the one we use. But, if something happens like she starts bleeding or there is a problem of some kind, we are in no way locked into that situation. We can alter the contract after we get to India as needed to fit the situation.
- 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. I don't for sure have confirmation of this from SCI, but I have looked back at my records and I see that when we first traveled in December 2011, I did not have the visa in hand. Due to that, I believe that I can go ahead and book the hotel and flights whenever the price is right. It looks like I'll just have to show that visa at the airport and in Customs/Immigration.
- 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.**) Not sure on this one yet...still reading thru the documents sent today - will update it soon!