I wasn't able to get the question out of my mouth fully before Sara interjected, "I know what you're going to ask and the answer is yes." That's how we found our egg donor. And it was a pretty great moment. Me, freed from the nagging vision of Sara having to go through a pregnancy and give birth, and Sara freed from the very same thing.
The blissful number-crunching/realization-of-possibility night gave way to reality. Yes, we could do this. But man, was it was going be a lots of dough! About $100,000, all told. Like I said, spending an amount like this on anything short of a house was entirely theoretical to me. But over a couple of days and weeks, it just became "the plan." Yeah, it's a lot. Yeah, we'll go into debt. Sure, my Mom gasped out loud and then was uncharacteristically speechless when I told her the figure. And friends, too, might look at us like we'd drunk some kind of baby-crazy Kool-Aid. But fuck it, we were moving forward.
I contacted a few lawyers I'd talked to back when we were looking into traditional surrogacy, and asked for advice on how to proceed. A few agency names came up repeatedly. Since Sara was in Boston, and New York -- in all it's progressive glory -- doesn't grant legal recognition to surrogacy contracts, we quickly realized that Massachusetts was where we'd be spending much time in the coming months. In terms of legal precedents and legal standards, they are way ahead of most any other state due same-sex marriage being legalized way back in 2004. We settled on a place called the Center for Surrogacy and Egg Donation. They would find us a surrogate, this was their job. And they would also draw up the myriad contracts, and go to court for us and procure what's called a pre-birth order, deeming that both our names would appear on the birth certificate at birth. That alone was quite a concept to absorb...but I'm getting ahead of myself. It is possible to find your own surrogate, yes, but the legalities and complexities involved made both our heads hurt, and with any error potentially resulting in massive, thickety problems, the agency fees seemed to be money well-spent.
We had an hour-long talk with the director of the agency, a lawyer who's also gay, and a dad to three kids born of surrogacy. He was affable, competent, smart, and left us feeling in good hands. A few days later, we filled out a 2o-page questionairre, which would be packaged with our photo and be shared with potential surrogates. It was our Intended Parents profile, one phrase among a pile of shiny new nomenclature soon to be tucked into our vernacular.
What Do You like to Do in Your Spare Time?
What Goals Do You Have in Your Life?
What Is Your Philosophy of Life?
How Did Your Parents Discipline You?
A sampling from the questionairre... can't imagine that they expect fully-fleshed out answers, as that would be pretty hard. The exception was my answer to the last question above, which was easy: Inadequately.
We finished it up and emailed it back. They told us the waiting period to be presented with potential surrogate profiles varied, but to expect at least a few months wait. We weren't then, and aren't now, so great with waiting. But we burrowed in, resolved...