Cancelled!

After an internal review of the Aboriginal Adoption Online training, the Executive Director has decided to cancel the September 14, 2015 session, in order to update the curriculum to provide the most up to date and relevant training experience for participants. Once a new date has been determined for the training we will be in touch with you to inform you of the new date.

— excerpt from an email from the programs coordinator at Indigenous Perspectives Society.

I am bummed. Not heart-broken, because this is an optional course and we have a ton of other things going on in our lives right now, but I am certainly bummed. I haven’t contacted our social worker yet to find out what this means in terms of our wanting to be considered to adopt First Nations / Métis children, but from where I am sitting it seems as if we don’t have any options that would make us eligible. The course that was cancelled is the only way.

Hopefully they’ll come up with a replacement in the next few months?

*sigh*

In other news, the husband and I have decided to attend an information session called “LGBTQ: Your Path To Parenthood” which is being put on by Acubalance Wellness Centre and Olive Fertility Clinic. We’ve shut the door on surrogacy right now, but that doesn’t mean that we should stop learning about our options! It’s a free session, and it will also help us get to know other queer families. Which we need to do, because most of our friends with children have relatively traditional family compositions. 🙂

Oh! Oh Oh Oh!

I work shift work, so I sometimes sleep at strange times.  I was sleeping this afternoon, in fact, when most normal people are out there doing normal daytime things.  I had a really good nap, which is nice, because I work a 12 hour overnight shift tonight.

When I woke up, I had a missed call from a strange number on my phone.  And as per usual, before I even listened to the voicemail, I Googled it, to see if I could identify the source.  Aaaaaaaand it came back to the fertility clinic we’ve been referred to!

Listened to the voicemail (which just said my name and the doctor’s name and left a callback number) and called them back immediately, and got voicemail. Sad face!  And now I am afraid to get in the shower, because I might miss their call back.  Which is crazy, right?  If I miss it, I will just have to talk to them tomorrow.  Which isn’t the end of the world.  Except that every time we make any sort of progress in our journey to parenthood, I am almost incapacitated by an incredible urge to hit a mystical fast-forward button, to jump ahead to a baby in my arms.  And then it’s just too hard to breathe.

I am going to stop sitting here staring at my phone now, because I just looked on their website, and their office closed over an hour ago.  It’s safe to have a shower now, right?  Right.  And also, I need to remember how to breathe again.

Egg Donation

One of the things that is important to us (and don’t ask me why, because if we use logic and reason, there isn’t a single reason why this should be important) is that our child be genetically related to one or both of us, if at all possible.

For reasons that are complicated to explain, this isn’t super easy for either of us.

The solution we’ve come up with is to use my sister’s eggs, if we decide to go with surrogacy.  She has tentatively agreed. 🙂

In Canada, it is illegal to pay someone for their eggs.  So, egg donation in Canada is done one of two ways:

  • you find a willing donor, and they do it out of the kindness of their heart (usually a relative or a friend, for obvious reasons)
  • you pay for eggs from elsewhere–usually the United States–to the tune of approximately $18,000 in addition to the usual fees for the donation process, which are about $13,000.

Obviously, the first route is the best (and cheapest), for us.  But it’s also difficult, because not every woman wants to endure the egg donation process.  We are beyond thankful that my sister is willing and able to consider this.  And if it doesn’t work out?  We haven’t entirely decided, but at that point, we’d have to either choose adoption instead, or possibly wade into the quagmire that is traditional surrogacy (which I am sure I’ll post about at some point, but it’s a lot messier legally and emotionally).

The Beginning

My name is Matthew, and I am 35 years old.  I am a gay man, and I am engaged to be married to my amazing fiancé.  I live in a major Canadian urban centre, work full time in the emergency services field (and part time as a birth and postpartum doula), and my fiancé and I live in a beautiful home in a lovely neighbourhood with our adorable cat.

I have always wanted children.  And so has my man.  And so, we decided we are going to have at least one, but hopefully two.

The question is, as it always has been: how?

We have a few options:

  • surrogacy (traditional or gestational)
  • adoption of a child in foster care
  • domestic private adoption
  • international adoption

I have spent the last year of my life doing incredible amounts of research on the law, logistics, costs, timelines, and complications of all of these things.  I have made spreadsheets, read blogs, joined support groups, compiled statistics, talked endlessly with my fiancé about our thoughts and feelings about all of this, and it has brought us to this point:

We are either going to do surrogacy or adoption.  *eye roll*

It’s so hard, either way.  And expensive.  And did I mention difficult?  If we go with adoption, we have to spend a lot of money and then cross our fingers that a birth parent will pick us out of the pile of other potential parents for their unborn child.  It could happen in days, or take years.  But it’s more likely to take years.  Years.

And if we go with surrogacy, we can be more involved in the process, but it’s also expensive, and we have to find someone willing to donate their eggs to us, and then someone who is willing to donate their womb to us and be pregnant and deliver a baby and then hand it over to us?  And did I mention that it may involve more than one IVF cycle?  In fact, it is likely to?

We are not wealthy.  We are comfortable, and do not live in poverty, but we do not have $60,000 laying around.  Which is roughly what we have been told to save up for surrogacy or domestic adoption, either way.

This, my friends, is where we are starting from.  It does not feel exactly like a position of strength, but it is what we have been given.  We have many blessings–steady employment, good housing, good health, loving and supportive friends and family, our faith–and if we can focus on those blessings, and support each other, we will get through this and find our way to parenthood.