Wednesday, October 7, 2009

What is a clinic anyway?

The clinic we've selected, Surrogacy India (SI), doesn't actually perform medical procedures like IVF. Rather, SI is more of a middle man (middle woman?) with a couple bonus services thrown in. If you're familiar with agencies like NEEDS and Circle Surrogacy here in Massachusetts then you have the idea. Here's a list of SI's core services:
  • screening intended parent applicants for general health and medical necessity (they're not going to work with a couple simply too lazy to get pregnant on their own)
  • identifying gestational carrier candidates (unlike with other India-based clinics, SI gives intended parents the option to review profiles and select a carrier)
  • coordinating care of the gestational carrier
  • initiating and managing the relationship between intended parents and the IVF clinic of their choice (SI's preferred IVF center is Babies and Us)
  • arranging all financial transactions
  • providing legal services, including drafting and signing of various surrogacy contracts
  • smoothing out the passport and visa application process in preparation for taking the newborn(s) home
  • supporting logistical needs such as hotel selection, airport pickups and even site-seeing
  • reducing instances of panic, doubt and concern
[Ok, I added the last one but frankly, that's what Shannon and I felt about surrogacy in India in the first place.]

In comparison to many of the other Indian clinics we considered, SI appears to be taking what I'll carelessly label a more Western approach - meaning there's a greater level of formality and a greater level of involvement on the part of the clinic to manage the entire process. A common warning shared by other couples working with India clinics was to be prepared for long delays in response time and to be self-sufficient and aggressive. Now there's a few uplifting tips! To date, Dr. Sudhir - SI's Founder and Director - has not given us any reason to doubt his clinic's ability to fulfill the promise I just laid out. Of course, as we've only just started the process, our optimistic expectations may be shattered after just two steps in the Mumbia airport. But we won't think such thoughts, will we?

Side note: Our fertility doctor asked an India-based colleague (another reproductive endocrinologist) to investigate Babies and Us
. Turns out, despite a disconcertingly corny name, they're considered the leading IVF center in India. I'm sure opinions vary - there's a host of great IVF centers in India - but you can imagine the relief. So Babies and Us? Thrilled are We!


  1. You will be amazed with SI and once you arrive in India, any trepidation will fly out the window. Drs Sudhir and Yash are so, so wonderful.

    We are so excited for you guys. Wishing you all the very best of luck.

  2. Hi, So after I got off the phone with you, I found your blog again!! I don't know how I lost it. Rob and I are very happy for you both. You have def made the right decision to go with SI. Keep us posted on everything.


  3. I'm here for got my email, so just say the word and I'll call in to work or bring you meals...whatever. And if I win the lottery, 50% goes to you for the babies college fund...and I actually play so you ever know!!!

  4. All the VERY best to you both. You are SO right Dr. Pai (Babies and Us) is one of the very best in India. We didn't find that out until our first visit to India. You both have amazing attitudes and it will take you far.

  5. So glad you have chosen SI, we have just decided on them too and are very excited. All the best to u!!

    We head there in Feb. 2010.

  6. Dr. Yash actually attends / assists with the retrieval and transfer procedures with Dr. Pai, she will come out while they're underway so you get first-hand updates (and some sneaky pictures for you too)! She is also very involved in the medical care of your SM, especially during the 1st trimester and also in close collaboration with Dr. Soni as things progress along. They and Dr. Sudhir are all wonderfully supportive!