When we first met each other at a mutual friend’s party, we knew that there was something special between us. It just clicked, and it kept on clicking, and that click turned into something that would last a lifetime between us. None of our friends were surprised when we tied the knot and got married. But into the sunshine that was our marriage, there was one dark cloud and that problem with my heart. It wasn’t anything that threatened me daily, but I’d been diagnosed with congestive heart failure, and it was severe enough that the doctors had told us that trying to start a family could mean losing my life and my baby’s.
We knew we wanted to stay together, but we also knew that our life together had to have children in it. Both of us wanted children badly. We couldn’t imagine a life or a future without it, and when we tried, it turned into arguments, tears, and a very real fear that we couldn’t make it, a couple without a child to raise. We wanted to stay together but knew we were meant to be a family. We looked at and talked about the alternatives, and the more we looked at surrogacy, the more we realized that even though it wasn’t as direct a road as we’d imagined for ourselves, it was a path we wanted to take to bring a child into our lives.
One of the things we realized early on was that if we were going to do this, it wouldn’t be at home. Colorado is a beautiful, big-sky country, but it didn’t give us any certainties about how surrogacy would go. There weren’t any laws about it one way or the other, and we’d read about the horror stories for other couples about custody of a child when laws weren’t in place to lay things out for everyone. And even though states like California were clearer on these things, that came at a cost, a huge cost that put surrogacy well out of our reach since neither of us was wealthy.
Our dream was to have our baby, which really was the best of both of us, and In Vitro Fertilization could give us that, but the cost of these things in the United States, using decent staff and facilities, put it out of reach for most people, including us. We were willing to save and invest in this, but it wasn’t something we wanted to scrimp and save decades for.
It was Stork Service that finally showed us the way. We’d been looking at countries where we’d feel good about standards for health and medicine, and Eastern Europe was comparable to what we knew here in the US. There were a lot of good, reputable places in Tbilisi, the capital city, but for us, what really counted was that Tbilisi would protect us. They had laws in place so that once the baby was born, there was no question about who the parents were; we would be documented as the parents on the birth certificate.
The entire experience was amazing. We traveled to Tbilisi, found a wonderful surrogate mother to work with, and were very happy with the state-of-the-art facilities available to us. We liaised with people in English, and it was clear that everyone there was used to working with foreign visitors. But choosing to have the IVF and surrogacy done in Georgia meant we had all the safety and modern medicine we wanted, but with more choice and within our budget.
Communication was constant over the months, and we regularly visited Natia, our surrogate mother and partner. We were so happy when the day arrived, and we had all the legal help we needed to make sure that when we went back home, Angela came back with us as an American citizen, and it was all thanks to these different facilities.
The GGRC clinic was able to help us with finding the right surrogate for us, letting us meet Natia, and shepherding us through all the stages until we were ready to go home.
Zhordania IVF Center
The Zhordania IVF Center was important for helping with things like the IVF procedure and knew exactly what to do.
Chachava Medical Center
Chachava Medical Center was where we could go for help with obstetric and gynecological support. They were perfect for all the traditional medical assistance Natia needed over the months, so her pregnancy went smoothly.
Inova IVF Center
Inova IVF was helpful for things like Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis. My husband’s family had a history of occasional Tay-Sachs disease, and the PGD screening ensured our baby wasn’t afflicted with that.
In the end, even though more time, investment, and effort were involved in bringing Angela into our lives, everything was worth it when we held her and knew she was our child. It was a new life and chance for us, our marriage, and our start as a family.