Would I go through surrogacy again?
A lot of you have asked me why have I done surrogacy abroad and would I do it again would I of know what I went through?
The answer is yes! A million times yes! I’ve gone to the moon and back for these kids, and I would do it all over again.
On November 30th, I became a dad to twin girls via surrogate in Kenya. It has been a long and extremely tough journey for me including a relationship breakup, four unsuccessful embryo transfers, not to mention all the legal bullshit I went through. But when I look into Mia and Stella’s eyes, it all disappears.
On November 14 (my birthday), my mom and I traveled from Toronto, Canada to Mombasa, Kenya, where my surrogate gave birth to Mia and Stella. I thought I loved before, but nothing compares to this feeling. Sadly that period of boundless joy was short-lived as problems began almost immediately. Let me start off by saying that 1 week before I left my agency emailed me saying that I would have to pay $3500 US dollars more for hospital fees which were supposed to be included in my original contract. On top of that, I was told to bring a female “companion.” You see why I choose Kenya was because the clinic I used advertised that it was the only country where a single man or same-sex couple can go through the process. In all other countries, you must be married and in my case to a woman. Well after an endless amount of research I thought it best to go through this journey where everything was legal. But a week before my travels I was told that if I didn’t have a female companion with me, then I couldn’t see my kids and I would have to pay $5000 US so that the clinic can arrange a female partner for me. I was enraged but what was I to do?
Thank God one of my best-friends from Bahrain was able to come and after seeing us together in the hospital, I was able to get the court order to have my own children.
The fun didn’t stop there. Then there was the issue of the birth certificates. After paying an external agent to receive my girls birth certificates, they had just the girls name on it, MIA and STELLA, no last name, and for the fathers’ name they had written XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX. After 2 weeks of fighting with the registrar office and more money spent on more court orders, I was able to convince the stupid lady to at least put the girls last name on it. Thank God that at least they got that, my name is still not on the birth certificates.
But the real issue came when the Canadian High Commission in Nairobi, a 50-minute flight from Mombasa, denied issuing my daughters’ passports. I couldn’t believe it! I’ve also received a lot of comments about how I could not have done all my research before I started the process? My answer to that is, do you think after spending just under 100K, I wouldn’t have done my research?
I was born in Italy to a Canadian mom and then moved to Toronto when he was 6 years old, making me second generation Canadian. In 2015, a new law came out under the Harper Government that second-generation Canadian’s children do not have automatic citizenship, meaning my children have no status in Canada and would have to be sponsored. I knew about this law, and before I sent $20 000 US to the clinic, I consulted with them and the High Commission in Nairobi. I did my due diligence to ensure it wouldn’t be an issue. After endless emails back and forth on Oct 16th, 2017. I got off the phone with the High Commision and was confident that everything was fine.
So three weeks before my flight home I went again to embassy paying 440 US for their citizenship, passports and urgent passport, I had to even book a flight back in order to get the urgent passports. Then on Friday morning, we flew to Nairobi from Mombasa went to the embassy to get our passports, and after 3 hours of waiting with crying babies they told me “No, I couldn’t get passports and would have to sponsor my kids.'” A process they told me would take anywhere between 6 – 12 months. I remember looking at the consular and asking, what am I suppose to do during that time. They looked at me and said, “you gotta wait in Kenya until it gets approved.”
After a 2 am flight to Nairobi and 9 hours at the embassy, I remember getting to the hotel, my mom passing out from pure exhaustion, Stella poor thing, was so tired that she cried and cried. All I wanted to do was close my eyes for just one minute but couldn’t, so I held her and cried with her. I thought here I was a new dad and I already failed my girls, I couldn’t do anything. That day Friday, Dec 28th, 2018 was probably the worst day of my life.
All I know is that I am forever grateful to my mother who has been by my side during this entire ordeal. I don’t know what I would have done without her. Through this nightmare, I tried to stay focused on the reason I was in this situation: to become a dad. These two precious gifts are everything to me, and I would go through it all 1000 times over just to look into their eyes.