Thursday, July 2, 2009


After the "do you know whether its a boy or a girl?" question, the most commonly asked question we get asked is "how long will you have to be in India?" That, my friends, is the 6,000,000 rupee question.

Our official due date is August 19. However, given that most surrogacy babies whose progress I've been following seem to come at around 37 weeks, we made our reservation to fly to India on July 25, which will be 36.5 weeks.

Once the baby makes his or her arrival, here's what we need to do:

  • Obtain a birth certificate from the local authorities. Getting this done quickly apparently requires some financial lubrication.

  • Call the US embassy and schedule someone to come witness a DNA test for the baby and Adam to prove that the baby is related to Adam and thereby a US citizen. This is very serious -- the DNA test we ordered came in a fedex envelope marked "evidence" and can't be opened by anyone except the government official.

  • The DNA test (a cotton swab of cells from the inside of cheeks) has to be sent to a lab in the US for analysis.

  • Once the results are back (probably 2 weeks?), we have to make an appointment to bring the baby to the embassy for an appointment, bringing lots of different forms and documents proving that Adam is a US citizen.

  • It takes the US embassy a few days to a week to create a passport for the baby. Once we have that, we go to an Indian government office to obtain an exit visa for the baby to prove that we can legally leave the country with baby. Another rupee-making opportunity for someone.

  • Somewhere along the way, when we figure out when all these formalities will be done, we call our airline to buy a seat for the baby (international flights have a bassinett available for bulkhead seats, cost is 10% above the individual ticket price) and $250 each to re-book our return ticket (we'll try to get a doctor's note to prove that we needed to get home with the baby to get this fee refunded.)

So total time from baby's birth to return to the US is anyone's guess. If the baby needs additional medical care, it may delay things a bit. We're figuring 4 weeks and will be delighted if it is less. If we can make it through 4 weeks in a hotel suite, endles government bureaucracy, and a 26 hour flight with a newborn baby, everything else should be a piece of cake, right?


  1. Wow, Stephanie, this is fascinating! And you are a wonderful writer! My son Jordan was born on August 19 so you can take that as a good omen :-) (He's a great kid!) Really enjoying your blog, and wishing you and your husband all the best as you continue your adventure...

  2. Hi Stephanie, Adam and Baby! Thanks for inviting me into your journey. I look forward to keeping up with your adventures and hope to see you soon.