The past month had been a whirlwind of information about all of the conception options… and it felt a bit like stepping under the tree and falling down the rabbit hole!
Bouncing back and forth amongst Facebook groups and forums, connecting with people, reading, researching, etc…
Having almost given up on Embryo Adoption due to the high cost in Canada, with a minimum cost of $10,000, I continued my research into Artificial Insemination to try to get as comfortable with this option as possible.
However, the idea of embryo adoption would not leave my mind. This was something that felt good to me, felt right, felt like the way I would like to have a baby if I am to have one at all.
So, while scrolling through yet another Facebook group on conception and AI, I came across a post from a woman outlining her experience of Embryo Adoption/Transfer in the Czech Republic.
Excitement bubbled in my belly and I Googled embryo adoption Czech Republic immediately.
There were two clinics that came up in my search and I devoured their websites. Both were showing a TOTAL cost of about $2000CAD for the embryo match and transfer, yes…for the whole process! When you add on the cost of flights and accommodation, I was coming to a total of less than $5,000!
Excitement took hold of me and I emailed both clinics right away explaining that I am a single woman in Canada wanting to have a baby and who has been approved as an adoptive parent…blah, blah, blah… I wanted to impress them so they’d take me, and I rambled!
Unfortunately, right after sending the emails I continued reading the information on the forum and discovered that in the Czech Republic it is illegal to assist single women to become pregnant. Married couples only! Note: married = man and woman, just to clarify their laws.
I laughed at myself for being so eager and took it as a reminder to take a breath, and take a beat before acting!
I messaged the woman who had posted about her experience, and she hooked me up with another Facebook group of women who have been to one or both of these clinics in the Czech Republic.
As soon as I was added to the group, I read through over a year’s worth of posts! Again devouring all of the information I could find.
It seemed there were many single ladies who have used the clinics in the CR and all that is required, they told me, was to have a copy of a man’s driver’s licence or passport page signed (not notorised) that you could send to the clinic.
This was great news. I would wait a few weeks and then contact the clinics again from another email address posing as a couple and hope they don’t put two and two together!
Then I posted my first question to the forum – about cost. Was it true that the ONLY cost from the clinic was the $1200-1450 Euro? Were there hidden costs? Administration fees? Matching fees? Could I truly do this for less than $5000 including a week’s vacation?
Answers from more than one person: Yes, the only cost. No, no hidden fees, or administration fees, or matching costs. Yes, you could do it for less than $5,000 including flights and a week’s vacation easily!
OMG! Dumbfounded, I sat my heart beating at a rapid pace… could I do this? Could I really adopt an embryo and have a European vacation at the same time!?
Questions of excitement turned to annoyance. How is this possible? How is it that a foreign country makes fertility treatments more accessible and affordable than my own country?
Then I realised… it does not matter why or how, it only matters that I am now able to focus on the option that feels better to me.
Embryo Adoption rather than Artificial Insemination. My heart burst with love for this group of ladies and for all of the people in the past month who had led me to this option!
Out of interest I Google searched European fertility clinics and I found that the ones in the CR not only have the lowest fees, but they also have the highest success rates! Amazing. Higher than here in Canada. There were other options too. There is a clinic in Spain, which has branches in Italy, Ireland, and Wales. Their fees were slightly higher, but only by a few $100, and their reported success rates on the website were slightly lower by a few %. But still options, AND they work with single clients.
So that was good news.
The following day one of the clinics that I emailed in the Czech Republic simply responded saying “we do not work with single clients, married clients only.” Nothing else was in the email. Short, abrupt and to the point!
I did not have much hope for the other clinic and set about my plan to contact them both again in a few weeks.
However, a day later I got an email from the second clinic that stated:
“For your information by the Czech law we can treat couples only. Your husband doesn´t need to come with you, I can send you all the documents that he has to sign by e-mail.”
Wink-wink! Love this clinic. So they’re telling me to get a letter signed by any man and I’m good to go! Yay!
They also included a link to their website and the initial virtual consultation forms that I would need to fill in.
I was so overjoyed by their response and the ability to continue to focus on this as THE option, that I actually did a little happy dance in my apartment, laughing, and feeling Love bursting from within.
My next task: find a man willing to help me.
On the CR forum a new post appeared about a clinic being opened up to international clients by one of the original doctors from the clinic I was now considering. It was in a town 2 hours out of Prague, and 1 hour from the other clinic. The woman who posted was acting as the go-between for the initial introductions with the doctor and left her email address for people to contact.
I emailed her right away to pass on my questions. This time I knew I was supposed to be coupled so made my questions only about the procedure and did not include information about my relationship status!
The response I got from the doctor was positive and made me feel good about using this clinic.
After initial contact he assigned me with a consultant who emailed me some forms to fill in and return.
There were four forms.
- The client identification form asking for the name, address, and contact email of both the man and woman (husband and wife).
- The First Virtual Visit form. This one was about our fertilisation history. Any processes or procedures we’d already tried for pregnancy (such as IVF, or years trying to conceive naturally). It also had some technical questions about tests that have been done, such as STD checks, sperm count, uterus ultrasounds, etc… this form I decided to take to my doctor and see if he could decipher for me.
- The Sperm Donor Preferences form.
- The Egg Donor Preferences form.
This is where the forms started to get fun, and a bit real. They asked for donor preferences with eye colour, height, weight, hair colour, level of education and hobbies.
I was feeling certain now that this was the way I was going to start my family! And I was so incredibly relieved that I would not be creating life with a random man I selected off a website… I would have walked that AI path had it been the only viable one, but I was glad I had another option to try first.
Now I really needed to find a man willing to give me a copy of his driver’s licence or passport so I could fill out the forms accurately with the correct name for my “husband” – not something I can change part way through the process!
I privately messaged two male friends on Facebook and asked if they would help.
And I set up an appointment with my doctor.
More to follow…
Warm smiles and Love,