Friday, 16 November 2012

From Australia : The beginning of the story

We often celebrate the end of families' stories, with the birth of a much wanted child. Behind each of these stories is the story of what brought families to India, to Delhi.

People who are unfamiliar with surrogacy in India, often think that IP's are indulgent; too posh to push, haven't tried enough etc... without understanding the context families or what brings them to surrogacy in India.

This is one such story, a brave story, a story of courage, of resilience, of persistence and we thank both Nel and Dan for sharing this very personal story with us... the beginning of their journey with surrogacy & SCI.

Dan and Nel from Victoria.


We have just returned from two and a half weeks of self cycling in Dehli. What an adventure we have had!! Right now embryo transfer is complete and we are awaiting a pregnancy test. In the meantime here is our story.

Our background

In 2009 we’d tried everything to get my body to produce eggs. Naturopath, acupuncture, Chinese herbs (which stank!!), clomid. We even saw my Aunty in the Philippines who uses massages to solve all of life’s problems. Nothing worked. In 2010 we turned to XXX IVF.

Cycle 1: 3 eggs, 2 embryos.

1 fresh transfer – successful

Preg 1 - ended at 13w, baby boy

Cycle 2: FET – unsuccessful

Cycle 3: 2 eggs, 1 embryo. Fresh transfer – unsuccessful

Preg 2 – natural, ended at 16w, baby boy.

Preg 3  - natural, ended at 22w, baby girl.

I delivered and nursed all of my precious babies.


My experiences of IVF were harrowing. High doses with VERY low ovarian response. Pushing through cycles 2 and 3 we began to notice the “bums on seats” mentality . 

Two surprise natural pregnancies sparked relief for us. YES we don’t need IVF anymore!!! But instead of shopping for frilly bassinettes we were slumped horrific losses. It was time to take my body out of the equation and tap into surrogacy.

 A new start

Desperate to start a family we saw a lawyer who advised us on all the red tape of surrogacy and adoption law in Australia. The mountain of the Australian system just seemed too big to climb. We started thinking outside the square where we quickly found that all roads led to SCI.

Surrogacy Centre India

Coming to terms with more IVF was very difficult. Having to go to a foreign country made it worse.....but facing another pregnancy was simply impossible. So we took a deep breath and went for it.

IVF in India

Where IVF happens

SCI’s IVF clinic ISIS hospital is an amazing place. Sitting in the midst of Delhi’s chaos is this little hospital. Ultra modern and staffed with the most gentle nurses. Within seconds of meeting Dr Shivani all my terrified thoughts had gone.  We were in the right place. 

Dr Shivani runs the IVF clinic herself and she knows EXACTLY what is going on with everyone. We have no idea how she does it. We could call her anytime and she treated us like we were her only patients.

After our initial meeting Dr Shivani scanned me and within seconds she was shaking her head. A big cyst on my left ovary. The following day I was in theatre having it drained.

Days later self-cycling began. I have never felt so at ease considering I was being given high doses of gonal F and growth hormones as well as antagonist everyday. We chose to attend the clinic everyday for injections. The nurses knew us by name and never ONCE asked me for a patient number. For the first time we truly felt that the sensitivity of our horrific past was being respected...and that we were people, patients...not numbers or bums for the seats.

Tour of SCI Headquarters

Dr Shivani took us on a tour of SCI HQ. She must do dozens of these every fortnight but she was so personal that we could have been her only patients. SCI runs like a well oiled machine. Every piece of the puzzle is well staffed and the whole operation is running like clockwork. We could see that every dollar of our fees goes to the operational costs of the business.

Handy things to know

From our Hotel room
·       Lots of SCI’s clients are Australians so you are not alone!!

·    We stayed at Svelte which is attached to a large mall. It was expensive but full of Aussies. The price is not for everyone but for us the companionship of other Aussies in the same boat was worth it. We cuddled babies, shared stories, ate out every night ($10 steaks with veggies from the Hard Rock Cafe!) Everything is out in the open. People were MORE THAN WILLING to share. I have never known such support.  

places to go, people to meet!

·       In India surrogacy is “normal”. Having foreigners around participating in surrogacy arrangements is simply an everyday part of life. 

·       Taxes! OMG taxes! Taxes ARE NOT included in the advertised price. That’s ok if you buy a small pizza for 225 ruppees (about $5). The 3 taxes - general tax (we called it GST), service tax and tax on the service tax (I kid you not!) only added up to 55ruppee (about $1). But when we got our accommodation bill the taxes (GST tax and luxury tax....YES LUXURY TAX!) added up to $500 for 17 nights. We were lucky we had extra “just incase” money. FYI when we went to the cinema we paid an “entertainment tax”.  

·       For currency exchange go the “Domani” money changer shop at the MbLock market. I promise you won’t get a better rate anywhere else.

So that’s our story. I can’t speak highly enough of the self-cycling experience. The hardest part of the journey was facing the pollution, grime and poverty on the streets. But in saying that, our surrogate is very well paid for the priceless gift she provides. And if our $$$ means that our surrogate’s family will have a better life; then it’s a definite win-win situation as far as we are concerned.

Wishing everyone blessings of babies

Dan and Nel,




  1. Wishing this family a positive outcome. Their story will be appreciated by those considering self-cycling as it is scary until you meet Dr Shivani and see the outstanding facilities she has.

  2. Nel and Dan you are in good hands with Dr Shivani and all the wonderful staff at SCI. Wishing you a beautiful little baby very soon, no one should have to go through the loss you have been thru xx