Thursday, 19 December 2013

Big Kid Update : From Israel - Ilan's beautiful family

Ilan is a writer, activist,teacher,film maker, poet and most importantly a single Dad; he is my friend. We bonded over eloquent emails sharing thoughts on surrogacy, father hood and parenting.

We are all very pleased to be able to share this thoughtful reflections on his journey to parenthood; on being a single parent and of course see more photos of his beautiful boys.

Recollection of previous life by Ilan Sheinfeld

When I have decided to start surrogacy in India, in July 2011, I have invited my father to my favourite coffee shop at midtown Tel Aviv. We sat outside, so that I would be able to smoke. I had my regular coffee and cigarette, he had his.
"Are you sure you are capable of this?" my father asked me, "Are you should you have parental capability?"
"Oh yes," I have answered without hesitation, "I have talked to friends who have done it, read a lot, and I also feel that if I will not become a parent there is and will be no purpose to my life."
"If that is your final decision, I will help you as much as I can as long as I am here," my 78 years old father replied.

Only after the boys were born, I have discovered that my humble father, who is the ex-president of the juvenile court of Israel, is the one who actually paned this term, "parental capability," which became a professional term and criteria to assess the capability of parents in ruined families to take care of their children.

I had another family conversation to do before going to India. It was with my brother Yair and his wife Michal. Knowing that my health is not well – I had a heart catheterization when I was 45, and my gastrologist discovered the beginning of a Barrett syndrome in my esophagus, which might become malignant – I asked them that if anything will happen to me, they will raise my children. Not only that they have confirmed this, my sister in law said that she will come with me to India, in due day, to teach my how to take care of my babies and to help me in the first few days after their birth.

But when I came back home my ex-boyfriend frowned. "If you will go to India to have surrogacy I will leave you," he said. "I already told you, that I do not want to be a father, and that I will not stand against you, if you will find a woman or two to do it with, but I do not agree to surrogacy because I don't want a child in our house."

For a year I have tried to find someone to have a child with. I met several women, and a lesbian couple. It did not work out. It was then that my shrink told me, that all my life I wanted children, and that if I will not do it now (I was 51 years old than) I will not do it at all.

"I also do not want to see you fall," my boyfriend added, as if he did not know that for a year I have tried to find a woman to do it with, in vein. "You will ruin your career as a writer, a novelist, you will fall into a financial disaster and you will devastate our relationships as well."

But I had no other choice. I was 51, after two medical procedures that frightened me, I lived with 3 boyfriends one after the other and none of them wanted a child when we lived together. They were younger than me. During the years, Adi became a father of 4 children through surrogacy in the US, and so is David. I could not wait until B will also understand that he should become a parent, too.

I had no money, no savings. I went to talk to Esophagus my banker. When she heard why I need the money she immediately said that for such a reason she will give me a loan with no guarantee.

I left Tel Aviv to New Delhi in 4th August 2011, to meet Dr. Shivani and my surrogate and to give sperm. Standing at the door of our house, suitcase in hand, I asked my boyfriend "aren’t you going to wish me at least success?"
He did not answer. "Goodbye than," I have said and left home.

We have separated the night before I got the positive results of my second transfer. The first failed and I lost 4 out of 12 embryos. This was terrible. I felt lost. Dr. Shivani was sensitive enough and urged me to choose another surrogate mother the same night she told me that the first attempt did not work. Now, the night before I should get the results of the second attempt, I saw that something is wrong with my boyfriend.
"What is wrong with you?" I have asked him, already in bed.
"I am very angry with you," he said.
"About what?"
"Do you really need me to explain?" he uttered.
I looked at him amazed.
"Do you mean the surrogacy? Are you still angry with me after all I went through, including my week alone in India and the loss I have experienced?" I asked, "if that is so, you must live home immediately. Because I will not be able to go through the coming 8-9 months with you here."
B left home 9 o'clock in the morning. At 11 o'clock Dr. Shivani called to tell me that I have pregnancy with Sima S.

I came to New Delhi two weeks before due day. I wanted to find a flat of a hotel for me, my sister in law and the babies, to prepare the proper equipment I will need, and not to rush to a plane in the same day of the delivery day. This was smart. I met Israelis and Indian guys who helped me a lot. And when my sister in law came, two days before the delivery day, I was already in a nice flat in GK2, with two baby beds, a water filter and warmer, and anything I could think of, to start my new phase in life as a parent.

Michael and Daniel were born in 12.4.12. At 12.12 and 12.13 o'clock. I got their names in a dream, few months earlier. I did not remember the dream, but I woke up with those two names. So I said to myself, ok, you are probably going to have two boys, and those will be their names.

When Dr.Shivani told me that I have tweens I asked her if she is sure. She asked why.
"Because it is three, not two babies there." I have answered.
She laughed. "You are in Israel, I am in India. I am the one who did the tests, and you are telling me that you have a trio. Why are you so sure about it?"
"Because I saw in in my Tarot cards few days ago," I have told her.
Few days later she phoned me amazed. What seemed to be a pregnancy of twins became a pregnancy of three babies.
Then she added that she is very sorry to tell me that, but that she must take one out. I urged her not to do so, but she explained to me that such a pregnancy is dangerous both for the surrogate mother and the babies and that she cannot allow this.

She did not know that because of the Tarot, I already had a name for a third boy, Matan, meaning 'a gift' in Hebrew.
What had to be done was done. I cannot tell you how bad I felt about this. But the same night I consulted an Israeli specialist of pregnancy. "From what you tell me I hear that you are in very good hands," he told me. "Dr.Shivani is right. It is very dangerous. I deal with children who are the results of such multiplied pregnancies. You do not want to know with what I have to deal."

After my sister in law left Delhi Omri, the son of my niece came to help me. As a young gay man he wanted to experience this time with me. And we had wonderful time together, although it was split into two hours shifts of feeding the boys. 

And then my 78 years old father came. When I opened the door for him, he dropped the suitcase at the door and asked only one thing, "were are the boys? I want to see the boys first." 

And he became totally in love with them from then on.

Its 1.8 years since their birth. When I look at myself and my life now, I cannot recognize myself. From a self-centered prolific writer of 18 published books (novels, poetry, books for children, for writers, scripts and plays) I became a full time parent,  a father-mother of two beautiful vibrant boys.

They make me crazy of course, running and jumping and climbing the sofa and tables and falling, painting on the walls, scratching all my DVD's and classical music cd's. They have recently ruined my portable pc by pouring a glass of water onto it; they make me 15 years old dog miserable, because they like o climb on her back and pull her tail, but they are the most wonderful thing that ever happened to me. 

I am happy as I have never been, although I have not time to write my next novel now, my working time is reduced by 70% and I owe the banks 80,000 dollars that I do not know how and when I will pay it back


Nothing could not stop me of becoming a parent, and nothing will not stop me of being their dedicated father and mother. 

And it is all Dr. Shivani's and staff to blame :)

I would encourage you to Google this wonderful writer; as always, we wish this family the choicest of blessings. If you would like to find out more about surrogacy in India, please email us at:

1 comment:

  1. A beautiful inspirational story, what handsome boys.