Monday, 17 February 2014

In the Media ( Norway): a positive story about two of our parents and surrogacy.

A google translate of a great article, it gives you the gist of the original article found here:

Dad T and Daddy O

<b> secret: </ b> - There are enough clearers eventually in society, homosexuality and surrogacy.  The strange things are just gone.  Some have two dads, others have two moms, says Ole Martin.  - The children will be asked of playmates they have with them.  Why do they have two dads?  There should be no secret that they have two fathers, says Thomas.  Photo: Ellen Lande Gossner
Not Secret: - There are enough clearers eventually in society, homosexuality and surrogacy. The strange things are just gone. Some have two dads, others have two moms, says Ole Martin. - The children will be asked of playmates they have with them. Why do they have two dads? There should be no secret that they have two fathers, says Thomas. Photo: Ellen Lande Gossner
They traveled to India to make a baby. And missed it before the country closed.

India and surrogacy

For a woman to be considered surrogate mother, requiring Indian clinics that she is healthy and has experienced a pregnancy and birth has passed normally.
Gays couples make up a large portion of the Indian surrogatiklinikkenes market.
Previously many foreigners traveling with a tourist visa for creating and retrieving children.
From July 2012 required the Indian authorities that they pretended parents had medical visa. To get the medical visas for surrogacy requires, among other things, that they are in pairs, male and female, have been married for two years and that it can be attached to a document showing that the country accept surrogacy. This will likely make it very difficult for single, cohabiting couples and gays using surrogacy in India as long as these rules are applicable.
In 2012 came 34 surrogatibarn to Norway from India. In 2013, the preliminary figure 18
It is not known how many surrogatiklinikker found in India.Efforts to create a national registry. 
Surrogacy is not regulated in India at present, but a law has been under construction since 2008.
I found an old rainbow flag and cut it into strips.
Thomas M. Johanson shows the handle of the double stroller. On every side he related colorful tøystriper. The caravan sleeps two babies with the name of the rainbow, Violet and Indigo. They are eight and six months old.Almost twins.

Meeting genus. It is an acidic November day in Oslo over a year ago, Indigo was conceived in Delhi in India.Then his sister, Violette, already two months pregnant in another Indian stomach. Thomas M. Johanson (35) and Ole Martin Moen (28) is the biological father of their own children. Dad T and Daddy O, for they will be a family of four, father of both and share custody of the children.
- Children are half-siblings, says Ole Martin.
- It must explain detailed, asking his uncle.
It is a family visit to the apartment on Hovseter in Oslo.Grandparents, aunt and uncle are served homemade fish stew.
- You must remember that the egg donor and surrogate are not the same person, explains Ole Martin.
- There are thus two surrogates, one egg donor and the two are genetically the father of each of their children?Thomas to Violette and Ole Martin to Indigo? ask uncle.
- I've tried to explain to him, says aunt, but I thought it was the best he asked himself.

Beginning. district Saket in Delhi, India, in another apartment. It is humid and hot and late August. Here Dad T and Daddy O lived temporarily in over four months, ever since Violette was born in April.
- Friends of ours had children. Maybe it started there? asks Thomas.
There are daily in the bedrooms and in the living room. Boiled milk bottles on the kitchen counter. Drinking water delivered to your door. A bowl on the bathroom floor.
- We had not thought that we were going to have children. It was a new thought for us, says Ole Martin.
- There's something about the thought of getting old. Many gays have a dismal life when they get older. When rounding a certain age and are out of the game. Maybe we began to think long-term?

Children desire. Ole Martin and Thomas became acquainted in 2002, and moved together as friends two years later.
Ole Martin has a PhD in philosophy and works at the University of Oslo. Thomas is a teacher and superintendent of a school in Bærum. They shared an apartment in the city center. Central, delicious and no lift. No one knew that they were thinking about having children together.
The apartment they found the Hovseter in Oslo had an extra bedroom. Winnie the Pooh lamp came with. The official explanation for parents and family was that Ole Martin needed an office. The front porch and woods outside was a plus.
- We were invited to share the child with a lesbian friend, but Thomas and I are co-ordinated and quirky. We both had a desire to be there for our kids all the time, make a difference in their lives and together have control over the upbringing. We did not want to bring children into the world who would move here and there since they were born.
- If the adoption was easier, it would be an option for you?
- Then we would have been in doubt about what we would do. There are basically unnecessary to create new child. Many have parents, says Ole Martin.
- A lesbian woman we know did adopt a child with Down syndrome. It is unlikely that we as gays men had the opportunity to adopt at all, think Thomas.

Debate. In 2012 was surrogatidebatten in Norway open and active and put them on the trail of this opportunity to have children. They collected information, checked blogs and recommendations and joined surrogatiforeningen in Norway. Ole Martin and Thomas invited to an open meeting and rented meeting rooms at Peppe Pizza. Five or six couples showed up.
- I like to read the rules and make thorough preparations. Legal seemed completely in order to carry out surrogacy in India. A country that Ukraine does not accept that parents are gays. In Thailand, one is not the father, legally, one must adopt the child.The United States was too expensive for us. It would cost two million to create two children, four times as expensive as in India. The costs in India were low enough that we could try to get two children by surrogacy. It seemed safe, and many had done it before us, says Thomas.
-Surrogatidebatten in Norway had a high temperature when you took the choice to try to have children.
- I think many people feel it is wrong, that there are some errors with surrogacy.Surrogacy is special, it stands out from other professions, you can not pretend otherwise. There is something close and personal with it. Surrogate mothers have children from before, is not even genetically related to the child they are carrying out for others and know what they are, but they can still get the feelings of the child when they are pregnant. But does it necessarily surrogacy wrong? Ask Ole Martin continues:
- When it comes to India's problem often associated with the surrogates are poor. I mean you close the door if you choose to prohibit surrogacy. What else suggest one for women? Why do they have a better life if you take away surrogatialternativet? It is the only real chance many of them have to get a little out of poverty. Surrogacy gives women more options, not fewer. It seems like a positive situation for several, both them and us, he said.
- Some people say to us that it is nice that we have children, the goal is fine, but the method is wrong. Some believe surrogacy is wrong. It's okay, but I can get angry and annoyed because many feel so strongly about something they know so little about, says Thomas.

In the clinic. Baby Pictures are closely packed on a billboard. Wrinkled, small creatures in pink and light blue. One or two. The father or mother who holds them, or two fathers. "Thank you, Dr. Shivani," it says on many of them.
The waiting room of the clinic Surrogacy Centre India (SCI) is cool and comfortable.Assistants and clerks greet warmly at the Thomas and Ole Martin. The squeeze babies and raises them high. "Where life begins" is the slogan here. The clinic promotes itself against foreigners. The website is in English, and all who sit behind desks in the small offices speak English. Staff recommends cab companies, nannies and apartments for foreign clients who need to spend a long time in the Indian capital. Bureaucracy and paperwork takes time.
- In June 2012 we were here for the first time. Almost no one in Norway knew why we traveled to India. We came to Delhi a Saturday night, ate Indian buffet and was sick, says Thomas.
- But we had signed a contract with the clinic. A thirty-page agreement between the surrogate and us.
Moon by the Indian authorities tightened the rules, and it was near impossible for couples Ole Martin and Thomas to take advantage of surrogacy in India.
Dr. Shivani leader clinic and has received both Violet and Indigo. A friendly but busy lady, showing us the clinic in no time. Rooms with ring binders from floor to ceiling. No complicated contracts, finlest and taken care of. We nod to the clerks and secretaries.
Fathers wanted an egg donor with higher education. They had to pay extra for. They chose from a list of several possible candidates.
- We rated each of us, Thomas and I, based on gut feeling and what we immediately liked or did not like the picture and information about the women, he says.
They had pretty much the same range, maybe four possible candidates who eventually became one.
- We have no desire or ability to hide the fact that we have children from another location. When kids are 18, they have a right to know who has borne them. Although the donor is anonymous, we have some information that we can give the kids when they get older. We have thought a lot about, it's good to have something to tell them when they get older and ask questions, says Thomas.

Surrogate mothers. doctor's blog is frequently updated with pictures of the babies she has received. Certainly photographed with her. From the delivery room. The obstetrician and the baby. Surrogate mothers are not in the pictures on the doctor's blog, but they are here on tour. The corridors are women with their big stomachs and waiting for routine control.
- What were you thinking about surrogate mothers when you came here?
- We met them, but trusted the doctor, she chose well for us. I thought about diet, height and weight. Such things, says Thomas.
- During the pregnancy, then?
- I've thought a lot about pregnancy, but not so much on the surrogate. It might distance that does? We are helpless and can not get anything done. We got ultrasound pictures four or five times during the pregnancy, but it was only when we got a picture of the stomach by mail that it felt real. It was so surprising, says Ole Martin.
- I think the distance was easier for me and heavier Thomas. I calmed down that I could not do anything about it. It was beyond my reach, says Ole Martin.

Do not touch. Thomas mentions the names of the children's surrogate mothers and shows pictures of them. They both met once. One smiles at the picture and gold rings in his ears. A month after she was born Violette she came to the Norwegian Embassy in Delhi to sign the papers where she gave up parenthood.
- I do not think she had seen Violette before, we could always do not talk, but she wanted to keep her. We know that she already has three children. Indigo's mother we met later. She was more distant. Or shy. I was worried a bit before we were to meet them and wondered what it would be. They have told our kids and know kids have been strongly desired. It is very special, he says.
- For our own part, we have not pushed to have contact with surrogates. Some parents want to be friends with surrogates and usher in a friendship relationship, we have a contract with women. It's almost better for us to think so, think Ole Martin.
- But I remember thinking if she was interested in who we were, she was curious about us, he says.

Home. 2 Sept. lands a Dreamliner from Qatar Airways at the airport. In row 10 crying Thomas when the wheels hit the ground. He is relieved, happy and tired. Four and a half months he has been in India. Ole Martin was finishing the doctorate in Norway and Thomas traveled alone when Violette was born. "You've got a daughter," said Dr. Shivani phone. He found the apartment, retrieved the child and learned to groom and feed her.
- I barely had held an infant, he said.
He helps Ole Martin to pack up diapers, towels, formula and wipes.
A little earlier in the flight from India asking a woman in the same row with hijab and child on your lap:
- Where is your mother? She nods toward the babies who have been milking, care and sleep.
- The children have two fathers, respond Ole Martin.
- What?
- They have no mother but two fathers.
- They are born by surrogacy, he adds.
The woman giggles and asks no more.
The fathers carrying two babies through the Norwegian passport control.
- Hey, here are two new members, says Thomas adding Violette and Indigos make counter.

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