After my meeting with Abby, I went home and collapsed on my bed. I watched some trashy TV and I tried not to think about how Abby never really gave me answers to my questions. I pushed away the doubt I have about this doctor and this clinic. Why wouldn’t I go to the big, fancy famous place? There was no need to find another doctor, just because the people here were so annoying, unfriendly and unhelpful. I wanted to get pregnant and this doctor promised it would happen. So there. Done. I was sticking to it.
I started making the lawyer calls.
I left a bunch of messages and only reached one lawyer. I explained my situation.
“You know the donor?” the lawyer asks, incredulous.
“Yes, he’s been my best friend for 20 years, but we are not co parenting.” I explained the highlights again.
“No, no, no, I don’t do anything like that. I can’t help you. I handle divorces and family law.”
I wondered why her name was on my list. “OK, thanks,” I said, about to hang up.
“And I don’t recommend doing this,” the lawyer, who couldn’t help me, added.
“Excuse me?” I asked.
“This is just not going to work out. I know many cases where people have tried this and it never works. There is going to be a big fight and a big problem. You two will not only end up suing each other, but this friendship will be over.”
I was in shock. I was livid. Well, she deals with divorce so she must see a lot of anger and hatred. I didn’t want to argue with her. I didn’t give a shit about her. “OK. I said, “Thanks.”
Before I hung up, she jumped in again, “Besides, if he’s the birth father, he has rights. No legal document can prevent him from suing you.”
Now I felt the need to engage, “Why are you even on this list? Why is your name on the third-party donor lawyer list at The Fancy Clinic?”
“I don’t know,” she said then added, “Don’t go through with this. You are much safer going with a sperm bank. You will ruin your friendship and end up in court.”
“Thanks,” I said, slamming the phone down. (Actually, I didn’t slam the phone down but I pushed the “OFF” button really hard.) I felt sick to my stomach.
A little while later, after I had eaten a handful of chocolate chips and a container of frozen yogurt, another lawyer called me back. I explained my situation. He was confused. “What do you need me to do?” he asked. “I’m not sure what I can help you with.”
“The Fancy Clinic said you’d know what I needed,” I told the lawyer.
“Um, noooo. I could help you if the known donor wanted to be anonymous, but this is an odd situation. Using a friend as a donor who will be involved… but not a co parent?”
“Right,” I said.
“Um… No, there’s nothing I can do. The Dad will have rights no matter what contact I draw up, unless he’s anonymous.”
“So you have no idea what kind of contract this clinic wants?”
Was this really such a strange situation? I was kind of shocked. I would have thought this happened all the time. So, now what? My first insemination was going to be in a few weeks and I was having no luck with this lawyer thing. I was nervous that I wouldn’t get my paper work done in time so I decided to call The Fancy Clinic and I left messages for Abby and Linda. I left my cell phone number.
No one called me back that day.
The next day I called again, leaving my cell phone number, because I was out of the house all day. When I got home that night, there was a message from Linda. Too late to call her back.
The next day, I called again, “Hi Linda, I left you a message yesterday. Can you call me on my cell phone, because yesterday, you called my home number, so I didn’t get the message till late? Here’s the cell number…”
When I got home that night, there was a message on my home phone again. AGH!!
I called back again and she didn’t call me back again.
So I was a few days closer to the insemination and no lawyer papers.
Somehow, I had a feeling maybe no one would even notice if I didn’t have these papers. The Fancy Clinic was a Fancy Mess.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/toby_d1/2963397528/”>Pete Zarria</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> < a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/umjanedoan/497327047/”>umjanedoan</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> < a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>