Preparing For the Return to Mumbai

10 Apr

Today was filled with phone calls and emails with the US Consulate in Mumbai, the DNA processing lab in Arizona, and the Hiranandani Hospital in Powai.  It started with a 7:00 AM EST email from Rotunda Clinic letting me know that our surrogate had just been admitted to the hospital due to a blood pressure concern.  As she is at 30 weeks 4 days, any little concern needs to be thoroughly examined by a physician.  I called the hospital directly and was able to speak with Dr. Anita Soni, the OBGYN who will ultimately oversee the birth of the twins.  She reassured me that our surrogate is doing well and that she was admitted for observation and to provide nutrition and support.  We aren’t sure how long before she will be released, but I assume that it will not be longer than a day or two.   Our 100,000 INR deposit at Hiranandani was received months ago in anticipation of any complications, so treatment will be deducted from that balance.  Of course, I have no idea how much any of this will cost.

081009-dna-02Next, I reached out to the US Consulate to obtain information on the process for DNA verification of my genetic link to the babies.  Thankfully, the process has recently been streamlined (as of March 28, 2013) and we no longer have to scramble across the city to make a payment to the hospital for a doctor to perform the cheek swabs.  They can be paid with a direct bank draft available at any bank in the city.  The fee will be 1000 INR (about $20 USD) per cheek swab.  If any other potential parents need the specific details on the DNA process, please let me know via email or a comment.

The DNA testing kits have to be sent about a month in advance of the birth to account for travel time and potential early labor.  I will be completing my cheek swab here in New York on Friday, and the two sealed testing kits will be shipped directly from Chromosomal Labs in Phoenix, Arizona.  Melissa at Chromosomal Labs has been absolutely fantastic and I highly recommend her as your DNA lab provider.  The lab must be an AABB accredited center and they should be familiar with the required paperwork and processes when you call for a quote.

Once the babies are born and released from the NICU, we will schedule an appointment at the US Consulate to complete an application for a CBRA (Consular Report of Birth Abroad).  This document will be used to process the passport application for the newborns after the DNA test confirms their citizenship through my genetic link.  The cheeks will be swabbed, the kits will be mailed back to Arizona, and the results will be available 2-3 days after they are received.  The results will be emailed to the consulate, and HOPEFULLY, I will match!  Once a link is established, the passports are issued and the last step is the exit visa.

I have spent hours putting together a plastic binder full of documents that I may potentially need to complete the applications for CBRA, passport, social security card, and exit visas.  While photocopies are pretty easy to obtain in Mumbai, I’ve made multiple copies of everything.  This includes documents to prove my time in the US, including tax returns, college transcripts, utility bills, old passports, and a list of every date and time that I have ever left the US.  While it seems overwhelming at first, the process is actually keeping me focused on my checklist and allowing me to briefly stop stressing about all of the uncertainties ahead.

I can’t believe that I will be a daddy in about 5-6 weeks.   I’m already so in love with our babies.


16 Responses to “Preparing For the Return to Mumbai”

  1. Michael April 10, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

    Hey guys just remember that per Indian law that was just pasted all single parent must get there visa”s in Delhi. So make sure you are ready for that. You can not get a exit visa in Mumbai

    • newdadsontheblock April 10, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

      Oh, I’m getting my exit visas in Mumbai… I don’t care if I have to create a scene in the middle of the FRRO. 🙂 The changes aren’t law, they are just screwing around and the lawyers are already responding appropriately.

  2. Karen Cook April 10, 2013 at 11:01 pm #

    Our hearts are racing in anticipation of the arrival of your little babies. We will hop on the first plane we can catch to be able to share this happy time with both of you. We will focus our thoughts n prayers on keeping your little ones safely tucked inside your surrogate for several more weeks. Bless both daddies. Hope you can sleep with all the
    exciting news. Hugs, gr. gr J n K

  3. 2SDGuysOnTheirWayToParenthood April 10, 2013 at 11:11 pm #

    Hi guys,

    I am curious, are you going back to India with a tourist visa or have you been successful in securing a medical visa? Best wishes!

    • newdadsontheblock April 10, 2013 at 11:15 pm #

      We are returning with a tourist visa. I spoke with a contact at Travisa here in NY and they told me that my application for a medical visa would be rejected, so it wasn’t worth paying to apply for it. We will be fined $30 per baby for having the wrong visa type by the FRRO… this was confirmed by a friend who recently went through the process. Small price to pay, considering the medical visa is over $150.

  4. whiteb8917 April 11, 2013 at 12:22 am #

    Not long now guys !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    LOL, you are going to have your life turned upside down 🙂

    Anyway, regarding some of your post.

    Hospital fee’s – When I arrived, I expected our surrogate to have racked up a bill after the 100,000Rs. deposit (I am glad I did not speak what was going through my mind) :), remember, there are fee’s for the actual birth as well (Depending on what is performed), then you have to register yourself in to the hospital in order to see your babies, and you will have room fee’s (minimum 5500Rs a night) and that is only done after you pay the bill for the surrogate that has been accrued up until that point. It all depends on what follow up treatment is needed, and how long after the birth she stays. Make sure before you go, you notify your credit card company of your trip so that they do not flag your card for transactions they deem questionable. When I got there, I had 2 cards on me, both had been advised of my trip, but the first card *STILL* declined the hospital bill which I was not happy about, but had the second card to fall back on, which as it so happens had arrived in the mail just 2 days before i left.

    Our bill (Before admission to see the babies) was 197,000Rs. so we had a bill of 97,000Rs. over the deposit. And it appears that the surrogate also had Dr Soni as the overseeing physician, but you will most likely get a different doctor performing the birth, we had Dr Shrivastava. But I could be wrong. I am pulling the medical records to type this :). The fee’s to admit the surrogate was 62,000Rs. alone, Pharmacy drugs of 29,000rs. Dr Consult charges of 41,000Rs. and radiology charges of 33,000Rs. and there are some smaller charges on top of that for blood bank and stuff.

    In regards to documents you are preparing, what you have hinted at taking is good, but take MORE. Also, please do not forget at the FRRO, you will need COPIES of *ALL* your documents, If you need one, take TWO copies of everything so if you have twins, and need two copies, take FOUR, and again, then some more.

    When the FRRO gave me the run around because I was there by myself (Wife could not travel), they tried to push me to the side (too hard basket ?), and I had an indian sim in my phone, I threatened to call my consulate, and made out i was calling them but in reality I was actually on the phone with my lawyer, but it was enough for another employee look at my paperwork again. All up, with the time wasting they tried to give me, I ended up leaving with the exit visa’s about 3rd behind in time of processing, as everyone else had to run around for copies of their paperwork, I had mine, I had excess of copies (which they actually did praise me for). You do need to supply folders for the documents, the interviewer will ask for one folder per baby to store the documents in, either buy it before, or buy them at the FRRO. (There is a dude that sells them, along with drinks etc).

    DNA tests for USA must be different to Australia, our twins had to have a heel prick, draw blood and smear the blood on to a special card, done by a special panel doctor. Only my DNA test (done before I left for India) was a mouth swab.

    Oh, and the US Consulate in Mumbai, is in Bandra Kurla Complex. You cannot miss it, it is the only heavily fortified (and guarded) building there 🙂 complete with “DO NOT TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS” signs, and it is just down the road from the Australian Consulate.

    Anyway, not long now, enjoy the freedom while it lasts 🙂

    Best of luck.

    • newdadsontheblock April 11, 2013 at 12:28 am #

      Thanks for all of the info… looks like I’m gonna make 2 more copies of everything. Did your surrogate get admitted for minor concerns prior to the birth? I assume that the total will be around 200,000 INR because they will utilize the entire deposit prior to the due date.

      • whiteb8917 April 11, 2013 at 10:26 pm #

        Our surrogate was admitted at …. 31 weeks (I think it was) for vaginal bleeding (no cramping) but they treated it as a threatened pre-term labor and was put on anti labor drugs. But yes, definitely plan that the deposit will be used in some way before the birth.

        I dont know if I told you before, when you get to the hospital to see your babies (When born), do it before 5PM. You have to initially see the social worker, who goes home at 5PM, will need to see, among other things, your agreement (take a copy of it as well), oh and you have the NABH letter from the clinic now ?, they emailed it to us about a month before the birth. they should have sent that to you around now, as it is needed as well.

      • newdadsontheblock April 11, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

        Hey there… thanks for the heads up. We haven’t gotten the NABH letter because Dr. Patel just accepted a traveling fellowship and is no longer our contact at Rotunda. I only found this out when the new contact emailed me to say that our surrogate had been admitted. I will request the NABH letter from Rotunda right now. Thanks!

  5. L April 11, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

    My partner and I had twins at Hiranandani in December. Our surrogate was in the hospital for 7 weeks. Our total cost for everything – including the surrogate’s 7 week stay and the birth – came out to 5k. I’d be happy to talk to you. Feel free to email me.

  6. Michael April 11, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

    The laws are changed and if you make too big of a stink like a Brit did they made him wait 3 weeks and told him to come back in 3 weeks. You are on there terms. Poonam who is a lawyer in Delhi and is very familiar with the laws has stated that no frro in India will deal with single parents except Delhi. I’m just telling you if you make too much of a stink they can make you wait longer then you need to. I have already been through the process and am home with my baby. I k ow what they can do and have witnessed it. I’m just saying. Tread carefully. The frro in Mumbai will tell you to go to Delhi as they told a guy I talk to who is from NY and is there now and left Mumbai on Monday and will go to frro in Delhi tomorrow. I have been then you have not. I still talk to lawyers and other people there now so I can help single gay makes going over. That’s all I am doing giving you a heads up.

  7. David April 11, 2013 at 9:49 pm #

    Such an exciting time full of hope! Congrats to you both. May I add you to my blogroll on I feel like we gay IP’s heading to India (and in particular Mumbai) should stick together and trade information in the coming months.

  8. Doug (dougrigg123 on Instagram) April 12, 2013 at 11:08 pm #

    Oh this just became such a small world. I am following you randomly on Instagram and I had no idea your babies were in India, Mumbai for that fact, and that your clinic is Rotunda! We made that journey with Rotunda in 2009 with my niece as our egg donor and had two failed attempts but were mostly happy with our experience there. Anyway, not sure if you realized all of that, but it hit me like a ton of bricks when I read this last post…I have to say I hadn’t taken a super close look at the blog before. Again, congrats…and hope everything goes well with your surro. Thinking good thoughts. And Meg’s blog IS invaluable! Take care…

  9. Mandy April 13, 2013 at 1:56 am #

    Hey New Dads we’re a married couple Mandy and Brad from IL and we’ve been following your blog as we are only two weeks behind you with our singleton’s due date. Congrats on your soon to be born twins! We went through a different clinic in India but will have our surro baby at the same hospital in Mumbai. Unfortunately we are not bloggers but if you are willing to email us some information about how and who to contact at the consulate and DNA place that would be wonderful!. Or any other contacts you may have. Maybe we will even be in India at the same time and could help each other with exit or anything really. My email is

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