Saturday, February 22, 2014

An epiphany

After reading many, many neuroscience studies (she has to edit them), a really good friend of mine told me she thinks she may have ADD (attention deficit disorder). She gave me a long list of symptoms, which made me go like, huh, I have a few of these issues myself: I zone out/am completely oblivious about the things that do not interest me, have a hyperfocus and a startling attention for detail for the things that do, and have major procrastination issues. Do I have ADD?? Probably not, given all the things on the list that I have to answer no to. But then again, to play the devil's advocate, maybe I do have a very mild form. One of the things I did not know how to answer: Do you have problems starting/finishing projects? I start/finish projects at work just fine (I managed to get myself a PhD, and that is the mother of all projects). But I am rather lazy outside of work. I don't do art. I don't volunteer. I don't cook/bake. I started vocal lessons and I abandoned them. Basically, I need to feel passionately about something to really work at it. Outside of work, the only place I have ever applied myself is in this area.

This morning, I woke up with a startling surety: I want to write a book on surrogacy in India. I never thought I would write anything other than scientific manuscripts, and this would be one heck of a project. After the birth, I had planned to write an in depth blogpost about what I have learnt, how you need to protect yourself when you get into this, and what needs to change for the betterment of the surrogates themselves, but what I have to say is so much more than what can go into a few blog entries.

Plus, if I really wanted to help people figure out the best way to proceed here, I would have to do so much more research, and the only way to work up to that level of commitment is to, well, commit myself to something big.

I think I am fairly well poised to be the person that provides a good accounting of this topic: I've gone through this firsthand, while living here, and the information you glean while going through this process is astounding. I've actually been to the hospital appointments and seen what happens. I have a clear idea about the financial side of things, and BOY, let me tell you, that stuff needs airing. The social aspects need airing. Surrogacy in India needs to be made more transparent, and change (through legislation) needs to happen, on many, many levels. I'd like to help that along, in whatever small way I can.

How DOES one go about this? I decided I would not do this half-assed. I would try to find an agent and a publisher, and then proceed. The first step involves putting together a book proposal. Then, I can go agent hunting. Ulp.

I hope this is a project that is not a one-day/month wonder for me, and will end up making a bloody strong case for me *not* having ADD. 


  1. You should definitely write about it. You could also help set up a program to help people who want to do this. I "know" a lady (through the internet) who started a business helping people prepare for international IVF, international IVF with donor eggs, etc. after her own experiences.

  2. But it seems the rules for surrogacy in India are in flux. One day you can import embryos, one day you can't. We still have a blast in Mumbai that we want to transfer, but now it seems we would be required to travel to Mumbai for transfer. Our friends had babies in 2010 at SI. By 2012 when our son was born, so many things had changed in India, at the consulate and the FFRO. I think it would be hard to write and keep up with all of that. I think you're a great writer, and whether you do the book or not, I would encourage you to post all your knowledge on this blog. Blogs like yours are lifesavers for families and really give them so much hope.

    I also have huge reservations about agents who act as in betweens. I think if you have a good clinic, it shouldn't be necessary. I would also hate to have to go through an agent to relay medical information to me. It is so expensive to do IVF and surrogacy. I hate the idea that there are businesses taking even more money from families and making them feel like the process is too complicated to manage on your own.

    I was going to write one more thing, but a snotty baby is pulling at my leg. Babies are a special kind of ADD ;)

    1. I'm actually going to make a case for *not* going with a clinic that primarily does IUI/IVF and occasionally does surrogacy, because of the heterogeneity in the way things are done, and the luck of the draw with your IVF doctor.

      And yes, the situation in India is ever changing. I hear thoughts as to banning surrogacy for single women or gay men, which would well, suck.

      But there is way more to cover than changing rules and regulations. I will try to blog about some pertinent points, because it would be a long time before a book comes out, if it ever will.

  3. ADHD - inattentive subtype isn't domain specific. It wouldn't just show up in your extra-curricular activities while leaving you intact for your academic work. In fact, it would need to have affected your academic career to really be diagnosable. Just saying. (and I can say more, but it would have to be in an email, lest I get in trouble).

    I am SO excited about your idea of writing a book about surrogacy in India. I think you are in a perfect position to do that, in terms of your familiarity with India, but also with the West. GO FOR IT!! I think this book will be amazing!

    1. lol. yeah, I probably don't have it. It is nice to be able to blame multiple failings on a medical condition though :-P

  4. Good for you!!! I bet you could do it...even with mild ADD! Good luck!