In every family there is “the sporty one”, “the funny one”, “the pretty one” and my has all of these but I am not one of them, in my family I was always known as “the sick one”. Born with a hole in my heart I developed complications as a young adult and as a result spent a significant amount of my life in hospitals, that was until I received a life saving heart-double lung transplant at the age of 24 in July 2002. Since then I haven’t looked back, I went back to uni, met and married the love of my life and work for a living.
There is however, one thing that is missing from our lives that my husband and I so dearly would love and that is a child. Although it may be physically possible for me to carry a child, i.e. I still have all the “bits”, the risks to my health and the health of the baby are extremely high, e.g. kidney failure, rejection of my organs, miscarriage, even death. So my husband and I have made the very hard decision that for me to carry a child is just too risky.
Now I am an extremely healthy woman, I have been for over ten years and plan on being for many, many more. And I believe that my husband and I deserve the right to have a family as much as any other couple. I am not a wealthy socialite who doesn’t want to destroy her figure or someone who is too busy to carry her own child. I was heartbroken when I was told by the doctors how risky it was for me to carry my own child as I wanted nothing more than to do just this.
So for my husband and I surrogacy is our only option. However Medicare and its outdated views on funding towards surrogacy is holding us back because we don’t have thousands and thousands of dollars sitting in the bank just waiting to pay an IVF doctor. We have a mortgage which we work hard to pay, I am not on a pension, we are just your average Aussie couple.
Why should a woman who has problems falling pregnant but can carry a baby get a Medicare rebate and only be out of pocket a few thousand dollars while I can’t carry a baby because it puts extreme risk on my health, surrogacy is legal, and yet I get no rebate. Without a rebate from Medicare IVF costs can be upwards of $15 000, and this is just IVF, this doesn’t include other costs involved with surrogacy. Medicare needs to change its views on funding towards surrogacy as it is discrimination plain and simple and it must be stopped!