My partner and I have just finished our 3 mandatory IVF counselling sessions and at this point, I'm a bit peeved. The counselling, for us and our known donor, cost us approximately $1000 - fair enough, we knew all of this wasnt going to come cheap.
The first session was very introductory and that's fair enough too. We had already done a lot of research and had discussions with our donor about how things would work but not everyone will have so I understand that it is fairly basic by design.
We had our second session last week. Everything had been ticking along fine until the subject of names came up. We told the counsellor that we are all happy for the donor to be known to the child as Dad. Woah did we get that wrong?! For the next half hour, the counsellor told us why it was wrong and confusing and potentially damaging for the child for us to call the donor Dad instead of 'The Donor' and advised that we were getting confused because we are using a known donor. The more that my partner and I tried to explain the discussions that we had had with our donor and amongst ourselves, the pushier the counsellor got about her opinion being right and us being so terribly wrong. By the time I left, I was fuming.
I can deal with the police checks and the child protection order checks and having to do mandatory counselling but to sit there and be dictated to about how we choose to set up our family dynamic AND having to pay $210 an hour for the privilege was further than my acceptance could extend!
So the third session rolled around yesterday. To say that I wasnt looking forward to it was an understatement. We started off with a bit of general chit chat while we got our donor on the phone from Sweden and then the counsellor started chatting with our donor about Christmas traditions in Sweden then chatted with my partner about West End theatre productions and then it was over, in half an hour.
We covered nothing new or related to IVF, except for my partner and I conveying our appreciation for the donation. The appointment was half the time it was supposed to be and we were charged another ~$200 for the session.
I must say, I did have higher expectations than what we ended up with. Has anyone else had the same or similar experiences with the counselling? Do all clinics make you do the 3 sessions? Or were we just unlucky?
MealsandEmma (using Monash IVF)