Dear Clara Berglund,
It´s a pleasure meting you.
I am writing you after Eduardo shared with me some of the facts you were quoting on a Radio show you both participated, specifically in reference to Tammuz actions at the time of the Earthquake in Nepal.
We don´t know each other, and I neither listened to the show nor do I speak Swedish, so apologizing if the information I got is not 100% accurate.
My name is Doron, and I am the founder and (at the time) manager of Tammuz(surrogacy).
I just wanted to share with you some of the facts (at last in my point of view) and my experience during the earthquake crisis.
We got the news about the earthquake a few minutes after it happen on Sat 25/4/15. Some of our clients called us and shared with us the situation.
From that point, for the next 3 weeks we were working in a ”war room” environment. We first tried to understand who do we have in the field. It turned out that we had approximately 50 clients (babies, parents and family members), about 100 surrogates (including their families) and 15 egg donors (from SA).
All of them (naturally) stressed out from the situation.
The Israeli foreign ministry started to work in an attempt to A. assist the people of Nepal B. evacuate Israeli citizens from Nepal. Soon after the Earthquake they opened a hospital in Kathmandu and the embassy yard became a ”refugee camp” for all Israelis waiting to be evacuated. We in Tammuz, supported them by supplying list of names and providing information but there was very little we could do on top of what Israel as a country offered to its citizens in Nepal.
Our main concern was with those people who are not Israelis – i.e the surrogates and the donors. (unfortunately, other countries were not as helpful and organized as Israel was).
On Sunday (the day after the earthquake) a delegation of 9 people organized by Tammuz from India took a train and a bus heading to Kathmandu. They brought with them tents and stack of food. Their mission was to make sure the surrogates and their families (some pregnant some were before their pregnancy) are all taken care, they have a shelter food and water. We brought the tents because people were sleeping outside (they were afraid to stay in doors because of the continues ”after shocks”.
On Monday, a team of 3 people (2 Tammuz team members and a gynecologist hired by Tammuz) left Israel. Their mission was to allocate all the surrogate in field and provide any medical (or other) needs for them. They spent there 3-4 days only taking care of the surrogate.
Another team was appointed to try to evacuate the donors. We had a team member from Tammuz with the donors at the time of the earthquake and in a way-no- way managed to book them all on a flight outside of Kathmandu and eventually after 24 hours of travelling (a lot of it sitting on the plane waiting for departure), they all arrived safely to Bangkok.
Another group we had to take care of was the Intended parents in Israel that had pregnant surrogate in Nepal (they needed mainly stress support and information about their surrogate).
As oppose to what I was told you said – most of our attention/ budget etc… ‘ were directed to the care of the surrogates and donors.
Soon after the earthquake, when stories about the babies in Nepal started to fill up the media in Israel, some radical feminist groups in Israel decided that this is the perfect timing to attack the surrogacy industry.
I found myself at the most stressful time of my professional life – deal with criticism about surrogacy and with some fake facts (similar to those I heard you were quoted lately). I had to set my priorities at the time and I instead of joining the battle I decided it is better to take actions on the field and those feminist can (as always) change the facts and say whatever they want… It is not that they offered any
assistant or solutions to those surrogates in Nepal (they never do) they are more into promoting their agenda (and as usual don't really care about the true as long as their story sounds better and their message is stated out loud).
To be frank, I was extremely disappointed at the time. I thought it was not the right time. I thought they were actively interrupting the ability to assist those people they are pretending to defend. As far as I know we were the only organisation that actually provide assistant and aid to those surrogates there. The (little) time I spent to try and defend our position from the attack we were facing, was taken away from those surrogates.
I don´t know you and I am not sure if I am wasting my time writing all of this (my experience taught me there is not always someone that is willing to listen on the other side). I still hope and believe that when someone want to promote an agenda, he should stick to the facts and to the true.
I respect your agenda and I am honest enough to admit this industry has areas for improvement in order to better protect the rights of the surrogate. I know for a fact that the picture some of the (feminist and and other) organisation draw is far (very
far) from reality.
I am always open to discuss, talk and share thoughts with anyone in order to make this place more right and more ethical… this is an open indentation 🙂
Thank you for your email and information. For the Swedish Women’s lobby we always put women’s human rights first which is why we were so worried when we heard about the surrogate mothers in Nepal during the earthquake.