Is it a Good Time to Choose Surrogacy during COVID-19?
As with most elements of daily life, surrogacy procedures have had to adjust in the wake of COVID-19. New telehealth, virtual meeting, and social distancing measures are in place to protect the safety of surrogates, intended parents, and staff at fertility clinics and our surrogate agency.
When you are ready to add to your family as an intended parent, it is a good time to choose surrogacy. At Adoption and Surrogacy Choices of Colorado, we and other surrogacy agencies have taken every measure to make surrogacy safe. If you’d like to learn more about this or have questions about the policies in place, please speak with a surrogacy specialist about how surrogacy is happening during the pandemic.
Meeting with Your Surrogate Mother or Intended Parent during COVID-19
Contacting a surrogacy agency can be done over the phone or through virtual meetings. Finding and matching with a surrogate happens as usual, with your surrogacy specialist comparing profiles until a match is made based on each party’s expectations and preferences. Once you have a match or a few matches, your surrogacy specialist will coordinate a phone call or virtual meeting so you can interview each surrogate mother or intended parent.
When it comes to documenting the surrogacy agreement, your surrogacy lawyer will safely conduct all proceedings using virtual meetings or safely distanced signature collection as necessary.
You will have set the expectations for contact when creating the surrogacy agreement. Your contact with your surrogate or intended parent throughout the pregnancy and surrogacy journey can be conducted over the phone, through virtual meetings, over email, or through social media. This is consistent with how surrogacy was conducted pre-pandemic and is highly successful.
You may also ask your surrogate or intended parent to limit their travel to reduce exposure risk, which is consistent with current CDC guidelines.
Medical Appointments with Your Surrogate during COVID-19
The surrogate is able to have her medical screening appointment at her local clinic or the fertility clinic. These appointments now require pre-screening to determine the risk of COVID-19 exposure. As with most medical appointments, the surrogate will likely be asked to remain in her vehicle before the appointment to reduce exposure risk. Before embryo transfer, the surrogate will be tested for COVID-19. If she tests positive for the virus, the cycle transfer will be postponed until the surrogate tests negative.
Due to the health risks, many fertility and surrogacy clinics have restricted the presence of excess people for medical appointments. Intended parents may be allowed in or, in most cases, given access through video conferencing.
During delivery, it is standard for the surrogate to have a support person in the room. Many hospitals and clinics have adjusted their protocols to limit the number of people present beyond the patient due to the pandemic. Thus, depending on the hospital chosen, intended parents may not be allowed to witness the birth of their child. However, some have been able to stay with the baby in the hospital after delivery, so it can vary. Ask your hospital or clinic about their protocols to prepare for these possibilities.
How has COVID-19 Impacted Egg Donation and Surrogacy?
Due to the risk of exposure to the virus, instead of having the egg or sperm donors travel to the fertility clinic, many clinics are recommending the use of frozen donor eggs or sperm shipments during this time instead of having your donor travel to complete the donation. Frozen egg bank options are available to intended parents looking to pursue that option.
Donors should be screened for close contact with infected individuals and for symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Healthcare facilities take the virus prevalence of the donor’s location into careful consideration. Some intended parents have given preference to donors who are local to their fertility clinic. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) recommends limiting travel between states. If the local COVID-19 prevalence is high, frozen egg or sperm are recommended.
If the donor tests positive for COVID-19, their cycles will be canceled.
Is it a Good Time to be Pregnant through Surrogacy during COVID-19?
Any pregnancy can bring about challenges, and this pandemic is adding some difficulties. On the plus side, most workplaces have increased their work-from-home opportunities, allowing people to limit their exposure. The ease of access to pickup and delivery for everything from groceries to essentials has made it easier for many pregnant women to control their environments.
Pregnant women who become infected are not at an increased risk compared to their peers, although the illness may impact the way you deliver. According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, pregnant women may be more likely to be admitted to an ICU or require mechanical ventilation than non-pregnant women but do not face a higher chance of dying. Pregnant women with COVID-19 may experience preterm delivery or require a cesarean section, but their babies have had a low incidence of the virus.
If you have any concerns about becoming pregnant at this time as a surrogate, speak with your local health authority and surrogacy specialists to prepare for your personal health and safety.
Navigating Gestational Surrogacy during COVID-19
The best way to know whether or not now is a good time to choose surrogacy is to speak with a surrogacy professional.
At Adoption and Surrogacy Choices of Colorado, our surrogacy specialists have prepared our surrogates and intended parents to navigate the surrogacy process in the time of COVID-19. Contact our specialists today with all of your questions and to help you determine when you should pursue surrogacy.
If you are interested in learning more about your gestational surrogacy options, contact Adoption and Surrogacy Choices of Colorado by email, phone, or text: Email Us, Text us: 720-371-1099, Call us: 303-670-4673 (HOPE). If you are hoping to adopt, please contact us here.
Meet the Author: Madilyn Moeller is a writer and editor keen on translating the technical. Madilyn’s years of science writing shine through as she explains everything from health insurance to moving for her readers. Madilyn has a Bachelor of Arts from Miami University in Professional Writing, Psychology, and Neuroscience. She is a lifelong writer bringing her curiosity to the marketing stage, building websites and blogs for businesses moving online. She knows more about Medicare than any young adult should.