Gail Sexton Anderson, from Donor Concierge, shares with us some recommendations for IP’s and surrogates considering to start a surrogacy journey in times of COVID-19. Should they wait a few months? Should they start moving forward?
According to Gail, this is actually a good time to start looking for a gestational carrier though many agencies have had to slow down and are working from home they have surrogates who are either in the process of being interviewed or are ready to be matched but since transfers and in-person medical screenings are on hold some intended parents are waiting. This means you may have a better chance of matching more quickly than before.
There are many steps that can be made during this time such as:
- surrogate profile review
- writing your dear surrogate letter
- surrogate medical records can be reviewed
- background checks can be done
- telehealth can be used for the psych evaluation
- video meetings can occur
- legal can be started or completed depending on where you may be in your evaluation process
In this way when restrictions are lifted your surrogate can have her medical screening and if all looks good and the labs come back within a few weeks you will be ready to complete the contracts (which usually takes a couple of weeks) and your surrogate will be ready for transfer before you know it.
Another situation that worries intended parents that are already pregnant is how to approach communication with their surrogate to avoid misunderstandings or stepping on toes during these sensitive times when everybody is anxious and stressed.
The team at Donor Concierge reminds us that both sides are in the same situation and must respect that they are each taking all measures to shelter in place. If IP’s have concerns that their surrogate is not taking restrictions that we are all being faced with seriously, they may want to first contact the agency who is representing the surrogate. Agencies often have support groups for surrogates, so that concerns can be brought up in a way that doesn’t put anyone on the spot. It is often a good way to have their pier group talk about what they are doing which can help the surrogate to do the same.
If IP’s have an open relationship with the surrogate, they should be able to share their concerns without having to worry about stepping on toes. Surrogates want to please the IP’s and bring them joy so this should not be difficult provided they don’t feel micromanaged. “We can’t move in with them to watch every little thing they do and most are very responsible people who are also concerned about their family’s health as well as your baby’s protection” finishes Gail.
Thank you Gail!
Gail Sexton Anderson
Gail Sexton Anderson is the founder and CEO of Donor Concierge. An innovator, speaker, and creative thinker in 3rd party fertility, she is on the board of the Society for Ethics in Egg Donation & Surrogacy. Gail earned her Ed.M. from Harvard.