Starting a Surrogacy Process in Times of COVID-19

Q & A with Gail Sexton Anderson in times of COVID-19 for IP’s and surrogates considering starting the process.

Should we wait a few months? Should we start moving forward?
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 talked a couple of weeks) and your surrogate will be ready for transfer before you know it.

For IP’s already pregnant: how do you suggest they approach communication with the surrogate (since we are all adults it is not always easy to tell the surrogate how to protect herself, stay on isolation, etc. without sounding patronizing but we are sure both sides are worried)
Both sides are in the same situation and must respect that they are each taking all measures to shelter in place. If you have concerns that your surrogate is not taking restrictions that we are all being faced with seriously you may want to first contact the agency who is representing your 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 peer group talk about what they are doing which can help your surrogate to do the same.

If you have an open relationship with your surrogate you should be able to share your concerns without having to worry about stepping on toes. Surrogates want to please you and bring you 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.