The threat of the Covid-19 pandemic has hit around 180 countries. It has changed the living conditions of millions of people. From lockdowns to various levels of isolation, we are now experiencing what experts call a new normal.
Now, we have to take extra safety precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. Parents and pregnant people have to be more careful. Companies, schools, and organizations have to implement stricter regulations when it comes to social interactions.
Even the way we communicate has changed. Personal interaction is limited. More things are done online. Since many people are confined at home, their only way of connecting with others is through a phone or computer. While this method may work for some situations, it may not be enough to address certain problems.
One good example is surrogacy. Certain steps in the process require physical presence. Surrogates and intended parents may have to go through treatments. Some are even due for childbirth.
Starting a family can be an exciting adventure. However, not all couples can go through the traditional path of conceiving and giving birth. An alternative way for them to fulfill their dream is surrogacy.
Generally, this practice includes the carrying of an embryo by a surrogate mother. The two primary types are the traditional and gestational surrogacies.
If you choose traditional surrogacy, the surrogate mother will be the donor of the egg. At the same time, who will also be the carrier of the embryo. The sperm will come from the biological father of the baby. Using insemination, the woman will be impregnated.
On the other hand, gestational surrogacy uses the sperm of the biological father and egg of the biological mother to create an embryo. The clinic will do in vitro fertilization. So, in this case, the surrogate will only be the carrier of the embryo.
The benefits that surrogacy offers make it an attractive option for many hopeful parents. You may have even heard of celebrity couples choosing to undergo this process.
While some choose to do it in their native country, there are those whose best choice is to try international surrogacy. It is especially true for people living in countries where domestic surrogacy is not legal. Another reason is cost. Some countries offer more affordable packages. It also helps if they have more transparent policies and stronger laws.
Documentation may also be a concern. Most international surrogacy agencies offer assistance through the whole process, including the documentation and legal aspects.
The Impact of Covid-19 on International Surrogacy
The world of surrogacy is also not exempted from the problems that this pandemic brings. Prospective parents, surrogate mothers, and surrogacy agencies are all affected. Some people may even say that it is an impossible choice at the moment.
Many fertility doctors have indefinitely postponed treatments. Some hospitals in hard-hit areas are even banning people from accompanying pregnant women in delivery rooms. Global travel restrictions are also a huge problem. Some intended parents are stuck in their home countries or cannot gain entry into their destination. So, they cannot be there for the delivery or are unable to take their newborns home. Meanwhile, some surrogate mothers are giving birth. Agencies have to scramble for possible exemptions for international clients, especially if the surrogates are about to give birth soon.
Creating contingency plans has become a priority for many organizations offering surrogacy services. In most cases, the intended parents are considered the legal parents of the child. It means that the surrogate mother does not really have any legal obligations to take care of the child after giving birth. Thus, babies who have already been born and have not been taken yet by their parents will not have guardians. It may be necessary to find an individual who is willing to take temporary guardianship.
For example, in Georgia, the government has announced the prohibition of traveling. The country is closed to foreign travelers until further notice. Meanwhile, foreigners who are already in Georgia cannot leave the country and has to remain there until June 30, 2020.
What Hopeful Parents Can Do
Due to the current situation, it is also not advisable to conceive. Intended parents and surrogate mothers may experience delays with the surrogacy process. If the agency gives the go signal for the matching process, hopeful parents can start looking for surrogates. They may also push through with the consultation with a doctor online or via phone.
If you have not started the process yet and are still weighing your options, you can research more about the procedure. Find out which countries and agencies fit your specific needs. You can also try to understand the laws so that you know your rights and obligations. You may also start talking to prospective agencies to discuss your concerns.