The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shelter-in-place and quarantine orders have affected all aspects of the surrogacy journey. Living and operating in a society where COVID-19 exists is becoming a reality for many.
While life begins to resume and the world re-opens its doors, it’s safe to assume we will be facing a “new normal” in all facets of life. The surrogacy process is no different, and it is important we stay on top of developments regarding COVID-19 as they relate to surrogacy and pregnancy. We believe that current and relevant information, paired with the advice and guidance of your doctors and fertility clinics, as well as your own instincts, will help all our intended parents and gestational carriers determine the right next steps for your unique situation.
Family Inceptions has assembled the most up-to-date information and resources for both intended parents and gestational carriers in an effort to provide clarity, eliminate stress, and begin to plan the next steps of your surrogacy journey.
Our New Normal – Understand the Risk
As more and more states allow for the opening of businesses it is important to understand this does not mean your risk has been mitigated. It simply means the number of new cases of COVID-19 has decreased to a number accepted as a flattening of the curve’, but it does not mean we are safe and risk-free.
Each state has their own unique regulations and recommendations on use of masks in public, acceptable group sizes for meetings, social distancing, etc. It is your responsibility to understand exactly what these requirements are for your geographic location or a location to which you may travel for a cycle. You are advised to take all the necessary precautions recommended by your local and state government and your doctors and clinic.
Clinics Begin to Open, But with New Policies
IVF clinics have been very cautious about starting new cycles; however, many started to offer more surrogacy and egg donation services and most expect to be offering services within the next 3-8 weeks. All patients are advised to request the clinic’s documentation regarding their
protocols for keeping patients safe, the risks of pregnancy during COVID, and the possibility of cancellations of cycles. In addition, it is important to recognize that patients may interpret a physician’s willingness to treat as an indication that their risk is minimal, and this may well not be the case. The issue of risk/benefit should be highlighted as a starting point for all patients prior to beginning or resuming treatment.
Read the latest published guidelines from ASRM (American Society for Reproductive Medicine) regarding when fertility clinics should resume operation, and under what conditions: ASRM Guidelines
Pregnant? Continue Taking Precautions
June 2020 Update: On June 25, 2020, the CDC announced that “pregnant people might be at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared to non-pregnant people. Additionally, there may be an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth, among pregnant people with COVID-19.”
Unfortunately, much is still unknown about the risks of COVID-19 to the pregnancy and to the baby. Some studies show minimal risk, while others are making correlations between COVID-19 and pre-term labor, miscarriages, and stillbirths. Therefore, taking precautions to ensure your health, as well as the health of the baby you are carrying, is recommended. In general, pregnant women are more susceptible to illness and viral respiratory infections as they experience immunologic and physiologic changes, including changes to their respiratory and immune systems. These changes make pregnant women part of the high-risk population for coronavirus, just like they are for influenza and pneumonia. It is recommended pregnant women continue to practice social distancing, wear protective gear including masks and gloves when in public, and limit exposure as much as possible.
Read all our FAQs regarding Pregnancy and COVID-19: Five Things You Need to Know About Surrogacy and Coronavirus
We’re Still Matching
Aspects of everyday life may have come to a halt due to COVID-19, but our work at Family Inceptions wasn’t one of them. We continued actively matching Intended Parents with Gestational Surrogates and Egg Donors, completing initial steps online, over the phone, and via video conferencing. These efforts to screen, evaluate, and match, while still maintaining social- distancing, continue daily as we aim to deliver our clients with the highest level of service.