a woman becoming a surrogate during covid-19

Becoming a surrogate during the COVID-19 pandemic

February 2, 2022

Since 2019, life and many of our everyday activities have been turned on their heads due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While we often receive questions surrounding all aspects of our practice in relation to COVID-19, questions about how the virus may impact becoming a surrogate appear more often than others. Below are some of the more common questions we receive from potential surrogates in relation to their journey in the age of COVID-19.

Is it a good time to start the surrogacy process during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Considering surrogacy to help someone achieve their dreams of parenthood could come with a lot of questions, even without the added stressors of the current pandemic. 

During this unusual time, you might be asking if it’s a good time to apply to become a surrogate with so many uncertainties about the state of things.

At Hatch, we are accepting applications and our surrogacy specialists are guiding women as they become surrogates during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Much of the surrogacy application process can be completed safely from home, which includes the: 

  • Pre-screening process
  • Psychological evaluation
  • And the surrogacy contract agreement

There are still many intended parents looking for surrogates to help make their dreams of parenthood come true. Even with the pandemic affecting many peoples’ lives still, the need for surrogates is strong and will only continue to grow as the world works closer to end the pandemic. 

All things considered, the timeline for applications and matching hasn’t changed drastically. It still takes around the same amount of time to process your application and documents. The matching process also varies from a few weeks to a few months to complete. 

You can schedule an initial call with one of our specialists to ask your specific questions regarding timeline, applications and expectation of your potential experience, as well as provide your preliminary information and permission for background checks. This would include evidence or proof of full pregnancy and delivery records. 

Will there be in-person medical screening required during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Typically, the medical screening is required to be done in-person at the IVF clinic of your intended parents’ choice. At this time, some clinics are allowing surrogates to complete medical screenings at a local clinic. While screenings are preferred to be performed by one of our approved physicians, we currently allow for medical screenings to be performed by your local facility as well, unless there is a specific reason that would prevent this. In this case, you would only need to travel to the IVF clinic for the embryo transfer procedure. 

If your intended parents’ IVF clinic’s location is not close to you, both you and your matched intended parents need to be comfortable with the idea of flying you to the IVF clinic before travel arrangements are in place. If you do not feel comfortable flying to the IVF clinic, your surrogacy coordinator at Hatch can always help you communicate with the IVF physician. 

We ask surrogates to follow the health and safety guidelines of the IVF clinic, the CDC and local governments.  We recommend adherence to the strictest requirements because your health and safety are number one priority to us.

Do I have to get COVID vaccinated in order to become a surrogate?

According to the CDC guidelines at the time of article’s writing, COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all people 12 years and older, including those who are: 

  • Pregnant
  • Breastfeeding
  • Trying to get pregnant now
  • Or may get pregnant in the future

Evidence about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy has been growing. There is data that suggests that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks of vaccination during pregnancy. There is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines can cause fertility problems. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can protect you from severe illness or future complications brought on by exposure to the virus. 

Furthermore, the CDC, ASRM and the American Gynecological and Obstetric Society all recommend women receive the COVID-19 vaccine if they are considering becoming pregnant or are currently pregnant. There’s no evidence that vaccination before or during fertility treatment will impact the outcome of treatment. 

It’s also highly recommended that everyone in the surrogate’s household get the COVID-19 vaccination once they are eligible to do so. Most of the IVF physicians are now requiring all patients to be fully COVID vaccinated, including surrogates. If you have any questions about getting vaccinated for COVID, we can connect you to an IVF specialist to answer your questions and concerns.

Does COVID-19 pose additional risks during pregnancy and for newborns?

The overall risk for COVID-19 is low during pregnancy. Much is still unknown regarding COVID-19 and newborns; however, the CDC does state that COVID-19 is uncommon in newborns born to women who had COVID-19 during pregnancy. Some newborns have tested positive for COVID-19 shortly after birth. It is unknown if these newborns contracted the virus before, during, or after birth. 

Most newborns who tested positive for COVID-19 had mild or no symptoms and recovered. It is important to communicate with your case coordinator, intended parents and their IVF physician during the surrogacy process and understand all information. 

Safely become a surrogate with Hatch's expert team

If you want to learn more about pursuing surrogacy during the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact Hatch’s experienced staff here to answer all your questions and learn how we are safely creating families in the age of COVID.

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