The surrogacy process has changed to adjust to these changing times during a pandemic. Many of these changes have been difficult for new families and surrogates, but the importance of the process and the creation of new life make the challenges worth it. Advances in telehealth and virtual meeting spaces have made it possible for surrogates to safely keep intended parents engaged in the birth process while we mitigate social distancing measures and restraints. Covid has changed a great deal about how we connect and remain in contact in our society, but surrogacy is still happening, and it’s still a good time to add to your family if that’s part of your plan. Proceeding ahead with a planned surrogacy doesn’t have to be stressful. While there are still unpredictable aspects of choosing an elective medical procedure during this stressful time in the healthcare industry, much of the stress and frustration can be managed by knowing what to expect should you decide to move forward.
If your intended surrogate has been vaccinated, you could decide to meet or limit your contact to virtual meetings. As usual, many agencies are still matching and placing couples with surrogates, so you can expect that part of the process to be governed by what makes both sides comfortable and matches everyone’s predetermined preferences. Because so much of the surrogacy process has moved to a virtual environment, being represented by an experienced and knowledgeable attorney with surrogacy experience has never been more important. Completing your surrogacy agreement will need to be facilitated by your attorney, and they will also need to ensure all signatures and legal requirements are met in a virtual setting. All these changes can be challenging for inexperienced legal counsel, so it’s important to ensure you have found a team with the infrastructure to handle these changes.
Before finalizing the surrogacy agreement, it’s important to know the rules for the medical facility you plan to deliver in. You need to find out if they allow visitors and how many. While you can outline your expectations in a surrogacy agreement, it’s important to realize this agreement does not supersede the rules of the surrogate’s medical provider. Even with these changes, most of the process remains unchanged from pre-pandemic standards. It’s important to remain in contact with your surrogate and work to limit exposure risk to covid by only traveling when needed, which is consistent with current CDC recommendations.
It’s important to keep the surrogate mom as safe as possible while the risks to her health are increased due to pregnancy and Covid-19 vulnerabilities. The surrogate should have all appointments at a predetermined local medical facility to limit the need to travel more than necessary. The surrogate mom may also be required to test before arrival to limit Covid-19 exposure to the staff and those in the clinic. Some faculties have gone so far as to ask pregnant moms to remain in their vehicles to limit contact while waiting for their appointment. If the surrogate has a positive Covid-19 test returned before the embryo transfer, the appointment will be rescheduled for after a negative test has been presented. Intended parents have limited access to medical facilities during this time, and typically only one support person will be allowed in the room during delivery. However, this depends a great deal on the hospital or clinic chosen, as some have denied all access to intended parents. It’s imperative not to make assumptions about visitation and access during the turbulence of this pandemic, so verify their rules with your chosen facility beforehand.
At Cianci Law, PC Creative Family Solutions, our attorneys can help you navigate the ever-changing landscape of surrogacy. With the requirements and legal status changing across the country, you need to ensure you have legal representation. Your attorney can help you develop a surrogacy agreement that meets all your needs. Call us at (916) 797-1575 to schedule a consultation or for more information on how we could assist in your situation.
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