If you’re a woman considering applying to become a surrogate to help another family grow, or you are intended parents exploring surrogacy to have a baby, you may be wondering what impact COVID-19 or Coronavirus may have on a surrogate pregnancy and surrogacy journey.
Below we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19 and surrogacy, and what it will mean in the near future and beyond.
Is the agency still accepting surrogate and intended parent applications during the outbreak?
Yes. A surrogacy journey is just that: a journey. One that can be on average 15-20 months for Intended Parents (this means some journeys may be shorter, but some journeys may be longer). Some intended parents have been researching surrogacy and preparing to grow their families and the time is right for them emotionally, mentally and financially to apply to become a parent. Some women have been dreaming of becoming surrogates and are ready to commit. Another reason is that in a time of uncertainty, some people look for something positive to focus on in the future – whether that be carrying a baby for someone who can’t do so on their own, or finally having the baby they’ve been dreaming of. Everyone is different, and everyone reacts differently to news and challenges. As an agency, we are ready to support surrogates, egg donors and intended parents whenever they are ready. If you are not yet ready to begin a journey, you should wait until you’re more comfortable. Everyone is different.
Should I apply to become a surrogate during the Coronavirus outbreak?
If you are interested in becoming a surrogate, you can absolutely apply during the Coronavirus outbreak. From application to birth, a typical surrogate journey timeline can be anywhere from 12-16 months. If you were to fill out an application today, get all the paperwork in and be put on the matching list, it would take on average 1-3 months to be matched.
Another option would be to fill out your application, fulfill all of your application and medical records tasks, and ask to be put “on hold” so that if you’d like things in the world to settle a bit more, you can then be asked to be taken off hold and put onto the matching list and all of your paperwork would be complete.
We currently do not know how long regulations around travel and clinic schedules will be disrupted, but you will be much closer to starting a journey by applying today than waiting a few months.
Should I meet with a surrogacy agency during the Coronavirus outbreak and uncertainty in the world?
One question to ask yourself is this: once the world has settled back into a state of “normal”, will you still be considering surrogacy to grow your family? The decision to meet with a surrogacy agency during this time is 100% up to you and your comfort level.
What we can say is this: meeting with an agency is not committing to an agency. If you are considering surrogacy to grow your family – and you’ve done all your research – now is a perfectly acceptable time to meet with a surrogacy agency.
It may help to look at a surrogacy journey timeline: a typical journey can average 15-20 months (assuming clinics are open and fully functioning for screenings and transfers). The surrogate matching process accounts for 3 to 5 months of that time, and then intended parents should expect another 2 to 3 months before a transfer occurs. Therefore, we would not expect your first transfer to occur until at least 5 to 8 months after you join the program. We do not believe COVID-19 will significantly impact the journeys of Intended Parents who sign with Circle today. If you join now and the situation worsens, you may always continue to wait for a surrogate match or to schedule a transfer. However, if the situation stabilizes later this year, signing now would ensure a much faster match without future delays.
If you do happen to get matched and still aren’t able to undergo an egg retrieval or transfer, you will have extra time to develop your relationship with your egg donor (if doing known egg donation) and surrogate.
Is a virtual consultation the same as an in-person consultation?
Yes! In fact, while we do travel frequently to many countries and states (when not under a travel ban), we always offer video consultations as well if the time is more convenient for Intended Parents.
A virtual consultation has the same structure to an in-person consultation:
- You will meet with a process consultant and a lawyer
- The consultation is private and lasts 2- 2.5 hours
- You will share your story with us: what brought you to surrogacy, what your hopes for a surrogacy journey may be
- We will explain the process, costs and answer any questions – even questions about the Coronavirus and how it may impact your journey
Plus, you get to meet with us from the comfort of your own home, which is perfect because everyone will be spending quite a bit of time at home in the near future!
Will the Coronavirus and what is happening economically have an impact on Circle Surrogacy?
The economic stability of the agency you choose is a very real concern that Intended Parents should consider when selecting a surrogacy agency. Circle Surrogacy is a large, financially stable company, backed by a diverse group of investors committed to the long-term success of the company. Circle has been in business for approximately 25 years, and has grown each and every year, including during years plagued by war, recession and political upheaval. In our experience, troubling times lead Intended Parents to place an emphasis on working with well-established, experienced, and professional agencies such as Circle Surrogacy, and we expect the same to be true with the COVID-19 outbreak.
In light of what’s going on in the world, how would that change what I look for in a surrogacy agency?
We are experiencing an extreme time in the world; many businesses are being asked to close or are closing on their own to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation is one of the world’s oldest surrogacy agencies, making parenthood possible in the U.S and around the world for 25 years. Those considering being a surrogate or becoming a parent through surrogacy should look for an agency who has a solid foundation, strong client base, and dependable process. These qualities tend to be found in larger, more experienced agencies with strong clinic partnerships and years of success.
Is becoming a surrogate a good way to earn extra money during and after the Coronavirus outbreak?
Being a surrogate mother is a big commitment – mentally, emotionally and physically. While many of our surrogate mothers do not apply because of the monetary benefits, they are able to use their compensation to help their own families.
No matter when a woman applies to become a surrogate, she must meet the surrogate mother requirements.
Some of these requirements include:
- Must have delivered a child of their own, and is currently parenting at least one child.
- Must have completed successful pregnancy and birth, without complications, as documented by medical records.
- Must be between 21-41 years of age.
- In most circumstances, must have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of no higher than 33. Calculate My BMI.
- Must be financially secure.
- Must lead a stable, responsible lifestyle.
Women who apply to become surrogate mothers must also provide all medical records of healthy pregnancies and births, undergo psychological tests and screenings, as well as have her primary support person be evaluated as well.
We understand that these are times of uncertainty, and we are all navigating our way one day at a time. Circle Surrogacy will continue to support all intended parents, surrogates and egg donors, as well as continue to virtually “meet” with intended parents interested in learning more about surrogacy, as well as guide surrogate applicants through the early stages of the process.