We often receive questions from surrogates and egg donors regarding the Zika virus and the potential impact it may have on your travel plans before or during a surrogacy or egg donation journey.
What is Zika?
The Zika virus is an infection that can cause serious harm to a developing fetus. Initially, it was thought that mosquito bites only transmitted Zika. But at this point, it seems clear that the virus can be transmitted through sexual activity and reproductive tissues. Cases of the Zika virus affecting pregnant women have been reported in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America. People who are infected experience flu-like symptoms. However, doctors in northern Brazil linked the Zika virus to a surge in babies born with microcephaly—meaning that babies were born with unusually small heads and brain damage.
At this time, we ask that all surrogates and egg donors review and follow all Center for Disease Control (CDC) travel health notices and restrictions: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/
- The CDC keeps up-to-date information on areas with Zika risk. Please review the maps here.
- We ask that surrogates and their partners do not travel internationally or to any affected/restricted areas once they are matched with intended parents. And further, because it seems clear that the virus may also be transmitted via sexual contact, we ask that you not have unprotected sex with anyone who has traveled to an affected/restricted area.
- Please note, if you are in the pre-screening or screening phases of a journey, a trip to an area affected (either you or your partner) will typically cause a six-month delay to the time you can do an embryo transfer.
- Women who are still in the contract phase of the journey will see this written restriction in their carrier agreement. Women who were matched before the Zika outbreak will likely not have this language in their carrier agreement. But all carrier agreements state that the carrier is required to follow her treating physician’s medical instructions. All carriers are advised to speak to their intended parents and their treating physician before finalizing any international or domestic travel plans.
- If you have been to an affected area in the past six months or have any upcoming travel plans/are planning to go on a cruise in the next six to twelve months, please inform a Circle staff member as soon as possible. We are here to answer your questions!
Of course, if you have any questions or concerns about this topic, please contact your program coordinator and/or social worker. Or, if you’ve not yet filled out an application and you have questions, you can email: [email protected]