Can you start a surrogacy journey in the US or Canada during COVID-19?
The desire to have a baby is greater than any virus. The big question for intended parents at this time is: ‘Is surrogacy possible whilst the world is in lockdown?’ Here is what you can do.
You can gather information about surrogacy in the US or Canada
Any intended parent considering surrogacy will need to gather and evaluate any destination offering surrogacy and work out if it is right for them. Online searches will help with this whilst you are at home, but you can also find guidance on our website pages for US surrogacy and surrogacy in Canada.
We can help you one-to-one as well. At Brilliant Beginnings, we are working remotely and are available to offer advice, information and help to those still navigating the choices with an options review meeting. We can do this via a face to face video call and can talk you through your particular circumstances and options.
We can start you on your US and Canada surrogacy journeys
If the US or Canada is the right route for you, there is still lots that you can focus on at this time. At Brilliant Beginnings we have first-hand experience of both international destinations through the intended parents we have helped, and are still moving intended parents forward with surrogacy journeys in the UK and USA and Canada.
We have seen which organisations work well, and importantly at this time, which are well established and robust enough to weather any current issues. In the first instance we are able to help intended parents through our US or Canada service to settle on the initial but crucial considerations on what their goals, priorities and budgets are, but also introduce them to the right organisations for them.
You can get to know some of the organisations who will work alongside you
The organisations that we work with regularly are available for initial consultations and discussions with intended parents. Surrogacy and egg donor agencies are happy to register intended parents so that they can start to view potential egg donors, and start the process of waiting for a match with a surrogate.
You can be matched with a surrogate
Surrogates are still enquiring with agencies, which means there has been very little change here, and the agencies are still able to conduct the majority of screening and preparation of surrogates remotely and safely.
Matches are still being made, and this allows surrogates and intended parents to get to know each other, and also get legal contracts in place and ready prior to treatment commencing.
Many surrogacy agencies will also offer services which mean they will rematch intended parents for free if needed. This means that registering with an agency now is actually a good idea if you are considering a surrogacy journey in the near future. There is likely to be a sharp rise in intended parents registering once the pandemic has passed, and getting established now will help avoid this.
You can start your talks with a chosen clinic, just not start treatment
Currently the advice from regulatory bodies to clinics is that they should not be commencing any new cycles of IVF, or conducting embryo transfers.
Whilst it is possible to speak with a clinician and for intended parents to establish themselves as patients in preparation for when this advice changes, it is important to bear in mind the current situation. No one can say for certain when the current pause will end, but end it will.
Surrogacy takes time and we are closely monitoring the changes and updates from clinics, but in the meantime also helping intended parents navigate the other steps, ready for when clinics start up fully again.
What else can you do from the UK?
Alongside meeting with us here at Brilliant Beginnings and the organisations overseas, we are very mindful that travel within the UK may be possible before international travel is. This could mean that UK clinics can coordinate some of the initial steps. With this in mind we are closely monitoring and exploring options for either creating and freezing embryos here in the UK and then exporting these to the US or Canada when it is possible, or exporting embryos, eggs or sperm that intended parents already have stored.
If you are interested in hearing more about surrogacy in the US, Canada or the UK alongside other destinations, do get in touch and we are happy to help.