It’s Time to Shift to Domestic Surrogacy
Despite the availability of surrogacy situations within the United States, many intended parents turn to other countries in search of a gestational surrogate. Now, as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, intended parents and surrogates around the world are experiencing the fallout.
Now and in the future, domestic surrogacy is the safest option for all involved.
Here are a few of the situations that international intended parents and surrogates have found themselves facing as a result of the ongoing pandemic:
Babies have been stuck in foreign makeshift nurseries.
Hundreds of children are in quarantine limbo, thousands of miles from their parents, who have yet to meet their baby. Nurses are caring for these stranded babies in temporary nurseries set up in hotels.
Many of these babies have been stuck for months while countries are restricting or banning international travel, and it’s still unknown when they’ll be able to go home.
Intended parents have been unable to travel to their surrogate or meet their newborn baby.
On the rare occasion when international travel has been permitted, intended parents have still been met with countless legal and financial hurdles. Intended parents who are immunocompromised may not be able to travel due to the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
New precautions by countries and airlines regarding intercountry travel have delayed or halted travel plans for intended parents, so many were too late for their baby’s birth, if they were able to arrive at all. Some are still waiting to meet their child, months after delivery.
Intended parents have become stuck in their surrogate’s country.
Some intended parents who scrambled to beat the oncoming travel bans arrived in their surrogate’s country to get their newborn baby, only to find that they were not allowed to return home. Many are still quarantining in hotels within their surrogate’s country, waiting for it to become possible to leave.
This has become financially straining for many families, and they’ve had to find ways to care for their newborn in a foreign country.
Surrogates have had to care for the intended parents’ baby.
Some gestational surrogates for international families have had to assume responsibility for the baby during the COVID-19 outbreak. But these women were not prepared to care for a newborn — they don’t have cribs, carriers, diapers or the essentials.
They also were not expecting or wanting to care for a baby, let alone someone else’s. Most of these women are also raising children of their own, so providing for another is a serious burden.
Fortunately, women have risen to the occasion with compassion, even though it’s not part of their job description.
6 Reasons Why Intended Parents and Surrogates Should Choose Matches Within Their Own Countries
If the horror stories of intended parents, surrogates and babies being stranded thousands of miles apart from one another due to COVID-19 weren’t enough to convince you that it’s time to look within our own countries for surrogacy situations, these six reasons for choosing domestic surrogacy will.
1. Fewer ethical concerns
Eliminating the exploitation of women in developing countries is always a concern. Surrogates within the United States are required to be financially stable without the assistance of surrogacy-related compensation they accept, so you know they’re doing this because they want to and not because they need to.
There will always be a group of people who do not feel comfortable with the concept of surrogacy as a whole, but knowing that their gestational surrogate is in a stable and positive situation in her life will put the minds of many intended parents at ease.
2. Improved opportunities for strong surrogate-intended parent relationships
Intended parents and gestational surrogates who were separated by countries and continents typically had little to no interaction with one another even before COVID-19. This experience creates less of a shared, emotionally-centered experience, and is more akin to a transaction.
The most commonly cited reason why U.S. women want to become surrogates is because they have a desire to help intended parents know the joys of parenthood. So getting to know the family they will be carrying for is an exciting and rewarding part of the experience.
Not only do intended parents and surrogates benefit when they forge a genuine connection, the child will one day have the opportunity to know a bit more about the woman who helped bring them to their parents.
3. Less traveling with vulnerable newborns
A newborn baby’s immune system is especially vulnerable. Traveling transcontinentally is stressful for a newborn, and a lengthy travel will increase the risk for exposure to illnesses, including COVID-19.
Intended parents who partner with surrogates within their own countries often have the option to return home by car after the birth of the baby, or at the very least will have a much shorter journey.
4. No language barriers
Intended parents must communicate with their surrogacy agency and relevant professionals in addition to communication with their surrogate. If there are language or cultural barriers standing in the way of any of these communications, it can have a number of concerning effects on the surrogacy process, including but not limited to:
- Legal misunderstandings
- Financial miscommunication
- Travel complications
- A less emotionally connected experience
- A lack of information or confusion with updates regarding the baby and pregnancy
- A lack of support for the intended parents and/or surrogate
5. Fewer legal concerns
International surrogacy has far more legal steps than a domestic surrogacy situation, similar to international adoption. Visas and passports must be obtained, agencies and professionals will need to jump through hoops in both the sending and receiving country and there may be legal citizenship issues now or in the future. Changes within a country’s policies on the matter can occur rapidly, leaving intended parents out of money and options in the middle of the process.
Although states within the U.S. are each going to have their own set of surrogacy laws, surrogacy within the U.S. is still much better regulated than it is in foreign countries. In such an important experience, the legal protection of everyone involved in the surrogacy process (especially the baby) is a primary concern.
6. Reduced cost
Without the high costs of international travel and lodging, intended parents will save money by choosing surrogacy situations within their own countries. Additionally, there are often more hidden costs in international surrogacy than the parents were aware of. Surrogacy can already be a costly process — adding international travel to the total is unnecessary when there are surrogacy situations available domestically, perhaps even nearby.
American Surrogacy exclusively works with U.S. intended parents and surrogates in an effort to avoid the aforementioned concerns. Want to learn more about domestic surrogacy within the United States? Contact American Surrogacy now, or start by viewing our available surrogate situations of waiting women located within the U.S.