Surrogacy is an intimate process, and sometimes it requires uncomfortable discussions. The safety and happiness of everyone involved in the process — both the surrogate and the intended parents — is always the goal. To ensure that goal is achieved, one touchy subject has to be addressed: surrogacy and vaccinations.
The medical aspects of surrogacy make up a large part of the process. If you’re considering surrogacy — either as a surrogate or intended parent — then you’ll need to get used to in-depth discussions around medical issues. This can often feel invasive and uncomfortable.
Vaccines have become a delicate issue in our culture. What was once accepted almost universally as a good and necessary piece of modern medicine is no longer so simple. In fact, in many circles the mere mention of vaccines can cause tension. And ever since COVID-19 became a big part of our daily existence, the conversation around vaccines has only intensified.
If you’re interested in surrogacy, you’re going to need to push through this tension to understand how vaccinations can impact your journey. From agency requirements to finding a surrogacy match, vaccinations can significantly alter your experience with the process.
Surrogates and Vaccinations
Your health as a surrogate is a priority during the process. You may feel a strong conviction about vaccinations — whether you see them as necessary or harmful. What’s important to understand is how your views (especially if you are against vaccinations) could disrupt the process.
There are two levels of medical screening that surrogates must complete: the agency screening and the fertility clinic screening.
Each surrogacy agency has its own in-house medical screening standards. These agency requirements will determine whether or not you can begin the process as a surrogate. If you do not have all of your immunizations, you will need to check on your agency’s requirements before going any further.
The intended parents choose the fertility clinic that will perform the in-vitro fertilization (IVF). Each fertility clinic will conduct a medical screening before the procedure, and requirements differ from clinic to clinic. Many require a full vaccination record.
When you’re a surrogate, you don’t officially enter into your legal contract with the intended parents until the medical screening with the fertility clinic has been completed. A failed screening could result in the dissolution of a match, which can be very disappointing.
Our intent in saying this is not necessarily to change your mind. It’s important to remember that, when you are a gestational surrogate, you have the right to choose what you believe is best for your body.
However, it is our job to make sure you have all the information you need before making big choices. If you are interested in being a surrogate and are personally against vaccinations, it could become an issue in your medical screening.
Intended Parents and Vaccinations
The intended parents’ opinion on vaccinations can also be a factor in the surrogacy process. While intended parents do not undergo the same medical screening that surrogates do, their perspectives on vaccines can come up in the screening process and, as we’ll explore in greater detail below, could potentially become an issue when it comes to finding a match.
Intended parents who are against vaccines may want to find a surrogate who is also against vaccines. This could become an issue if it is not clearly addressed upfront. If a surrogate feels that immunizations are necessary to protect her health, the intended parents cannot force her to abstain.
Additionally, intended parents who are against vaccinations may have a hard time finding a fertility clinic that does not require them. Many fertility clinics have guidelines that include a long list of immunizations. If this concerns you, you can ask a clinic if there are exceptions, or ask them to explain the safety of vaccinations during pregnancy. However, there is a chance that anti-vaccination views on the part of the intended parents could limit the number of professionals available to work with.
Anti-Vaccination Views and Finding a Match
The aspects of surrogacy and vaccination covered above are primarily technical. But, there’s a more personal side to this discussion, as well. While medical screening and agency requirements should be considered, finding a surrogacy match is another topic of equal importance.
Here’s the simple truth when it comes to anti-vaccination views and finding a match: It may be more challenging to find a match if you hold this opinion of vaccines.
This can be true for intended parents or surrogates. If the other party accepts medical science on the safety and importance and vaccines and you do not, then it can often become an insurmountable disagreement.
Intended parents and surrogates do not have to perfectly agree on everything. In fact, disagreements on some level are common. However, vaccinations are too important for many people to simply “agree to disagree.”
The views of the intended parents and surrogate on vaccinations should always be discussed early in the process, so that a passionate disagreement can be avoided at a later stage.
The COVID-19 vaccine, specifically, could become a regular requirement for surrogates and intended parents when it comes to finding a match. While requirements from the agency side will vary, it’s expected that many surrogates and intended parents will want the other party involved to have received the vaccine once it is available.
On the other hand, there is a growing public wariness about vaccines, and the COVID-19 vaccine in particular. This could cause it to become a hot-button issue that impacts all areas of society, including surrogacy.
Once again, this information is not presented in an effort to change opinions. Rather, it’s vital that you fully understand the potential implications of anti-vaccination views when it comes to the surrogacy process.
Speak with a Specialist
Surrogacy can be a beautiful journey. Whether you are pursuing this opportunity as a surrogate or intended parent, we want you to feel encouraged and empowered. If you’d like to learn more about the process and speak to a specialist about this specific topic, you can contact us online today or call 1-800-875-BABY (875-2229).