There’s a reason why surrogacy professionals encourage gestational carriers to clear their family calendars for the year or so of the surrogacy process. As part of your surrogacy requirements, you may be subject to a travel restriction during certain parts of your pregnancy.
On top of delaying any family vacations or travel plans, travel restrictions can seem like a bit of a nuisance — until you understand exactly why they’re a thing.
The best person to talk to about the restrictions of being a gestational carrier will always be a surrogacy professional. At American Surrogacy, our specialists are happy to answer all of your questions about the surrogacy process, including any you have about travel “do”s and “don’t”s. You can give them a call anytime at 1-800-875-2229(BABY).
In the meantime, you can learn about the basics of travel during a gestational pregnancy below.
Why Do Surrogacy Contracts Set Travel Restrictions?
You’ve been pregnant before, so you should be aware of the realities of traveling while pregnant. But, in case you need a refresher, here’s a recap:
In general, it’s safe to travel throughout your pregnancy, although many doctors will recommend you stay local once you reach 36 weeks. (There’s no telling when that baby will decide to come!) For most women, the safest time to travel is during the second trimester — after the morning sickness of your first trimester and before the fatigue that comes with your third trimester.
However, there are certain risks that come with traveling with pregnant, especially if you have a history of complicated pregnancies. Sitting for long periods in the area can increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis, a condition in which blood clots form in the legs or other areas of the body. Women who have a history of anemia, respiratory disease, or cardiac disease should be wary of traveling while pregnant. Pregnancy is hard enough on your body, and travel can only increase the physical stressors on your body during this time.
For this reason, many surrogacy lawyers and professionals will advise that a gestational carrier stop traveling once she reaches a certain point in pregnancy. After all, the baby she is carrying is not hers, so any additional risks she incurs will tend to make the intended parents nervous. Remember: The goal of gestational surrogacy is to maximize the chance that the intended parents will have the healthy baby they’ve been dreaming about — and that you will have as healthy a pregnancy as possible. For that reason, certain sacrifices must be made, including your ability to travel at a certain point.
Intended parents are giving up a great deal of control by choosing gestational surrogacy, and stipulations over your pregnancy are some of the only ways they can play a part in their unborn baby’s development.
What Should You Expect in Your Surrogacy Contract?
That said, every surrogacy is different — and so is every set of intended parents. That’s why the negotiating of your surrogacy contract will be a back-and-forth conversation. This will ensure you and the intended parents come up with terms that you are both comfortable with. Don’t forget that you will have a personal surrogacy attorney protecting your rights and interests during this negotiation.
When it comes to travel restrictions, most surrogacy contracts will leave the decision up to the surrogate’s obstetrician. After all, things can change drastically as a pregnancy progresses; unforeseen occurrences can make what seemed fine early on impossible in the third trimester. Most gestational carriers and intended parents will be comfortable with this kind of travel arrangement. After all, they only want what is best for the health of the baby.
On the other hand, some intended parents will have specific ideas about their surrogate’s travel during pregnancy. Some intended parents will specifically request that their surrogate not travel in her third trimester; others will be okay with travel, but only if it is within her state. The latter is for several reasons — states have different surrogacy laws (which can be an issue if a surrogate delivers unexpectedly) and a surrogate will be far away from her obstetrician. All of this can make an intended parent nervous, which is why they may suggest certain travel rules.
Other intended parents may be stricter in their travel desires. If an intended parent requests that you not travel at all during your pregnancy, you may not be comfortable with that kind of restriction. What happens if there’s a family emergency and you have to travel on short notice? The resentment you would feel toward them would likely harm your relationship.
This is why being honest and open about your surrogacy preferences is so important. If you match with intended parents who request a strict travel policy, and you don’t think it will work for you, you’ll need to bring that up before your final contract is signed. If need be, you can find another match with parents who better share your ideals for the surrogacy journey.
Travel restrictions in a surrogacy contract are a sensitive subject, which is why having a surrogacy professional by your side from day one is so important. Your specialist and attorney should speak with you at length about this topic, so you are fully informed before starting your surrogacy journey. Remember: Surrogacy is not right for every woman at every period in her life, and the possibility of travel restrictions may highlight that for you during this time in your life.
Want to learn more about surrogacy contracts and what is expected from you as a gestational carrier? Contact our specialists today at 1-800-875-2229(BABY).