Impact of Covid on Surrogacy
Whether we all liked it or not, 2020 was in many respects a difficult year for everyone in the world. The virus rocked most of the world while lockdowns and an election year in the US nearly gripped the entire nation. Despite these issues however, many families continued their fight to start a family or continue to grow their family.
It’s important to look back on how the affects of 2020 has had on surrogacy as a whole, but also on how that will affect your journey as a parent in 2022.
What was the impact of Covid on Surrogacy?
Here are just a few ways that COVID affected surrogacy:
- Surrogate demand has gone up, while surrogates have been timid
- The vaccine continues to be a point of contention and increased uncertainty
- Wait times for surrogates have gone up
- Costs have risen, fertility medications experience shortage
- Travel Restrictions were imposed
Surrogate demand is up
The beauty of the hardship that 2020 brings, is that it never stops the hearts of Intended Parents and their quest to have a family. Despite all of the fear and chaos of that year, Intended Parents have bounced back in a flurry to their fertility clinics. They continue to book IVF appointments and filling up the calendar for fertility diagnosis and treatment. With the increase in appointments for IVF clinics near you, the need for parents who must use a surrogate goes up as well. Many of our fertility partners have experienced such a demand for surrogates in the year 2022. The list among partners for surrogates only increases daily.
Covid Vaccine Issues
Not only has the demand for surrogates risen, but the uncertainty of 2020 brought with it fears and solutions that were not prior foreseen. Much like the issues of Zika and what that brought to the fertility world, COVID mandates and issues created a bottleneck of issues. Many fertility clinics rushed to create protocol for surrogate mothers that both prolong the process of getting started. This also increased their awareness of safety for those receiving treatment. With the increase of patients to be seen after Intended Parents willingness to resume treatment, COVID protocols add another layer of stress and time to the mix.
Another issue to the COVID virus and 2020 issues was the vaccine that came in 2020 and mandates that came in 2021. Many fertility clinics have adopted vaccine mandates of their own for surrogate candidates. From our own research many candidates have chosen not to take the vaccine, and or may have lost a job in the family due to the mandates. This coupled with the uncertainty of economic pressures has led to a decrease in surrogate applications, and thus, less surrogate mothers who are able to make the journey possible.
Covid and Pregnancy
We encourage each family to examine their needs and risks for the COVID vaccine with their surrogate. Also know that surrogate mothers feel differently on the subject as well. We have had many that are vaccinated. But we do not require surrogates to be vaccinated. Whatever their choice is, we will match with Intended Parents choices as well. The only issue is, when the demand is high for candidates that require vaccination, the wait can increase exponentially for the right candidate.
Wait Times Are Up
Perhaps the biggest impact of Covid on Surrogacy was the increased wait times for a surrogate.
Surrogates in California have always been in high demand, due to excellent surrogacy laws. However, COVID and 2020 pressures have driven demand to all-time-high levels. With increased uncertainty in the world, vaccine mandates mentioned above, everyone’s lives were affected. Also massive job losses and changes due to the mandates, and moves out of the state of California and elsewhere. This meant surrogate’s lives have been turned upside down.
It’s important to note how world events impact your surrogacy. Women become surrogates out of an abundance of compassion and empathy. They are also real people, with real lives, children of their own, jobs and stresses that impact their decisions. We would like to share with you what the impact of COVID was on our agency:
Covid and Surrogacy
The largest impact of COVID on surrogates was the lack of schooling options available for their children.
With decreased school options, surrogates were forced to school their children at home.
This directly reduces the amount of parents who are willing to become surrogates. They simply had too much on their plates with at-home schooling.
Parents had to sacrifice jobs and or move to find the options available to have children watched while the world was in turmoil.
All of these impacts discussed above have drastically reduced the amount of surrogate mothers available in the US. We have reported wait times by other surrogacy agencies, and hear many stories about surrogacy wait times- in excess of 12-18months for a surrogate!
Because of our marketing efforts however, Made in the USA Surrogacy has maintained a 3-6 month average waiting time for their surrogates as of writing this article in December of 2023.
That’s not to say our wait time will not increase over time due to all of these issues discussed. However generally speaking, our wait times are not long at all.
Negative Impact of Covid on Surrogacy
Costs have risen and shortages have affected things
As we all have experienced the rising inflation, rather rapidly, costs have risen as well. Costs such as agency fees and surrogate compensation have risen. Medications and fertility costs however, have not been curtailed. We have seen medications shortages and appointments extended due to these types of issues. We encourage everyone to stay patient.
Unfortunately with the rise of Covid came many restrictions, which brought broader problems to smaller businesses. While countries struggled to put an end to the rising numbers of COVID, travel restrictions became mandatory as a way to decrease the spread. Many families from China were left with children born in America without a way to travel back to America to pick up their children. Also other families struggled through the maze of restrictions to either travel back with children born. Some had to stay longer when they were here for the birth. Whether our families were from Australia, China or local American families, Made in the USA Surrogacy has toughened our resolve and continue to bring quality surrogate candidates. Inquire with us today to become a parent, or to become a surrogate.