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.
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, booking 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, their list continues to grow over time exponentially.
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 would create a bottleneck of issues. Many fertility clinics rushed to create protocol for surrogate mothers that both prolong the process of getting started, but also increase 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, regardless of their risk assessment and that also can create issues. 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 these 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.
We encourage each family to examine their needs and risks for the COVID vaccine when it comes to their surrogate individually, and know that surrogate mothers feel differently on the subject as well. We have had many that are vaccinated, but also surrogates that are not vaccinated by choice- whatever their choice is, we will match with Intended Parents choices as well. The only issue is, when the demand is high for candidates as well as they require vaccination, the wait can increase exponentially for the right candidate.
Wait Times Are Up
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, massive job losses and changes due to the mandates, and moves out of the state of California and elsewhere- 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:
During 2020, Made in the USA Surrogacy had almost NO new surrogates. Think about that- the whole world was gripped by these outside forces, and the surrogate supply was nearly flat. Why was that you ask?
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, sacrifice jobs and or move to find the options available to have children watched while the world was in turmoil. It’s difficult for parents to know and understand the impact of world events on surrogacy- but it can be easy to remember and understand when Intended Parents think about the lives that surrogate mothers conduct outside of their sacrifice to become a surrogate.
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 March of 2022.
That’s not to say our wait time will not increase over time due to all of these issues discussed, but generally speaking, we have had GREAT success finding a surrogate in these tumultuous times, and COVID has not broken our agency- it has made us stronger.
Costs have risen, shortages have affected things
As we all have experienced the rising inflation, rather rapidly, costs have risen as well. Thankfully, Made in the USA Surrogacy has maintained the same agency fee as we had before COVID. Medications and fertility costs however, have not been curtailed. We have seen medications not be in stock and wait times for appointments extended due to these types of issues in the IVF world. We encourage everyone to stay patient.
Unfortunately with the rise of Covid came many restrictions, many unintended to bring broader problems to smaller businesses as well as niche medical practices, but alas, that is what happened. 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, while other families struggled through the maze of restrictions to either travel back with children born or had to stay longer when they were here for the birth. It’s immensely important to have the support of your surrogacy agency who should be committed to helping you through the tough times! 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 to the ever growing list of parents willing to take the risks to have a child. Inquire with us today to become a parent, or to become a surrogate.