Karen Erikson is a mom and a former surrogate, who lives in the Inland Empire (Temecula/Murrieta area) and would like others to know what it’s like to become a surrogate.
If you have been following along, you already know that in October 2019, I delivered a healthy set of twins for a couple who couldn’t do it on their own. It was one of the most exciting moments of my life, and it has been a joy to share my journey with others! In March of this year, I started my second surrogacy journey. The intended parent and I were so excited to be matched, but then COVID hit and everything was put on hold. I wanted to share with you how COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has impacted my new journey and where we are now.
In March I was lucky to video chat with my intended parent for my next journey during what is called a match call. This call is usually with your coordinator team and an intended parent who is interested in working with you as a gestational surrogate. Our call went perfectly and we were matched! The next step was for me to visit the medical clinic and receive medical clearance. COVID-19 had other ideas though, and medical screenings for new matches were put on hold.
As you can imagine, this was frustrating for both me and the intended parent who has wanted this for so long. We patiently waited until we were able to get approval from the clinic to be seen. In May, things started to open back up and IVF clinics were given the green light to start seeing patients again. I was required to get a COVID test, and had to be checked for symptoms before entering the medical clinic office. All of the procedures the clinic had in place made me feel safe, and secure. There were only a few people in the office at one time, which allowed for safe social distance.
The medical screening was still the same; there was a blood draw, ultrasound, and basic physical. This was all done while I was wearing a mask, and all of the medical personnel had proper PPE. My results took a little longer than normal, but I still received them within 2 weeks of my medical screening.
The legal process took the same amount of time. The typical time for a legal process is 30-45 days, and I didn’t notice any difference even with COVID being a factor. When I visited the notary, all of the proper safety precautions were in place, and the process was only a little longer than a normal visit to a notary to sign documents.
We are now waiting for my next cycle to start so that we can start monitoring and schedule the FET (fetal embryo transfer). Before I can go to my first monitoring appointment, I will need to get another COVID test. The clinic asks that you have a negative result within 5 days of your first visit for monitoring. I love that they are taking the extra precautions to make sure that we are all safe and healthy during this journey.
I am not sure how COVID will continue to impact my journey since I am just at the beginning. However, I have heard from other surrogates who have delivered during this unusual time. The coordinator teams at our agency have done amazingly well to arrange for the parents to still be at the hospital, and when that is not possible, they have arranged for relatives or even hired nannies to assist with the babies when they are born and until the parents can be reunited with their babies. It is reassuring to see that extra measures are being taken to make sure the surrogates and intended parents have peace of mind when it comes to the care of the babies after the surrogacy journey is over.
As information changes, IVF doctors and clinics will continue to update their procedures in order to make sure that everyone is safe, and that surrogacy journeys are still moving forward. Even with minor delays in the process this has been a great start to another incredible surrogacy journey. The agency that I am working with is still actively working with intended parents to help make their dream of having a family a reality, so if you have ever considered becoming a surrogate now is the perfect time. So if you’re wondering how COVID-19 is impacting surrogacy journeys know that it’s only delayed the process. But everything is still happening.
So if you’re interested in becoming a surrogate, fill out an application on Extraordinary Conceptions’ website! They are one of the nations top fertility and surrogate agencies and want to help you along your surrogate journey. Apply today to start the process and be compensated for your amazing gift to intended parents who need your help to start a family. Read more about surrogacy here!