If you are planning or part-way through surrogacy in the UK, you may find the following information helpful.
How is Covid-19 affecting surrogacy arrangements?
Lockdown and social distancing rules meant that fertility clinics were temporarily closed and treatment put on hold for surrogates and intended parents. For those already pregnant, the inability to physically support and visit one another has been tough. Many intended parents have missed scans or important pregnancy milestones and instead have relied on technology to be present.
How can we stay in touch and support our surrogate?
Video calls are an excellent way to feel as if you’ve physically seen one another, but many intended parents are going the extra mile and recording voice messages and stories for their surrogate to play to the bump so that their unborn child gets used to their sound. Sharing experiences, such as online antenatal classes, are a similarly positive way to feel involved in the pregnancy.
Who can be at the birth?
There is not a specific national guideline for surrogate births, but most hospitals are currently permitting one birth partner to be present. For many surrogates, this means a choice between their partner and one of the intended parents.
How can we keep things straightforward?
Having considered a range of scenarios before conception and recording these within a surrogacy agreement is best practice. However, no one could have foreseen the current Covid-19 situation. Keeping in touch, both with each other and with health professionals and the hospital as to their current policies, is key to ensuring you can make the best of these unprecedented circumstances.
What is the future for surrogacy?
Surrogacy is a wonderful family-building option and it is not going anywhere! Fertility clinics across the UK are re-opening and offering surrogacy treatment once again. The current social distancing restrictions are slowly relaxing and non-essential travel being permitted again. Parental order court hearings are continuing to go ahead (by video link) and we are steadily gathering momentum to enable us to get back to a new normal.
How can we help?
We can advise on any aspect of surrogacy, from the initial planning stages to the parental order application. Please contact our specialist solicitor Nicola Scott for more information.
This information is given to the best of our knowledge and does not constitute individual legal advice upon which you can rely. The situation relating to Covid-19 is constantly evolving and may have changed since this document was produced. For up to date advice on your own situation, please contact us before taking any action.