New Clinics Protocols and Updates

May 27th, 2020

By Julie Allgood

As we approach week 11 of California’s “Safer at Home” initiative, we are hopeful that you all are handling this with comfort and ease.  Our staff remains healthy and safe, and ready to serve our amazing clients.  

So far in April/May, 2 of our surrogates have successfully delivered healthy children to their loving parents.  While the hospitals established protocol made for a change in their delivery plans, the Intended Parents shared that they were very accommodating.  In our most recent delivery, the IPs flew to Minnesota (where the surrogate resides), and quarantined themselves for 2 weeks, and then they were given a room in the hospital to wait for the birth to occur.  Although they couldn’t be in the delivery room, they met their baby and did skin to skin as soon as possible.

The surrogate and her husband were able to be together the entire labor and delivery, and we are so grateful that all is well with them.  They only allowed one person to be her support person while in the hospital.  When she went home, the parents brought the baby to her so the she and her family had a chance to hold the newborn and to say their sweet blessings to him, before the happy family flew back home.  The parents shared the video with the surrogate of the nurses wheeling in their newborn to their private waiting room and meeting their baby for the first time.  In person would have been better, of course, and what a blessing to see the video of that moment! 

Abundant Beginnings is watching very carefully, and communicating with hospital staff, attorneys, and therapists, to help ensure the surrogacy journeys for our pregnant surrogates are proceeding as smoothly as possible.  In connecting with the fertility clinics regarding continuing cycles, most are ready to go and welcoming back their patients.  Here are some things we are aware of:

  1. Fertility clinics are closely monitoring and following ASRM guidelines for best practice steps.  ASRM is updating their recommendations regularly, as they stay in touch with the CDC.  Read here to learn more: ASRM Patient Management and Clinical Recommendations During The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

  2. Clinics are currently seeing local patients, and will have very specific guidelines for each to follow.   Protocols will vary slightly from clinic to clinic, but most will likely require surrogates to come by themselves (to keep exposure to a minimum), possible Covid-19 testing, temperature check before entering the clinic, wear a mask (to name a few). 

  3. Abundant Beginnings is hearing from many potential Intended Parents and receiving surrogate applicants.  As things are opening up, we are here and ready to proceed and answer any questions you may have about the journey.  We will guide you through this new paradigm, and continue to be with you each step of the way.  The surrogates are committing upfront to a time frame which may be a few months longer that what we are used to.  This is to accommodate for any change in the progress of their cycles (in case there is a temporary return of the virus in the fall.)

  4. In our conversations with IPs, the question has come forward as to whether they proceed now or wait until the fall to match with a surrogate.  Our suggestion is to speak with your doctor about the pros and cons of both.  Some people have said that they feel perfectly safe proceeding, knowing that the surrogates are taking excellent care of themselves and that their clinic will be guiding them each step of the way.  One couple recently shared that they have waited so long, and the thought of waiting any longer would cause more anxiety than just starting the process now.  This is such a personal decision though, and one only you can decide.

If you live internationally, the clinic will have guidance as to how to proceed.  And, a few Intended Parents who already have embryos, are considering transferring them to a fertility clinic located closer to the surrogate’s home.  This way, they can ensure the surrogate can drive to the clinic.  If that is not an option for you, clinics have already developed a protocol for surrogates who need to fly in for an appointment. As an agency, we would share these new protocols with you, as we become aware of them.

These are just a few options we have worked through with our current clients.  Please feel free to call and schedule a consultation.  We are happy to speak with you and help you come to a conclusion about your own timing and process.  Listening  and problem solving are some of our best skills!