The covid-19 pandemic is a disaster worldwide that affected not only the healthcare services but the entire economy. The capability of this virus mutation and spread has made the situation worse. The social distancing and complete lockdown were the only ways to prevent the spread of the virus.
Before starting a surrogacy process a lot of planning is required. This planning itself can take from 3 to 6 months. It includes various facility providers such as medical professionals, surrogate agencies, gestational carriers, donors, and legal professionals. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, all services were hampered because of the unexpected and strict lockdown rule. Now, each step of the surrogacy process requires replanning as some additional steps have been included in the process due to the covid-19 protocols and government guidelines.
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Effects on New Surrogacy Treatments
Surrogacy treatment is structured on various pillars such as medical treatment, agencies, legal services, donor services, and so on. During the covid-19 pandemic and lockdown, while medical services were considered essential; legal services and agencies were closed.
• Various surrogacy centres had to deny any new surrogacy treatment during the lockdown. Clinics have to follow the government guideline of social distancing. They were allowed to open the clinics with 50% capacity and least patients to escape the spreading of the virus. In the favour of the well-being of people, doctors were not taking the new assignments and only prioritizing the ongoing procedures with the urgency of the age of the donor, surrogate, or intended parents.
• Even after the lockdown, couples opting the surrogacy as a treatment are going through a rough phase. They are unable to find the gestation carrier. Many surrogates, who were associated with the surrogate agencies, have moved to their native places during the lockdown.
• If surrogacy requires a donor egg or sperm, the intended parents or agencies are unable to locate any donor after lockdown. During the lockdown, the migration of donors has affected this service badly.
Effects on On-going Surrogacy Treatments
Dr. Shivani Sachdev Gour – the best surrogacy doctor in Delhi explains the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the process. During the pandemic, the surrogacy clinics were concentrating on ongoing assignments. Still, the various patients were affected severely.
• Couples going through the surrogacy process and living in another city or country were not able to reach the clinic due to the lockdown and inaccessibility of transportation. Some couples could not reach before the birth of their child through surrogacy and could not meet their child until the restrictions were over.
• Many ongoing IVF cycles were delayed because the gestational carrier, donor, or intended parents had symptoms of coronavirus. It increased the timeframe of the entire procedure of surrogacy.
• Surrogate care was also affected as clinics were not providing physical consultation. Lockdown has affected mental health and increased the stress of surrogates due to social distancing. It even affected the basic services of healthcare, nutrition, and transportation access to a gestational carrier.
• All donors and gestational carriers involved in the surrogacy process have to produce a document of nonappearance of coronavirus symptoms and go through an RTPCR test before each visit to the low cost surrogacy clinic in Delhi.