Vaccines Drive Up Surrogacy Costs For Some Families

Rochelle Alleyne | ABC Action News | April 6, 2022

Following the disruptive travel bans, the COVID-19 pandemic is posing another challenge for the fertility industry. Many surrogates don’t want to get  a vaccine, causing some intended parents to pay more and wait longer to find a vaccinated surrogate.

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Desperately Seeking Surrogates

Danielle Braff | The New York Times | April 2, 2022

The pandemic introduced new disconnects between surrogate and biological parents, including vaccine mandates, unemployment, and travel bans. As a result, there has been a 60% decrease in potential surrogates, doubled wait times, and significantly increased fees. 

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Foreign Ministry Workers Stop Helping Babies Born to Surrogates in Protest

Lahac Harkov | The Jerusalem Post | January 17, 2022

Israel’s Foreign Ministry workers stopped registering babies born to surrogates overseas (mostly the United States, Georgia, and Colombia) to protest pay cuts and deteriorating work conditions. Though the Foreign Ministry has faced numerous budget cuts, the workload of foreign consular services employees has increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After a series of unreasonable events and requests, such as elimination of overtime pay and required availability 24 hours a day, the union is protesting and calling for better treatment.

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Pandemic Pushing More Women Into Surrogacy?

Priyanka A Chokhani | Times of India | September 2, 2021

When the first wave of COVID-19 cases surged in India, small business owners and laid-off employees pawned their valuables to buy food and repay debts. When the second wave hit, there was nothing left to sell. Many women became egg donors or surrogates to help pay for family expenses. A doctor at one fertility center said, “Inquiries from women wanting to become surrogates have increased up to 10-fold during the pandemic.” Meanwhile, a proposed bill banning commercial surrogacy is under review.

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Travel Exemptions Granted For IVF Tourism and Surrogacy

Caitlin Fitzsimmons | The Sydney Morning Herald | June 13, 2021

A surrogacy education charity is helping Australian citizens obtain COVID travel exemptions from the government to go abroad for IVF treatment or surrogacy arrangements not available under federal or state law. All but one state in Australia forbid commercial surrogacy and all require egg donation be altruistic, so eggs are not available and intended parents are traveling outside the country for fertility treatments. Proponents of the Australian surrogacy legislation express shock that such a charity would help citizens circumvent a law meant to protect women from the exploitative nature of commercial surrogacy. 

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Ethics of Surrogacy During COVID-19 Pandemic

Cathy Sakimura and Emily Galpern | Men Having Babies Blog | April 29, 2021

Men Having Babies posted this ethical approach to surrogacy during COVID, by Surrogacy360’s own Emily Galpern and National Center for Lesbian Rights’ Cathy Sakimura. This approach strives to minimize the effects of gender, economic, global, and racial inequities that impact the bargaining power of people acting as surrogate or egg donors; to ensure that surrogates’ basic rights and ability to achieve a just contract are respected; and recognizes the rights of people born through surrogacy to legal security and knowledge about their origins. Intended parents must also not be discriminated against due to sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.

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State Has Acted to Ensure Couple Can Return From Ukraine with Newborn, Judge Says

Aodhan O’Faolain | Irish Times | April 16, 2021

An Irish couple who traveled to Ukraine to welcome their surrogacy-born son, were not going to be allowed to return home. New travel bans were enacted while they were away, requiring travelers from certain countries to pre-book a quarantine hotel. The couple challenged the government’s failure to ensure their return to Ireland as a breach of their constitutional rights and endangerment of their newborn’s health. High Court Judge Brian O’Moore announced the State would pass regulations to allow the family to return to Ukraine without having to quarantine.

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Parents Are Demanding Surrogates Who Won’t Get the COVID Vaccine

Carter Sherman | Vice | March 9, 2021

Many intended parents are asking agencies to match them with surrogates who agree not to get a COVID vaccine, despite the fact that contracting COVID during pregnancy could increase the risk of severity of the illness and also lead to pre-term birth. The article discusses the importance of communicating about the vaccine prior to entering into a contract, and raises the issue of the power differential between intended parents’ requirements in a contract and a surrogate’s ability to maintain bodily autonomy.

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Lack of Regulation and COVID-19 Leaves Ukrainian Surrogate Mothers and Babies in Limbo

Kate Baklitskaya, Magalena Chodownik | New Easter Europe | December 24, 2020

This article is a comprehensive piece detailing how surrogacy practices in the already unregulated Ukraine have worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. The difficulties in protecting the rights of both Ukrainian surrogates and children are highlighted, along with the illegal practice of moving surrogates across the Polish border to arrange childbirth inside the EU. Human rights activists in Ukraine and Poland are calling for regulation of the surrogacy industry in both countries.

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Fertility Industry Growth Expected Despite COVID-19 Headwinds

Bianca Facchinei | Newsy | November 27, 2020

This Newsy video highlights the likelihood that the international surrogacy industry will continue to grow despite barriers that have emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic. Fertility clinics have been caring for babies stranded from parents, costs have risen, and parents face barriers obtaining necessary passports and visas. Surrogacy360’s own Emily Galpern weighs in on the matter as a featured expert; she cautions against entering into international surrogacy arrangements amidst the pandemic and observes that the current situation reflects concerns that existed prior to the pandemic.

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