The Surrogacy Podcast Episode 96: Angela and Kirsty: surrogacy pregnancy during COVID. Ange is an intended mother in Queensland, and Kirsty is her surrogate. Kirsty is pregnant and due in just under two months. They met through the Australian Surrogacy Community on Facebook, and had an embryo transfer in February – just weeks before the COVID pandemic led to lockdowns and restrictions in hospitals. As the pregnancy has progressed, they’ve had difficulties planning the birth, attending hospital together for appointments, and negotiating with the hospital. Their hospital is a COVID hotspot, with several staff diagnosed with the virus. And Kirsty is a fast-birther, so choosing another hospital further away from home is out of the question.

Unfortunately, Kirsty and Ange have had to deal with ‘one size fits all’ hospital policies that were going to prevent either of the intended parents attend hospital, leave Kirsty to birth without them, and require Kirsty to care for the baby in the hours and days after the birth. But, with a bit of pushing by them, advocating for themselves, and some advocating by their surrogacy lawyer (!) they’ve been able to get a better response from the hospital.

Hospitals and healthcare providers who are supporting a surrogacy pregnancy and birth need to develop a surrogacy policy, and need to recognise that the birthing person is not the parent, and does not generally wish to care for the baby once it is born. And the parents do want to provide care, and neither of them have given birth. It is in a child’s interests that they be cared for by their parents, and a surrogate cannot be forced to care for a child she birthed.

You can find out more information about some of the things we discussed, including:

I have published a book, More Than Just a Baby: A Guide to Surrogacy for Intended Parents and Surrogates, the only guide to surrogacy in Australia.

You can find more information in the free Surrogacy Handbook, reading articles in the Blog, by listening to more episodes of the Surrogacy Podcast. You can also book in for a consult with me below.

Hi! I’m Sarah Jefford. I’m a surrogacy, fertility and family lawyer. I’m also an IVF Mum, an egg donor and a traditional surrogate, and I delivered a baby for her Dads in 2018.

I advocate for positive, best practice surrogacy arrangements within Australia, and provide support and education to help intended parents make informed decisions when pursuing overseas surrogacy.

more than just a baby

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