Monday, February 24, 2014

6 months for STI? Is it really necessary?

In a bid to cut time, clients sometimes ask me: why do we have to wait 6 months for sexually transmitted infection controls? Why are they necessary? Why can't they be shorter, or not at all.

Here come my limitations. I am of course merely a surrogacy lawyer and not a wunderkind fertility doctor. I am not the person who can actually make embryos but merely the add on, who can help guide clients through the labyrinth. So my first answer to this question is simple: this is a medical question, I am a surrogacy lawyer, not a fertility doctor - go ask the doctor.

However, the usual requirement, in Australia's case as I understand it as required by the industry regulator RTAC, is that 6 months is required for sexually transmitted infection (STI) controls. In other words, 6 months should go by before testing is completed, this being the period that is typically required for HIV.

Given that this is the usual medical standard, if you are considering undertaking surrogacy, and your clinic says that they don't require STI testing, ask yourself the simple questions:
  • what if the surrogate gets HIV or other serious infections such as hepatitis, or for that matter you end up with a baby that is born HIV positive?
  • if they are prepared to cut corners on that, then on what other things are they also prepared cut corners? What does that mean about their honesty and medical standards?
Sometimes doctors have told clients that they can undertake the tests in 4 months. Again, I am not a doctor- but the usual standard is 6 months. On this I suggest get a second opinion from a doctor at another clinic- so that you can satisfy yourself that you won't accidentally give the surrogate- or for that matter her partner, or your baby, HIV or even syphilis.

The simple rule is the best: if in doubt- avoid, avoid, avoid. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

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