Tuesday, July 1, 2014

I'm a surrogacy lawyer, not a doctor!

A few years ago I knew little of the medical jargon concerning IVF. As I began to see more and more clients who could not have children, I heard more and more, and became familiar with more and more medical terms, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, for example.

It is good to be aware of these things, when handling surrogacy and egg donation. The reason might surprise you. When new clients come to me to talk about surrogacy or egg donation, often their thoughts turn to surrogacy. Surrogacy of course is the topic apparently on everyone's lips. There are many websites and some support groups for those facing the surrogacy journey. By comparison there is relatively little about egg donation.

I mention this because some clients are adamant that they should be proceeding with surrogacy, but on careful investigation, it seems that they do not need involvement of a surrogate and all that goes with that, but all they need is egg donation. Often when I discuss these issues, I help raise my clients' awareness of the issues involved. I invite them to talk with their medical specialists so that they can understand the difference between egg donation, and surrogacy with egg donation.

New clients also want to know how long surrogacy might take. My answer is simple: wherever it happens in the world, typically surrogacy will take somewhere in the range of 18-24 months. Natural processes largely govern how long it takes to make a baby. When they pick up their jaws and realise that they cannot have a baby now, my clients want to know why it cannot be shorter than 18 months. My answer is that it comes down to basic numbers: 9 months for a pregnancy and another 6 months for sexual transmitted infection controls (STI). 15 months just with those two steps- assuming that everything else is sorted in record time and that the surrogate is pregnant on the first cycle.

But I then get asked why is HIV testing necessary? I would have thought the answer was obvious.

I then get asked- but why 6 months? My answer is also simple: this is the standard time allowed for by doctors. If you don't like it- ask the doctor concerned. This is a medical question, not a legal question. As I point out to my clients, I am a surrogacy lawyer, not a doctor!

No comments:

Post a Comment