So here I am looking through my ‘Google alerts’ that I receive once or twice daily and I find an article written by a 2x surrogate on how to cut the costs of surrogacy. Some of the information was common knowledge and innocuous but the advice regarding Traditional Surrogacy really threw a red flag out onto MY field! The article stated:
“Some traditional surrogates will do home inseminations, eliminating the need for a clinic altogether. This can save the intended parents tens of thousands of dollars.”
It is correct that intrauterine inseminations (IUI) are less expensive then In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) however it NEVER should be recommended that these inseminations be preformed at home! ( or in a hotel room!) All parties involved should be medically evaluated and tested. There are no guarantees that the sperm quality or count is adequate for an IUI procedure and should be first tested by a doctor. STD’s and HIV should also be tested for or else the surrogate is risking her own health. Before ANY IVF or IUI’s are even considered, a proper legal contract needs to be drawn up between all parties.
The very real fear here is not only for the health of the woman wanting to be a surrogate but making sure that the proper surrogacy ‘protocol’ is followed. What does that mean exactly? If you are going ‘Independent’ there is still a certain order that should be followed. An example might look like this: (For an Independent Traditional Surrogacy Arrangement)
1) Intended Parents tested and Infertility Confirmed
2) Intended Father Sperm tested for quality and STD’s, HIV and sperm is frozen for future use (some Reproductive Endocrinologists ( RE’s) require quarantine of sperm for up to 6 months)
3) Find and Meet the surrogate
(Make sure she meets all the requirements for a Traditional Surrogate)
4) Surrogate is medically AND psychologically tested
5) Contracts negotiated and signed BEFORE any medications are started
(Yes, Some Traditional Surrogates (TS) are given medications)
6)During steps 4 and 5 a RE or Dr. office that specializes in Intrauterine Inseminations (IUI) is located ( This could be the same office used in step ONE, however, at times the surrogate maybe located hours or even states away so a new RE needs to be located for convenience)
7) Following RE’s orders the IUI’s are done during the TS’s cycle in the RE’s clinic….
I truly hope that in home inseminations are a thing of the past but somehow I doubt it and whatever money that maybe saved in the front end of this arrangement might not be worth the trade off, health risk or court battle.