A surrogacy journey spans the course of a year, and often even longer than that. So it is common for the surrogate to have travel plans to visit family and friends during this time. Once the surrogate is pregnant, the topic of travel can get a little tricky because the baby goes wherever the surrogate goes. In this guide I will answer commonly asked questions and concerns about a surrogate’s travel plans during a journey.
Disclosing All Travel Plans at the Beginning of the Journey
All trips and vacations that the surrogate plans on taking should be disclosed to the agency in advance before contracts are drafted. Most ethical agencies will tell a surrogate applicant to finish up all her travel plans before starting a surrogacy journey.
If the surrogate knows she has an upcoming trip but she doesn’t want to postpone her journey, the agency needs to match her with parents who feel comfortable with her traveling while pregnant. There will most likely be guidelines put into place for the surrogate such as no heavy lifting of luggage, required rest days and no overexertion, no risky activities such as rollercoasters, etc.
Traveling During the Second and Third Trimester
Surrogates Traveling During the Second Trimester
In some legal surrogacy contracts, there are travel restrictions to prevent the surrogate from leaving the state after a certain point in her surrogacy pregnancy. This is put in place to ensure the surrogate doesn’t pull a fast one and deliver the baby in a state where surrogacy is illegal, which would make it much harder for the parents to complete the parentage documents. A fetus delivered at 24 weeks is considered possibly viable, so the out of state travel restrictions might be put in place as the second trimester. The surrogate may be able to still travel during the second trimester to certain states where surrogacy is legal, it just depends on the conversations between the surrogate, the intended parents, the lawyers and the agency.
Surrogates Traveling During the Third Trimester
Once a surrogate is entering into her third trimester, the travel restrictions become much more absolute and non-negotiable. The intended parents don’t want to risk the health of their surrogate or the baby by having her far from medical care. Sometimes babies do come early, and it would be a very bad scenario if the surrogate ended up delivering the baby at an out of network hospital where they don’t have insurance coverage. There’s also concern about the surrogate leaving the state and delivering the baby in another state where the parent’s rights are not supported.
The general rule is that surrogates are not to travel over 50 miles from their designated delivery hospital during the third trimester. This ensures that they will have enough time to make it to the hospital should she suddenly go into labor, or have any other medical issues.
Domestic vs International Travel for Surrogates
While some agencies and intended parents might be okay with domestic travel, almost all of them will say no to international travel during a journey.
While traveling abroad there’s increased risk of exposure to disease, long haul flights, etc. The laws surrounding surrogacy also vary greatly in other countries, possibly putting the surrogate in danger, or making parentage processes very difficult for the parents if she delivers the baby abroad. Not to mention the out of pocket medical costs should she have complications or go into labor. So save your international trips for either before or after your surrogacy journey.Learn More