August 13, 2015 | Frankie Marrero
Creative Family Connections’ Case Managers are the backbone of our Gestational Surrogacy Support Team. Our Case Managers work tirelessly to keep our Intended Parents and our Gestational Surrogates organized, happy, and as free from stress as possible.
There are many different aspects to this job, so we thought it would be interesting to interview one of our amazing Case Mangers about what an average day entails, and we would like you to “meet” CFC Case Manager, Melissa Lockhart! As a Case Manager, Melissa provides direct support to our Intended Parents and their Gestational Carriers on a daily basis. I asked Melissa to give me a “brief” rundown of her day, and she had quite a lot to say!
“Today is particularly exciting because one of our gestational surrogates is in labor! So, my day started with an early morning text saying that everyone was at the hospital!
“Next, I had an introductory video conference meeting with a gestational surrogate who is preparing for her match meeting. We talked through her anxiety and excitement about meeting her Intended Parents for the first time. I could tell she really appreciated my support and that she left the meeting feeling much more at ease, and excited for this special introduction.
“Throughout the day, I wrote many emails to surrogates and Intended Parents discussing all of the aspects of a surrogacy journey, including upcoming OB appointments, coordinating medical and psychological screening appointments, genetic testing options, and birth plans – just to name a few.
“Speaking of birth plans – today marked the start of the second trimester for some of our Intended Parents and their surrogate, so I talked with a hospital about the details of a Birth Plan for their upcoming birth. It is imperative that the hospital is on the same page as all of the parties involved prior to delivery, so this is something that is always part of a standard journey at CFC. This can include planning for the Intended Parents to have a room at the hospital, to deciding how many people can be in the delivery room – even down to where everyone will stand!
“As soon as I wrapped up my conversation with the hospital, it was time to jump on a call with an attorney to discuss an upcoming delivery and the Intended Parents’ parental rights at birth. One CFC’s most important tasks is to ensure that the Intended Parents will be recognized as the legal parents when their child arrives. We confer with attorneys across the country to ensure that we are up to date on surrogacy law in all 50 states, and our legal team stays on top of this process throughout every pregnancy to make sure that the parental rights of all of our Intended Parents are protected.
“The rest of the day flew by as I checked off the rest of my list and also took care of plenty of unplanned issues as they arose:
“I wrapped my day up at 5:30, still awaiting word on our pending delivery! At 7:00 pm, I finally heard from the gestational surrogate who had given birth and I spoke with the new parents, too! They had welcomed a beautiful baby boy, and everyone was healthy and happy. Everyone was very excited – including me!”
As Melissa made clear, an average day for a Creative Family Connections Gestational Surrogacy Case Manager is anything but average. Earlier this month, we had 4 babies born in the span of 5 days! All of our Intended Parents and Gestational Surrogates are at different stages of the surrogacy journey and have different needs, but their Case Managers are there to support them every step of the way. Thank you to Melissa and to all of our other Case Managers who take such great care in helping to build families!