Covid-19 Info for UK LGBTQ Intended Parents Planning Surrogacy in US

I am honored to participate in TwoDads.U.K’s COVID-19 Support Sessions on Instagram TV with an April 23 interview entitled “Travel Bans during a US Surrogacy journey.” TwoDads.U.K. is a parenting and surrogacy advocacy group for same-sex parents in the UK.  

In the interview, TwoDadsU.K. hosts Michael Johnson-Ellis and I discuss the new realities for UK intended parents planning to have a baby via surrogacy in the United States during the global coronavirus outbreak. Among other topics, we talk about documentation needed to help intended parents obtain travel documents, the latest from the U.S. State Department on help for intended parents and babies unable to return to their home countries, and new hospital policies that may restrict intended parents from being present at their babies’ birth. My best advice for intended parents who are not yet pregnant is to delay scheduling donor or IVF cycles, at least until public health authorities are better able to predict the extent and duration of the covid-19 outbreak. For those with babies already on the way, we talk about how they can be prepared as possible to navigate travel to the U.S. and back and how to prepare for their time in a U.S. that likely to be in lock-down conditions.

When they asked me for my top tips, both for those planning to become parents through assisted reproductive technology, and for those who have already begun that journey in the midst of covid-19, I realized the advice is the same:

  1. Research and prepare. There is a lot of information to absorb.
  2. Stay calm and stay the course. Things most likely will, but don’t always, go smoothly.
  3. Be patient. When most of my clients start this process, they wanted to be parents already/yesterday…. It will happen; it just might take a little longer. A two- to four-month delay seems like forever when you're in it, but it’s really nothing in the grand scheme of your child's lifetime.

For those in the middle of an arrangement waiting for IVF clinics to re-open…  they WILL reopen and resume those cycles, sooner than you may think.

For those who are preparing for birth and facing the possibility that travel bans might affect their travel to the U.S. for birth or their return home, it may take a little longer and more planning, but most parents are still getting here and getting home. We will all get through this, and we at IFLG and all of our colleagues in the surrogacy profession are doing everything possible to support you.

For more information and resources for intended parents, surrogates and third-party donors during the covid-19 pandemic, visit our resource page.

Please note, while this interview was recorded on April 23, 2020, circumstances related to covid-19 travel restrictions and hospital policies are changing daily. Since the onset of the covid-19 emergency in the United States, IFLG has been proud to help international intended parents from at least 21 countries travel to the U.S. to be present at the birth of their babies through surrogacy and/or travel safely back home with their newborn.

For the most up-to-date information for intended parents, surrogates and donors during the covid-19 pandemic, visit our covid-19 resource page.


Rich Vaughn
Richard Vaughn

Attorney Rich Vaughn is founder and principal of International Fertility Law Group, one of the world’s largest and best-known law firms focused exclusively on assisted reproductive technology, or ART, including in vitro fertilization (IVF), surrogacy, sperm donation or egg donation. Rich is co-author of the book “Developing A Successful Assisted Reproduction Technology Law Practice,” American Bar Association Publishing, 2017.

Peiya Wang
Paralegal (律师助理)

Peiya Wang joined IFLG as a paralegal in 2015, where she manages surrogacy, egg donation and parental establishment cases and provides translation services for many of IFLG’s international clients. Peiya received her bachelor’s degree from Beijing Technologies and Business University, where she majored in Marketing. She moved to the United States in 2012 to attend Northeast University in Boston, Massachusetts, receiving a Master of Science degree in Global Studies and International Affairs in 2014. Peiya moved to Los Angeles in 2015 and received her paralegal certification from UCLA Extension. When away from the office, Peiya is a dragon boat paddler and a ballroom dancer, where she favors Rumbas and Cha-chas. She is fluent in Mandarin and English.

Luis Sosa

Luis R. Sosa joined IFLG as a paralegal in 2016, where he enjoys pursuing his passion for family and reproductive law. While working toward his bachelor’s degree at Florida International University, Luis worked as a paralegal and legal assistant for family law litigation firms in Miami and Washington, D.C. As a paralegal and case manager for IFLG, Luis, who is bilingual in English and Spanish, manages surrogacy, egg donation and other reproductive law cases. In addition to spending time with husband Randy and dog Marty, Luis enjoys being outdoors and appreciating the arts.

Toni Hughes

After receiving her B.S. in Business Management, Toni joined IFLG to pursue her dream of working in the legal field. As a Paralegal with over 10 years of experience in the assisted reproduction technology field, Toni is our Managing Paralegal, responsible for training and managing our paralegal staff. From drafting legal documents to assisting our clients with post-birth matters, Toni embraces the challenge of learning something new in this field each day. Besides spending time with her son, Jordan, Toni enjoys exploring new things, cooking, spending time with family and friends, and serving as a Youth Advisor for “Next Generation.”

Miesha Cowart
Financial Coordinator

Miesha Cowart joined IFLG as a financial specialist in 2014 following a successful career in development and business finance. Miesha previously worked for 10 years in the construction industry as a controller and for 13 years as Development Coordinator for the non-profit U.S. Fund for UNICEF. In her free time, Miesha works with “Next Generation” at her church. “They are my heartbeats!” she says of the youth in her community.


Kim has over 25 years of experience in the legal field and has worked exclusively in surrogacy and assisted reproduction law since 1999. Kim is a senior case manager of surrogacy and egg donation cases, and is also responsible for managing parental establishment cases and interacting with IFLG’s Of Counsel attorneys across the country. With three children of her own, Kim understands the importance of family and finds working in this area of law a rewarding experience.

Rich Vaughn

Attorney Rich Vaughn combined his personal passion as a father of twin boys born via assisted reproductive technology (ART) with more than 20 years of experience in business and technology law to build International Fertility Law Group. Today IFLG is one of the most successful and best-known law firms in the world focused exclusively on fertility law, helping thousands of intended parents through empathetic listening, compassionate guidance, and unmatched legal expertise. As an advocate for reproductive freedom, Rich also contributes his knowledge and time to improving the understanding and practice of ART law, most recently as a founder of and speaker at the first Cambridge University International Surrogacy Symposium held in June 2019, as immediate past chair of the American Bar Association ART Committee, and as a popular presenter to law schools, faculty and advocacy organizations all over the world.

Elizabeth Tamayo

Elizabeth received her Bachelors of Science degree in Criminal Justice from California State University of Los Angeles. Shortly after graduating, she continued her education at the University of California, Los Angeles where she obtained her Paralegal certificate. Elizabeth is fluent in Spanish and has been in the legal field since 2009. She is excited to be a part of the IFLG Team helping families realize their dreams.

Sunny Chien

Sunny joined IFLG as a paralegal in 2017, where she manages surrogacy, egg donation and parental establishment cases for many of IFLG’s international clients. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from California State University of Los Angeles, where she graduated cum laude. Sunny is bilingual in English and Mandarin and has extensive experience as a legal assistant and paralegal at Los Angeles-area law firms. She is excited to be part of the IFLG team. In her spare time, Sunny enjoys spending time with her family and their dog, going to the beach, cooking, and being outdoors.

Los Angeles

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Los Angeles, CA 90036

Phone:  +1 323 331 9343



New York

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New York, NY 10017

Phone:  +1 844 400 2016



Molly O'Brien

Fertility law attorney Molly O’Brien began working in the field of assisted reproduction technology (ART) in 2005, at an egg donation agency and a surrogacy agency where she became familiar with all aspects of in-vitro fertilization, egg donation and the financial aspects of surrogacy. Since becoming an attorney in 2011, Molly has drafted and negotiated surrogacy, egg donation, sperm donation embryo donation agreements for hundreds of her clients all over the world.