08 May 2020 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:
- Research and prepare. There is a lot of information to absorb.
- Stay calm and stay the course. Things most likely will, but don’t always, go smoothly.
- 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.