Understanding International Surrogacy During COVID-19
COVID-19 has casted a halt on family planning, especially in the case of surrogacy services. Due to COVID-19, hundreds of prospective surrogacy parents are unable to enter the United States to meet their newborn child.
The pandemic has left many unanswered questions for parents who seek surrogacy services from abroad:
How can we protect our surrogate and our unborn baby from COVID-19?
How long will we be stuck in the United States after our baby is born?
Is it safe to travel back to our country with our new-born baby? (Tip: download a Safe Travel app on iOS or Android)
Unfortunately, there are no answers set in stone. However, there are some steps parents can consider to best overcome these unforeseen challenges.
First, if you are unable to be present for your child’s birth, you must contact your lawyer to fill out paperwork to assign temporary guardianship. Surrogacy professionals have recommended to appointing local family and trusted friends as a temporary guardian.
Second, there are restrictions on who is allowed to enter hospitals due to COVID-19. Generally, hospitals are not allowing people who are not immediate patients. Unfortunately, this means that you may not be able to attend the birth of your child. It is best to contact your hospital and inquire about their policies.
Third, once your baby is born, you will need a birth certificate, passport, and the appropriate travel documents from your country. However, many government offices are either closed or have limited hours of operation. As a result, birth certificates and passports are going to take significantly longer to process. One option is to petition with the State Department to consider your case. Another option is to apply for an expedited passport, but some attorneys suggest that it may be better to wait for passport offices to open back up. An alternative is to contact your embassy or consulate in the United States to request a passport from your country. This process is called laissez-passer.
With the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and the future of surrogacy, some parents may feel overwhelmed at the unconventional processes they will need to adhere to in order to meet their baby. For some people, surrogacy may be their only option in their hopes of becoming parents. However, if COVID-19 has highlighted anything, it is the importance of family. While many lives have been lost due to the virus, we should not forget the fate of the new lives born during these unprecedented times.
If you would like to schedule a consultation to discuss your surrogacy options then please contact us at [email protected] or call (626) 569-1813.