The coronavirus and its associated shutdowns have created a new hitch in an already complicated process. Are you ready for what it may bring as an Intended Parent During COVID?
Anyone who has struggled with infertility, or even considered the option of surrogacy, will readily tell you that it is a long and complicated process. Though it is absolutely worth the trials, tribulations, and process, it doesn’t make this time any less stressful or outright confusing. Becoming a parent at any time is an exciting prospect for many, but COVID-19 has thrown a wrench into the works, even for couples who aren’t having difficulties conceiving.
Which means that those who do struggle with infertility, or have chosen to look toward a surrogate to help them finally achieve the family they’ve been longing for- might find themselves in an even stickier situation than normal. But, intended parents: Don’t panic! With the help of your clinic, your doctors, and your family, you will get through this time, and hope is just around the corner.
Intended Parent During COVID: Plan Ahead
The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, has changed the way many people live their daily lives. In some ways, this has offered many of us some small benefits. Like spending more time with our families, or ourselves. Being able to indulge in activities we wouldn’t normally have the ability to do but have always enjoyed. Perhaps for the first time seeing first hand that we are surrounded by a community of love and support.
While the silver linings in these COVID storm clouds are often hard to find, through education, preparation, and a fair bit of patience, you can achieve your goals- despite the upheaval the virus has brought us.
Preparing for Flights
Keep a close eye on any travel restrictions that may apply to the country, or countries, that you will need to travel to in order to continue with your surrogacy journey. Discuss options with your clinic. Ask if they have alternative locations that may be appropriate for you to travel to at this time.
Many flights that have been canceled are offering their ticket-holders refunds. Make sure that you take advantage of any flight that may have been booked and subsequently canceled due to COVID travel restrictions. Depending on where you will be experiencing your surrogacy, there will be rules and regulations in place that affect that country directly. Rules governing surrogacy programs in the United States, for example, will not be the same as those that frame Ukraine surrogacy.
Check with your surrogacy agency to see whether or not their clinics are even capable of providing surrogate services during this time. If you’ve already begun your surrogate journey, there will undoubtedly be prenatal care available for your surrogate. Keep in contact with both your surrogate and your agency to stay on top of any updates they may have for you.
In most countries, during the COVID-19 outbreak, it may be unlikely that you’ll be able to accompany your surrogate during the birth if that was something you had planned on doing. This is purely for the safety of both your surrogate and your new child. While these sorts of limitations can be discouraging, just remember that they are made in the best interests of everyone involved.
Visas and Limitations
Try and keep in close contact with the embassy of your home country in whatever area your surrogate lives in. This is the best place to gain up to date and useful information on travel restrictions. Make sure that you clearly explain your situation and that you are the child’s rightful parents. Some countries may have caveats to travel restrictions that include family members- meaning you may be able to travel in order to take your child home safely.
Pay close attention to the pre-birth order that you have drafted prior to beginning your surrogacy journey. Talk through any questions you have with your surrogacy agency. Now may also be a good time to consider outside support systems, like family members or therapists. As travel restrictions and difficulties navigating healthcare systems may increase stress levels.
Intended Parent During COVID: Pay Attention
It may quickly become overwhelming, attempting to pay attention to the latest breaking news concerning coronavirus. It’s important that you have access to genuine, well researched, and well-informed information concerning your rights and any governmental guidelines that will pertain to you during this time.
Choose news sources that are endorsed by governmental agencies of both your home country and the home country of your surrogate. These sources should be free from political bias and offer clear and concise information about how you may proceed with your surrogacy. These sources should include information about relevant closures and policies that may affect the healthcare sector and cross-border travel.
They will also offer information about other guidelines that may pertain to general codes of conduct, like whether or not masks are compulsory in public areas, or how best to obtain food or lodging should you need them. Your surrogacy agency or your fertility doctors may be able to also help point you in the direction of useful and trustworthy news sources as well.
It can also help to get a feel for local happenings, both at home and in your surrogate’s local area. This can give you a better idea of what to expect once you’ve arrived in the area in which you are planning the birth. Knowing what to expect when you get home with your new baby can also give you an idea on how to prepare for your baby’s arrival.
Intended Parent During COVID: Stay Safe
Staying safe before, during, and after the birth will be a top priority for you, your family, your child, and your surrogate. It’s important to distance yourself as much as is possible from anyone who is sick or could easily become sick.
Traveling for You and Your Newborn
Depending on where you will need to travel, there may be certain health checks or mandatory quarantine rules that will apply to you as a foreign national arriving in a different country. These are easy to comply with as long as you’re aware of what is expected of you and plan your trip accordingly. Ensure that you check up on these types of guidelines for your travel home, too.
Always take very good care of personal hygiene, not touching your face and mouth, regularly washing your hands, using hand sanitizer, and wearing a mask in public spaces. All of these small habits could help keep you safe, which will in turn assist in protecting your newborn and your entire surrogacy team.
Of course, people will want to meet and snuggle your new baby! This is perfectly normal, but now may not be the best time to bring your child outside of the home. At this age, without the ability to receive vaccinations and with a growing immune system, your child will need additional health protections. Kindly ask friends and family members to wait to meet your baby in person until a safer time.
If you do want to offer people the ability to meet your child, make sure that they are careful about their hand hygiene and impress upon them that it’s not safe to kiss the baby. Always make sure to let them know that if they’re feeling even the slightest bit ill, there will be another time to meet your bundle of joy.