International surrogacy, COVID-19 and travel restrictions
CSP welcomes men and women who need international surrogacy and want to find a surrogate in the United States to help them bring their baby home. There are hopeful parents all over the world, but not all of them have access to surrogacy in their home countries. With COVID-19 interrupting life all over the world, surrogacy has gotten even more complicated for some intended parents.
Because United States surrogacy laws are more parent-friendly, thousands of people travel internationally each year to find a US surrogate and be present for the birth of their babies. However, in the age of COVID-19, many parents who were planning to travel to the US for surrogacy are finding their plans interrupted.
For parents who have dreamed of witnessing the birth of their children in the United States, travel restrictions caused by the worldwide pandemic are nothing short of heartbreaking. However, with some advance planning and CSP’s help, many international travelers are finding that it is possible to travel to the United States for the birth or shortly afterward.
Tips for international surrogacy travelers
At CSP, we have thoroughly researched international laws and travel restrictions related to COVID-19, and have a few tips for parents who wish to travel to the US for surrogacy.
- At least one intended parent, or an appointed guardian, should plan to travel to the US at least three weeks before the birth. Most hospitals require a 14-day voluntary quarantine for international travelers before they can enter the hospital.
- Parents will need advance permission to travel to the United States, and should immediately make an appointment at their local US consulate. Some parents are waiting weeks for an appointment, so plan as far ahead as possible.
- Understand that there is no “right” to be granted travel permission for international surrogacy. However, you can remind the consulate official that your child will be an American citizen, and there is an exception to the COVID-19 restricted travel proclamation that a parent of an American citizen can be granted permission to travel.
- Bring to the consulate appointment a copy of the surrogacy contract, the judgment, the surrogate’s contact information, and a letter from OBGYN verifying the baby’s due date. You should also bring a letter from the surrogate in the United States, stating how important it is to her that at least one parent be present to make medical decisions and take custody of the child, and that she does not wish to take custody of the child.
Plan ahead to travel to the US for surrogacy
These are certainly stressful times for everyone in international surrogacy, and it’s important to remain calm. Be sure to interact with officials respectfully, as they are likely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, too. And, remember that the safety of the baby, surrogate in the United States, and parents should always be the most important priority.
Even if permission to travel to the US for surrogacy is granted a few days after the baby is born, don’t lose sight of the fact that your dream of parenthood has finally come true. Celebrate, and be grateful for the miracle of new life that brightens the world even in dark times.