Coronavirus and the impact on LGBTQ+ parents awaiting surrogacy

With the world changing unrecognisably and more and more restrictions placed on our freedom and what we can all be doing to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus, most of our thoughts are now with our own loved ones and family members.

But what if you’re mid-way through creating your family?

For LGBTQ+ parents currently expecting children via surrogacy, the world feels like an even more frightening and unsure place.

According to an open letter from the Network of European LGBTIQ Families Association (NELFA), the Coronavirus pandemic is “having a dramatic effect” on these parents.

NELFA, who aim to raise awareness of LGBTQ+ families within the EU and to help ensure their rights are the same as opposite sex led families, have written the letter to plead for “responsible ministries and administrations”. These should be in place to help support and be aware of the impact of this global pandemic on  families using surrogacy to have children.

The letter read, “The coronavirus pandemic affects us all, more than ever expected at the beginning when the first cases were reported from China”.

“In the meantime, we all face some sort of lockdown: serious administrative measures, travel bans, curfews, school closings et cetera.”

“We are all extremely vulnerable, but some of us struggle with additional problems.”

NELFA say that the problem for LGBTQ+ families using surrogacy is even more complex in “cross-border situations” such as “international surrogacy arrangements and fertility treatments abroad”

They say they know of incidences of families who “have been trapped far away from the woman who is carrying their child”.

One stark example is that of a French gay couple who became fathers to their baby born this month in the US. They’re now stuck in America, unable to get the correct documents to travel home with their child.

Another French man reports being unable to travel to his surrogate in San Francisco. Whilst his husband managed to get a seat on one of the final flights to the US, their surrogate is due to give birth soon, and he’s unable to get to them.

NELFA say there are dozens of families in similar situations, with many stuck in Europe with their American surrogates close to giving birth. Others are desperate to return home with their babies but can’t.

Our hearts go out to you all.

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