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LGBT+ parents with surrogate children are being split apart during coronavirus

LGBT+ parents with surrogate children are being split apart during coronavirus

  • In one case a French nurse fighting COVID-19 can’t get to the birth of his child.

Dozens of LGBT+ parents are facing dramatic challenges as the world’s borders and transport networks shut down.

Many LGBT+ parents have to seek fertility treatment or surrogacy abroad. And COVID-19 is leaving some stranded or unable to attend their child’s birth.

In one particular case, a gay nurse fighting COVID-19 in France is worried he won’t be able to be at his child’s birth. He and his husband are expecting a little daughter in Oregon in May. But travel between France and the US is no longer possible.

The Network of European LGBTIQ Families Associations (NELFA) has shared some of the stories today.

The organization admits that the coronavirus is affecting everyone. However, it warns some rainbow families are facing additional problems’.

It adds: ‘We want to raise awareness of emerging cases and urge all States concerned to find good solutions in the best interest of the still unborn or just newborn children.’

Parents can’t ‘cuddle and take care’ of newborns

To illustrate the problem, NELFA outlined some of the cases they are currently trying to help with.

In one case, a French couple, which NELFA identifies only as ‘S’ and ‘G’ are ‘new dads of an adorable baby’ born on 15 March. However, the birth was in the US. Now they are struggling to get all the documents they need and they are stuck in the States, unable to go home to France.

For one Belgian LGBT+ person, ‘J’, the problem is the other way around. He is in Belgium and is expecting a daughter in Canada at the end of May. He wants to be there to ‘cuddle and take of her’ but currently can’t make the journey.

For another French couple, one partner managed to get a last-minute flight to San Francisco just before the flight ban. As a result, one of the men is in the US close to their surrogate mother who will give birth soon.

However, his husband can’t get there to reunite with them and attend the birth.

Meanwhile, ‘T’ and his husband are also expecting a delivery through surrogacy in the USA next month.

NELFA reveals: that they tried to catch a plane but the US has cancelled their ESTA – the essential visa-waiver document visitors need to enter the country.

The couple say the American Embassy isn’t answering anymore and they are highly anxious to be at their daughter’s birth. The US is only allowing people with a ‘life and death’ reason to enter the country.

Dozens face problems

NELFA adds: ‘There are dozens of LGBTIQ parents facing similar problems. Some of them are stuck in Europe with deliveries in the USA, Canada or Mexico.

‘They are highly stressed and don’t know what to do as they are far away from the woman who carries their child.

‘Some parents are already abroad with their babies and struggle to get the official documents to come back to Europe.’

NELFA is calling on governments to support these families and to make sure that parents and children can be together and come back safely.