15 May 2020

Cross-border surrogacy has become an increasingly utilised route to parenthood globally for singles and couples unable to carry a child themselves, particularly where such arrangements are not available in their home country.

The lockdown on international travel over the last eight weeks is having enormous ramifications in regard to unifying parents with newborns in nations which allow surrogacy.

Barriers to travel are multiple and include a lack of flights, country border closures to foreigners, difficult access to visas, the need for diplomatic co-operation from ‘sending’ governments and fear of being stuck overseas or en-route.

The surrogacy ‘destinations’ particularly affected right now are Ukraine and Georgia , each of which have allowed no commercial flights for over eight weeks.

As the lead non-profit in this sector, Growing Families has been contacted by many couples desperate for help their own governments will not or are struggling to provide. Countries such as France, Spain, China Poland and Germany are refusing to assist their citizens with diplomatic requests to travel, given they do not support surrogacy as a route to parenthood.

We have successfully facilitated the logistics of travel to unite over 60 newborns with their parents, but there are hundreds more parents who require our assistance and that of their government.

It is an anxious time for many. Some have been forced to put in place temporary care arrangements for their children.

More co-operation is required between governments to ensure the welfare of vulnerable newborns is not forgotten amidst the global panic around viral containment. There will be solutions, but parents need to be patient as this nightmare continues.