Updated September 2020
The Coronavirus pandemic – COVID-19 – continues to cause unease and uncertainty for families worldwide. If you are in the middle of the adoption process, or have hopes of adopting a child this year, you may have many questions and concerns. This is completely normal. We understand the fear surrounding this ongoing pandemic. To help ease your mind, we have put together a guide answering some frequently asked questions about the novel coronavirus and how it will impact hopeful adoptive parents.
- Is Adoptions With Love still working with adoptive parents?
Yes. Adoptions With Love works diligently to keep families up to date on the latest news and changes surrounding coronavirus and adoption. We are still working hard to help adoptive families and expectant/birth mothers. Our adoption services are still available to you.
Adoptions With Love is currently working with a full staff in the office. We are continuing to do home studies with adoptive families as well as working with expectant/birth parents in Massachusetts and around the United States. The staff is taking appropriate measures to assure everyone’s healthy and safety. We are not seeing people in the office but meeting people outside, interviewing and conducting groups via Zoom, and doing home inspections with precautions. If you have any additional questions that are not addressed here in this FAQ, feel free to reach out to Adoptions With Love anytime at 617-964-4357.
- Should adoptive parents travel amid the COVOID-19 Crisis?
While there are no restrictions of traveling between states in the U.S. right now, the Department of State has been following restrictions to foreign countries. Check here to see the latest updates on international travel restrictions.
Upon returning to Massachusetts from certain states, you will need to quarantine for 14 days or receive a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to your arrival.
Travel within the states is not restricted, but the CDC is advising people to take precautions, as crowded areas like busy airports may put travelers at a higher risk for contracting the disease. If you are planning to travel to another state to visit an expectant/birth mother, Adoptions With Love recommends taking the appropriate precautions. Many adoptive families have been travelling without any issues.
Remember that babies are still being born and are still in need of permanent homes, especially during this difficult time. It is up to you to decide how to travel and the best way for you to do so.
Of course, you should take proper precautions, such as frequent and thorough hand washing, avoiding touching your face, and continuing to practice social distancing (keeping at least six feet between you and others). If you are feeling unwell, stay and home and try to reschedule your trip for a later date.
- How will this impact the hospital experience?
Since the rise in cases of coronavirus, hospitals have changed their protocols for birth mothers and adoptive families. The outbreak continues to spread, however, and the safety precautions have been evolving. Many medical facilities are limiting visitation, restricting guests to those essential to the pregnant woman’s well-being (such as support persons). Policies may change at any time. Hospitals have seen the number of COVID-19 patients fluctuate. If there are any changes to procedures, it will vary by facility. It is best to rely on your adoption social worker that has been in contact with the hospital for more information on their policies and procedures during this time. Adoptions With Love will help our clients with this important information.
- Could this outbreak have an impact on ICPC or other adoption court proceedings?
The MA ICPC personnel are working remotely and are doing an excellent job getting families cleared to come back to Massachusetts. At this time, the ICPC office in each state is making their own decisions. Adoptions With Love’s goal is to have each family return home as soon as possible, while adhering to regulations.
Due to the spread of COVID-19, many state’s courts have delayed hearings or have moved to virtual hearings that are not considered emergencies. After the World Health Organization labeled the novel coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic, Massachusetts Probate and Family Court declared it will operate with limited staff and personnel for emergency matters that cannot be settled remotely. For the latest updates and information regarding your adoption status, it is best to check with your adoption agency. Adoptions With Love has experienced adoption attorneys who are keeping up to date with these rapid developments. They can help you through this time of uncertainty.
- What if I am feeling sick or showing symptoms of COVID-19?
As a prospective parent, you will want to keep your loved ones – including your future baby and birth mother – safe. This means staying away from others if you have any symptom of illness, even those that may feel like the common cold. According to the World Health Organization, common reported symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Dry Cough
Less common symptoms include:
- Aches and pains
- Sore throat
- Loss of taste or smell
- A rash on skin, or discoloration of fingers or toes.
Serious symptoms include:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Chest pain or pressure
- Loss of speech or movement
If you are experiencing these symptoms, please contact your health care provider right away. There are many places to get a COVID-19 test. Your doctor can help you determine next steps for possible diagnosis and treatment. If you are tested and do, in fact, have COVID-19, you may need to be quarantined for 10 or more days. Rest assured that you are likely to fully recover. If you have a positive test result, it is important to contact your adoption specialist to determine the timeline of your adoption.
- What if the expectant/birth mother we are working with has COVID-19?
According to the CDC, some babies have tested positive for the virus shortly after birth, but it is unknown if these babies have contracted the virus before, during, or after birth. Most of the babies who tested positive for coronavirus showed little to no symptoms. There does not appear to be any evidence to strongly support the idea that the novel coronavirus can increase the risk of miscarriage or birth complications. If the expectant/birth mother you are working with contracts the virus, you will be notified immediately.
- What else do I need to know about adoption and coronavirus?
The novel coronavirus has caused a lot of anxiety for people all over the world. Adoptions With Love understands the concern for adoptive families who are waiting to bring their baby home. We are available to answer your questions and offer you the latest information regarding this outbreak. If you are a Massachusetts family who is interested in adoption, who has started the adoption process with us, or who has questions about COVID-19 and adoption, please do not hesitate to contact us online or call 617-964-4357.