Updated February 2022
Two years have passed, and the COVID-19 pandemic 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 some 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 SARS-CoV-2 and how it might impact the adoption process. We now have rapid at home COVID tests and it would be a good idea to keep several on hand.
- 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 COVID and adoption. We are still working hard to help adoptive families as well as 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 across the United States. At the same time, our staff is taking appropriate measures to assure everyone’s health and safety. We are mostly, 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 COVID-19 Crisis?
Massachusetts residents who are fully vaccinated no longer need to quarantine upon returning to the Bay State. The fully vaccinated may return to normal activities but are encouraged to take precautions such as mask-wearing and social distancing. Mask wearing is no longer mandated in the state, except where required by federal, state, local, or other spaces have mask requirements in place.
If you are in the process of adopting domestically, know that travel within the states is not restricted at this time. However, the CDC is advising people to delay travel until fully vaccinated (two weeks after a second dose, or two weeks after the single Johnson & Johnson vaccine) – and recommends a booster dose to everyone eligible. Children over the age of five years are eligible for vaccination. Check with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.
The CDC also recommends that travelers check their destination’s COVID-19 situation before traveling, as state, local, and territorial governments may have restrictions in place. Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required in all indoor areas of public transportation – including airports. The CDC advises people to avoid travel if they have been exposed to COVID-19, they are sick, or if they have recently tested positive for said virus.
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 traveling without any issues and report wonderful outcomes.
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 during travel, 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 with varying waves as new variants of the virus emerge, however, and the safety precautions continue to evolve as staff and safety challenges arise.
Many medical facilities may be limiting visitation, restricting guests to those who are essential to the pregnant woman’s well-being (such as support persons). Many hospitals are allowing adoptive parents to visit, too, in accordance with the expectant/birth mother’s wishes. However, policies may change at any time. Hospitals have seen the number of COVID-19 patients fluctuate – sometimes rapidly. 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 continue to work diligently and are doing an excellent job getting families cleared to come back to Massachusetts. At this time, the ICPC office operations vary by state. 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 courts have delayed hearings or have moved to virtual hearings that are not considered emergencies. After the World Health Organization labeled the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 as a pandemic, Massachusetts Probate and Family Court declared it would operate with limited staff and personnel for emergency matters that cannot be settled remotely. The courts have virtual registries where court users can get face-to-face virtual registry help from court staff while staying safe at home.
For the latest updates and information regarding your adoption status, it is best to check with your adoption agency. Adoptions With Love works with experienced adoption attorneys who are keeping up to date with these rapid developments. They can help you through this changing time.
- 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 their birth mother – safe. This means staying away from others if you have any symptoms of illness, even those that may feel like the common cold. Fortunately, there are over-the-counter at-home tests available to make sure you are free of COVID. They are available at most drugs stores. According to the World Health Organization, the most common reported symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Mild congestion
- Loss of taste or smell.
Less common symptoms include:
- Sore throat
- Aches and pains
- A rash on skin, or discoloration of fingers or toes
- Red or irritated eyes.
Serious symptoms include:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Loss of speech, mobility, or confusion
- Chest pain.
If you are experiencing these symptoms, please contact your health care provider right away. There are many places to get a COVID-19 test for free, and health insurance companies will now pay for – or compensate funds for – rapid, at-home test kits. Your doctor can help you determine the 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 5 or more days. If you have a positive test result, it is also important to contact your adoption specialist to determine the timeline of your adoption. It is very important to notify your adoption social worker immediately if you test positive for COVID so everyone can plan accordingly.
- What if the expectant/birth mother we are working with has COVID-19?
According to the CDC, most newborns of people who had COVID-19 during pregnancy do not have the virus when they are born. 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 and recovered.
In more recent months, the CDC has found that people with COVID-19 during pregnancy are more likely to experience preterm birth (delivering baby earlier than 37 weeks), and might be more likely to have other pregnancy complications as compared to those without COVID-19 during pregnancy. The vaccines that protect against COVID-19 are strongly recommended for women who are pregnant. 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 COVID-19?
COVID-19 has caused a lot of anxiety for people all over the world. Adoptions With Love understands the concern among 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. Adoption is still possible during these unprecedented times. We have helped many families adopt since the start of this pandemic. Check out a few their stories below:
- Adopting During a Pandemic Part 1: Doug and Kate’s Story
- Adopting During a Pandemic Part 2: Danielle and Andy’s Story
- Adopting During a Pandemic Part 3: Tony and Katie’s Story
If you are a Massachusetts family who is interested in growing your family through 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.