The Coronavirus pandemic – COVID-19 – is causing 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 rapidly growing pandemic. To help ease your mind, we have put together this 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, and our adoption services are still available to you.
Adoptions With Love currently has one person in our main office, with others working remotely, to keep with the recommended health guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you have any additional questions that are not addressed here in this FAQ, feel free to reach out to Adoptions With Love anytime.
- 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 advising all citizens to avoid any international travel at this time. The U.S. has also restricted travel from Europe, as the disease is spreading quickly in many countries there. If you have an international adoption in place, this could put your plans on hold.
Travel within the states has not yet been 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 driving. Think of it as a fun road trip, and pack the car with good snacks, tunes, and extra cleansing wipes.
Remember that babies are still being born and are still in need of permanent homes, especially during this difficult time. By driving to meet your baby, you will have a better chance of keeping everyone safe.
Of course, you should take proper precautions, such as frequent and thorough hand washing, avoiding touching your face, and continue 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?
As of now, Labor & Delivery departments have remained unchanged for birth mothers and adoptive families. The outbreak continues to spread, however, and the safety precautions have been evolving. Some medical facilities and long-term care settings are limiting visitation, so this could change at any time. Hospitals are preparing for the number of COVID-19 patients to increase. If there are any changes to procedures, it will vary by facility. It is best to rely on your social worker and/or the attorney that has been in contact with the hospital or the place of birth for more information on their policies and procedures during this time.
- Could this outbreak have an impact on ICPC or other adoption court proceedings?
The MA ICPC personnel are working remotely and limited access to their resources. Their response time has been slower this week. 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 rapid spread of COVID-19, many state’s courts have delayed 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 who 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
- Aches and Pains
- Nasal Congestion
- Runny Nose
- Sore Throat
If you are experiencing these symptoms contact your health care provider right away. 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 several weeks. Rest assured that you are likely to fully recover. If you have a positive test result, however, 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, there is no evidence to support the idea that COVID-19 can be passed on to a baby in utero. In a small study of nine pregnant women who were infected with the virus and showed symptoms none of their babies were affected. When tested, the virus was not present in the amniotic fluid, the babies’ throats, or in breast milk.
There also 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 awaiting their forever baby. 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 has questions about COVID-19 and adoption please do not hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.