BOISE, Idaho (AP) – Coronavirus-related health restrictions have prevented a Chinese couple from traveling to the United States to take care of their newborn baby, who remains with his surrogate in Idaho.
Emily Chrislip gave birth to the healthy daughter at a Boise hospital on May 18, but her birth parents in Beijing waited months for their first embrace with baby, The Idaho Statesman reported.
After a public health emergency was declared in the United States due to the coronavirus, travel restrictions to and from China went into effect on February 2.
“There’s really no update on when (parents) can get here,” Chrislip said.
Chrislip, who is married and has a 2-year-old son, said she became a gestational carrier, or surrogate mother, to help couples struggling with fertility issues. Parents who seek substitutes have usually exhausted other fertility options or are medically unable to conceive.
After investigating the surrogacy process, Chrislip hooked up with a couple from China, who have not been identified.
“Once we talked about it more and more and she told me her reasoning and how awesome it would be to be able to do this for a family, I totally agreed,” Emily said. Chrislip.
Chrislip estimates that she received between $ 35,000 and $ 40,000 in compensation for her surrogacy, which she and her husband, Brandon Chrislip, were using to pay off student loans and buy a bigger house.
Chrislip returned to work after taking four weeks off work as a marketing and admissions specialist, which she said would be enough time for the baby’s birth parents to travel to the United States.
“We tried to put ourselves in the shoes of the parents,” Chrislip said. “If this was our child, what would we want for our baby?” If we ever had to use a surrogate mother, we hope she would be ready to take care of our baby.
By sending family photos and videos almost every day, the two families have come closer, she said.
They also learned to approach the situation with humor.
“I’m going to ask people to work and say to themselves, ‘Oh yeah, I have this problem with the pandemic,’” Chrislip said. “I’m like, ‘Well, I bet I’ll beat your problem.'”
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild to moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, that go away within two to three weeks. For some – especially the elderly and people with existing health problems – it can cause more serious illnesses, including pneumonia and death.
It is believed that the number of infections is much higher because many people have not been tested and studies suggest that people can get infected with the virus without feeling bad.