The new coronavirus is affecting everyone, everywhere, including adoptive families around the world.
It is imperative to try to stop this virus as soon as we can. And that means that we all have to come together. Sadly, it also means that we have to make really hard choices.
For many families on the path to adopting a child from another country the wait time to bring their child home is lengthy.
But with the new coronavirus, this timeframe has just become immeasurable.
Just last week a family that has worked with Adoption STAR for years in their pursuit of an adoption from Ukraine was left heartbroken after they traveled to complete their adoption and were sadly turned away upon their arrival in the country.
This was their 4th trip to Ukraine and it was supposed to be their last. They knew there were risks to traveling while coronavirus was spreading around the globe, but they weighed those risks and felt that it was in their daughter’s best interest to be with them and wait no longer.
They did not expect this to happen.
No one did.
Waiting Families Face Further Delays and Financial Commitments Due to COVID-19
Adoptive families are facing particularly difficult times. A “State Department ‘Do Not Travel'” advisory, has adoptive families everywhere stuck in a terrible limbo, not knowing when their adoptions will happen.
These further delays mean more paperwork, more worry about their child(ren) living in a foster home or orphanage, canceled travel plans, and likely increased financial commitments.
For some waiting families this time is additionally scary because their child may have health conditions that make them more vulnerable to serious health complications should they contract COVID-19.
Adoptions Remain Top Priority of State Department
In a March 7th ABC news article Susan Soonkeum Cox, Vice President of Policy and External Affairs for Holt International, said the State Department has “made it very clear to us that adoption and processing adoption — once it becomes possible again — is going to be one of their highest priorities”.
The State Department has said services to US citizens and adoptive families would be “prioritized to the extent possible.”
So, hopefully once the travel restrictions are lifted, families will be able to get their adoption plans back on track.
In the meantime, families will renew paperwork, stay in touch with their primary agency for news, wait anxiously and prepare emotionally for the journey ahead.
The sooner we can stop the spread of the coronavirus – through impeccable hand washing, sanitizing, social distancing and medical research, the sooner these families can be united once and for all.
Helpful Links & Resources
How to Protect Yourself from COVID-19 – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html
Department of State Information on Intercountry Adoption https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/Intercountry-Adoption.html
What Parents Need To Know About Coronavirus – NationwideChildrens.org
Coronavirus and Parenting: What You Need To Know Now – Npr.org
Managing Stress & Anxiety – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html