Since its first appearance in the US in late January 2020, the novel coronavirus has been inciting global panic and anxiety. Quarantines have been instituted in multiple locations around the world in an attempt to contain the spread and infection rates. Yet, in spite of all the efforts made, it seems as though COVID-19 will be in our midst for a while, leading to questions and concerns within the adoption community. People are especially concerned regarding coronavirus’ effect on current and future adoptions.
As a leader in the adoption community, Adoption Choices of New York is here to provide as much encouragement, comfort and support as possible throughout this difficult time. We are all in this together and know that, in time, this too shall pass. This is what we know in this present moment.
How will the Coronavirus impact my Adoption?
To begin, we are all well-aware of the novel coronavirus — also known as COVID-19 — and its infection rate within the United States. As cancellations, closures and potential travel restrictions continue to increase, we understand your anxiety and concern regarding how this might impact your adoption journey. Rest assured, no matter where you are in the adoption process, our staff is committed to a supportive and positive adoption experience.
We will do our best to update you with new information as it becomes available. As our adoptive families, birth parents, staff, friends and families encounter issues, we will provide solutions. In the meantime, if you have any questions that we have not yet addressed, please contact your adoption specialist for assistance.
Please note that we are not medical professionals; thus, nothing in this blog should be considered medical advice. Please consult your doctor with specific medical concerns and continue to monitor the coronavirus situation at the World Health Organization (WHO).
How could the Coronavirus affect my Travel for an Adoption Placement?
There are currently no restrictions on travel within the United States. However, due to heightened concerns surrounding COVID-19, be aware that it may be more difficult to obtain medical clearance from a doctor allowing you to fly home with your newborn. Because of this, families may need to be prepared to drive home with their baby following placement.
Again, we are not medical professionals, so you should consult with your doctor and coordinate directly with the airline to determine what their policies are regarding flight with a newborn infant during the coronavirus outbreak, as well as their policies on flight cancellations and refunds, if necessary. Please also be aware that things are changing on a daily basis, so the answer you receive today may not be the same as the answer you will receive when you are travelling, so please have a contingency plan.
If travel restrictions are imposed in your area or the area where your baby is born, or if you are unable to travel due to quarantine or medical fragility, please let your adoption specialist know as soon as possible. We will work to find a temporary placement for your baby until you can travel or attempt to help you obtain an exception to reach your baby.
What if the Adoptive Family member is sick / has symptoms of COVID-19?
Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms — such as coughing or difficulty breathing — call your healthcare provider for medical advice. Anyone who has symptoms of a respiratory illness should stay home to prevent any and all potential spread of the virus. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately to determine next steps for receiving care.
If you are sick with COVID-19 or suspect you may be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, please let your adoption specialist know as soon as possible. You may need to take additional precautions while traveling. For instance, wearing a mask. In the event that you’re quarantined, your family may need to be placed temporarily inactive until a doctor determines you are safe to travel. Such factors could include, but are not limited to, that you are no longer sick or at risk of spreading the illness. You may also need to postpone the completion of your home study if you have not yet completed the home visit portion.
What if the Birth Mother is sick / has symptoms of the Coronavirus?
While there are no published scientific reports on this subject, the CDC states that pregnant women may be more susceptible to viral respiratory infections, including COVID-19. If you are an expectant mother or prospective birth parent experiencing coronavirus symptoms, please seek immediate medical care to ensure you and your unborn baby receive the medical care you need.
Whether a pregnant woman can transmit the coronavirus to her baby is still unclear, according to the CDC. However, experts have said there appears to be no evidence that the virus is passed on during pregnancy.
If a prospective birth mother notifies her adoption specialist that she has contracted coronavirus, the adoptive family she has chosen will be notified as soon as Adoption Choices of New York is made aware.
How could the Coronavirus impact Adoptive Parents and Birth Parents meeting?
Social distancing is currently the most effective way to avoid transferring the coronavirus from person to person.
Adoption Choices of New York may arrange for adoptive family and birth parent meetings to take place virtually, using programs such as: FaceTime or ZOOM. Alternatively, meetings might be postponed. Because our goal is to minimize adoption disruption, we will do what we can to accommodate everyone in a healthy, safe environment.
How could the Coronavirus impact our Hospital Experience?
So far, this pandemic has not impacted the hospital stay for most adoptive families and prospective birth mothers. However, this is a rapidly developing situation. Hospital policies could change and will likely vary greatly from one hospital to the next. As the situation progresses, it is likely that hospitals will begin imposing restrictions on hospital visitors, whether that’s a limitation on the number of visitors allowed, reduced visiting times, or restrictions on visitors in certain parts of the hospital.
Adoption Choices of New York will not be aware of these policies until families are faced with them in each hospital. We will continue to work closely with hospitals and communicate any changes to a prospective birth mother’s delivery plan to the adoptive family.
How could Coronavirus impact ICPC or Court Processes?
Adoptive families who are awaiting ICPC clearance or court proceedings may experience delays in these processes, as some government offices may be impacted. Call your local office for specific hours, closures or delay information.
How could Coronavirus impact Post-placement?
Adoption Choices of New York might postpone, change or delay in-home visits, one-on-one post-placement counseling sessions and group training for adoptive families and birth parents. Or, as aforementioned, virtual meetings may be arranged if possible. Everyone’s safety and health is our number one concern through this trying time.
The Coronavirus’ Effect on Current and Future Adoptions
We understand the fears this outbreak has triggered for everyone. We appreciate your patience and understanding as things continue to develop. We are always available to answer any additional questions you may have! Ultimately, please follow the guidelines of the CDC to protect yourself and reduce the spread of the virus.
If you have specific questions regarding your adoption and coronavirus, message us or give us a call.
Adoption Choices of New York
Over the past seventeen (17) years, Adoption Choices of New York has helped many individuals and couples make adoption plans and complete their families through the miracle of adoption. We have well established relationships with agencies and attorneys across the nation, as well as Adoption Choices agencies in many other states. Our professional staff are leaders in the adoption community with a genuine commitment to a sensitive, comprehensive, and supportive experience for all involved in the adoption journey. We are dedicated to ensuring that your adoption is processed in a professional, competent and caring manner and would be delighted to answer your questions.
For more information on adoption or if you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us.