MAGIC VALLEY — Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the surrogacy process entailed giving the baby to the intended parents as soon as the surrogate mother gave birth, mainly because of bonding concerns.
"Now post COVID, the thinking is who better than the surrogate, who has taken care of the baby for ten months of pregnancy," said Parham Zar, managing director of Egg Donor and Surrogacy Institute."Who better than the surrogate if she has the means within her family, the support she needs, and the capability to take care of the child."
That was the plan for Emily Chrislip, a Nampa woman who became a surrogate mother for a couple in China.
"So we were like well alright, we'll take care of her, it will be a max four weeks, we can do that, and now here we are and still don't know when they'll be here," Chrislip said.
Egg Donor and Surrogacy Insitute, EDSI, has helped the surrogate mom and the biological parents throughout this process. They have even contacted government officials to speed up the process, but as of right now, they still do not know when the biological parents will travel to the U.S.
"Unfortunately, because this COVID matter is still very fluid, we're not getting straight answers," Zar said.
But Emily isn't the only one going through this. EDSI tells us since the beginning of the pandemic, they have had 30 cases of international parents not being able to pick up their kids, some being turned away at the airport with no reason given.
"The one thing that gets lost in all these stories is the real challenges and the real pain and suffering that the parents are having. Now that they got their dream of having a child, now they can't be reunited with the child," Zar said.
In Emily's case, it is still uncertain when the parents will be able to pick up their baby, but EDSI says they are ready to try everything possible.
"We have had to be innovative and figure out ways where we can accomplish all of this and make sure that the parents know the child is safe," Zar said.