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Live Mic: Adoption continues in spite of coronavirus

Parents are finding ways to work around the coronavirus roadblocks to adopt a child. (photo: pexels)

SALT LAKE CITY — How do wanna-be parents go about child adoption during the coronavirus pandemic?

Nicole Witt, executive director of The Adoption Consultancy and TODAY Parent contributor, joined Lee Lonsberry on Live Mic to explain how families are working around coronavirus roadblocks: travel restrictions, limits on hospital beds and visits, social-distancing requirements and other impediments.

Adoption and coronavirus

“What has been the biggest impact on the adoption process because of COVID-19?” Lee asked.

“The biggest impact, as it has been in all areas of life, is the lack of in-person interaction,” Witt said. “And that has really taken a lot of different forms throughout the adoption process.”

Disruptions of all kinds, from potential birth parents and hopeful adoptive parents building relationships, to the potential birth mother not having anyone in the hospital with her, to travel restrictions — the inability to interact with others is spreading throughout the entire adoption process, she said.

One of the early steps in adoption process, she said, is having a social worker visit the home of the potential adoptive parents to make sure the environment is safe for a child.

Bypassing barriers

“The good news is everything’s going forward with the adoption process,” Witt said. “People are finding creative ways to work around all of the different steps in the process that have been impacted.”

“Talk to me about some of those creative workarounds,” Lee said.

“One of the most creative solutions I’ve seen is my clients are starting to rent RVs” to get around cancelled flights, shuttered restaurants and hotels, she said.

“Nobody else is renting RVs right now, so the prices are good. The dates are flexible. They can cook. They can sanitize the whole thing.

“It’s been a really creative solution, and one I think might stick around even after this pandemic passes,” she said.

Constant change

“What other challenges remain in the adoption process because of COVID-19?” Lee asked.

Everything about adoption is changing on a daily basis because of coronavirus, Witt said.

“One day a hospital may allow one visitor with the expectant mom, and the next day they may allow zero visitors,” she said. “Every day it seems there’s a new challenge coming up.”

Everyone involved in the adoption process is stepping up, she said. From judges allowing attorneys to appear from home instead of needing to come into a courtroom, to allowing virtual notarization of documents, she said.

“Everyone is just trying to figure out a way. Every time there’s a new obstacle, there seems to be a new solution,” she said. “It really has been a very positive and encouraging thing to witness.

“Of course it is causing a lot of stress, especially for the hopeful, adoptive parents, But it really is encouraging to see the community coming together and solving every problem as they arise,” Witt said.

How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus is transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

State of Utah: https://coronavirus.utah.gov/

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line 18004567707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States

Live Mic with Lee Lonsberry can be heard weekdays from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app