Surrogate baby stuck in Grants Pass due to coronavirus

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — A woman in Grants Pass began the process of surrogacy last year for a Chinese couple.

Their baby was born in April, but because of the pandemic, he’s still here and a world away from his biological parents.

“Out of all the things we thought that could go wrong in this whole process, right, with pregnancy and delivery and all that – never, never would we have thought that something like this was gonna happen and we’d end up having this baby at our house with us,” said surrogate, Shandi Phelps.

Phelps had wanted to be a surrogate for a long time.

“It was quite a process of paperwork, background checks, medical, you know, passing medical exams and psychological exams,” she said.

An agency connected Phelps to a couple in China.

Last year she began treatments to become a gestational carrier, became pregnant and then this spring, the coronavirus pandemic set in.

“It’s very unique,” Phelps said of her situation.

On April 13th, the baby’s biological parents missed the birth of their first child.

Phelps admits the delivery of the baby was not what she had expected.

“I had envisioned the parents being there and this incredible moment of them watching their child be born… me watching them hold him and become parents,” said Phelps.

Because of the suspended flights, the biological parents are also unable to bring their baby home to China.

Phelps says she and her husband made the unique decision to watch over the baby until he can be with his parents.

“For me, it was more important to kind of sacrifice my own emotional well-being and probably that of my family, to do this for them,” she added.

She says she’s taking this unexpected process day by day.

“We know it’s going to be really hard; this is a tiny cute little baby here, we’re gonna get attached to him,” Phelps said.

She says she still might be a surrogate again in the future, but right now she’s unsure.

“He’s a sweet little boy and we’re just kind of enjoying our time with him while he’s here, and you know, making the best of it,” said Phelps.

She says she communicates with the biological parents everyday to provide updates on the three-week-old baby.

Though she says it won’t be his name, she and her husband have taken to calling him “Bob”.

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