'We'd Have To Abandon Our Daughters': Pandemic Delays International Adoptions Americans overseas trying to complete international adoptions have urged the government to expedite their children's visas so they can return as a family.

'We'd Have To Abandon Our Daughters': Pandemic Delays International Adoptions

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/831893954/835737675" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


Along with everything else, the pandemic has touched adoption. David and Michaela Parker found this out a few weeks ago as they neared the end of a years long journey to adopt Ariella and Claira, twins from Chad.

DAVID PARKER: And then unfortunately the COVID-19 global pandemic struck. And now we're kind of stuck at a standstill.


We found David Parker in Cameroon. That's a regional hub for adoptions in that part of Africa. And the family traveled there in February to apply for their daughters' adoption visas. But as borders closed and travel was restricted, they couldn't complete the application.

INSKEEP: The Parkers say they cannot just go home to North Carolina. David, his wife and their infant son are United States citizens. But at this point, the 23-month-old twins are not.

PARKER: We would have to abandon our daughters here. And that is something that we are not willing to do.

MARTIN: A number of American families are asking the government to grant emergency exceptions amid the pandemic. The U.S. State Department tells NPR adoption visas are still being processed in some countries, but it's all on a case-by-case basis.

INSKEEP: And as the Parkers wait overseas, they have to think of their own health and safety.

PARKER: Being here basically alone, if something were to happen to myself or my wife or both of us, there wouldn't be anyone to be able to take care of our children.

MARTIN: A risk they're taking in hopes they can someday bring all their expanded family back home.

Copyright © 2020 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.