Amid coronavirus, couple races against time to be with baby being born via surrogate

Rules and regulations are changing every day.

April 2, 2020, 12:35 PM

Kasey and Jared Siegel always knew they'd have a memorable story to tell their son, who is being born via surrogate in May, about his birth.

That story, already fraught with roller-coaster emotions and unwavering determination, has become even more so since the onset of the novel coronavirus that's gripped the nation.

The New Jersey couple's baby is due to be born in Dallas, Texas. With travel and hospital restrictions changing frequently, the parents are in a race against time and regulations to make sure they will be in Dallas when their son is born.

Kasey Siegal told "Good Morning America" that she and her husband have been in voluntary isolation for weeks to stay healthy. But a requirement from their surrogate agency to get a notarized letter saying who would take their baby in the event that they would not make it to Dallas for the birth, threatened to break their quarantine. If they didn't sign, they risked their baby going into foster care. If they did, they'd possibly expose themselves to the virus.

"We didn't sign it," she said, and she will get to her baby's birth, "if I have to crawl across state borders."

The couple who called themselves "extremely fortunate," secured a private plane to take them to Dallas. They plan to leave Saturday, but their bags are packed to leave at any moment. When they arrive in Dallas, they will go directly to an Airbnb they've secured and will return to isolation.

According to Texas regulations, anyone arriving by plane from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and New Orleans must be quarantined for 14 days.

Kasey Siegel said that when the Texas regulations were put into place, "I started having a panic attack, throwing things in a bag saying we needed to leave immediately." She said the idea that state borders could close down completely is a very real fear of both her and her husband.

And while she struggles with so much fear of the unknown, Kasey said her struggle with infertility has actually helped her prepare for this very uncertain journey too.

"My body was ravaged by four years of infertility treatments," she told "GMA." "I needed to step away and heal and it was when I started to give up control over everything that things actually started falling into place." The couple then found their surrogate, who Kasey said is her "soulmate" in so many ways.

The Siegels said they trust the woman carrying their baby is doing everything she can to keep herself healthy. Kasey said that the woman, who is an assistant principal at a school and has two biological children of her own and two stepchildren, is cautious.

"She does things I wouldn't even have thought of," Kasey said. "The school wanted all the teachers to visit with the kids since they're at home and she got a doctor's note to be excused and shield herself from exposure. We're so grateful."

A big unknown: How things will go at the birth of their son. As Kasey understands it, there will be one person allowed in the delivery room with the woman giving birth to their son. That person will likely be the surrogate's husband. She's hopeful there may be some flexibility given the circumstances.

"I'm just taking it one day at a time," she said.

When the panic sets in, she said, she and Jared look at the baby carrier they have for their son, kept at the foot of their bed.

"I focus on the big picture," she said, "and imagine when I can hold him in my arms."

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