Before You Travel
The birth of your child/children will be the most amazing time. To help ensure this is thecase, here is some advice so that the formalities remain just that and do not become too intrusive. Of course, every experience is different but hopefully some of the advice here will keep things simple for you.
Prepare all your documents in advance:
- You should bring to the US original copies of important documents for any intended parents including the following: birth certificate; civil partnership certificate or marriage certificate; and obviously your passport.
- Bring photocopies of the main page of your passport; and several other documents such as driving licence; tax bill; utility bills; your surrogacy agreement etc.
- Print 2 copies of the following documents if they apply to you: Parental Responsibility Agreement; Step-Parent Parental Responsibility Agreement; British passport application; US passport application.
Understand the legal issues around Parental Orders, the Parental Responsibility Agreement, and the Step-Parent Parental Responsibility Agreement. A good website (as of 2010) for this is Alternative Family Law and links to some of these forms are present there.
Also the UK government provides a document called "Inter-Country Surrogacy and the Immigration Rules" which is helpful through the UK Border Agency's website. The authors did not seek legal guidance from a UK solicitor and do not believe such is necessary. See legal considerations for more information.
Let your airline know you will need a return infant ticket; by doing so in advance it may be cheaper than arranging once you are in the US.
Pack items that your baby / babies will need. Here are some suggestions, but more exhaustive lists are no doubt available online or in books:
- Carry cot / car seat adapter / pram. Likely less expensive in the US and then used to return with your baby / babies
- Baby clothes (again you may find them cheaper in the US), including a hat
- Spare collapsible bag (likely you will have more to return with, and some airlines allow the baby to have a luggage allowance; alternatively travel out with a partially empty suitcase)
- Nappy changing bag and waterproof mat for changing
- Baby harness
- 8 baby bottles, brush & steriliser. You may wish to take the same milk formula that you plan to continue back in the UK (e.g. Aptamil). Reckon on 1 kg for each week you will be in the US
- (20) muslin towels to protect you from sickly babies
- Items for bathing & cleaning
- Travel cot (again maybe buy in the US)
Websites such as Airbnb are useful to source accommodation whilst in the US.