One of the families currently stranded in Nepal with their newborns
Today our thoughts and prayers are with the surrogates, babies and intended parents who have been impacted by the terrible earthquake in Nepal. There are reports of several Israeli families with premature babies who are trying to get out of the country. I can only imagine how scared and worried they are as they try to keep their fragile babies safe.
One of the primary reservations I had when people first began touting Nepal as the next location for international surrogacy was the fragility of infrastructure in the country. For years experts have been warning about the danger to the area from earthquake, especially given that in recent years construction has been largely unregulated. Even prior to the quake, Nepal's medical infrastructure was fragile, not a single hospital in the country was accredited by the International Joint Commission on patient safety. Now those facilities are overcrowded and running short on emergency supplies, and morgues are running out of space. BIR hospital is reported to be treating people in the streets.
Hours after the quake, the death toll is already above 1500. However, surviving the initial quake and its aftershocks is only the first hurdle that must be overcome. The country is highly dependent on hydroelectric power plants, it's not yet clear what damage they have sustained. Interruptions to the power grid are not unusual in Katmandu, so many people and businesses have generators, however, given the significant damage to roads moving fuel to where it is needed is going to be very difficult.
I doubt that fertility clinics are going to be given first priority for allocation of what is likely going to be a scarce commodity. This could have grave consequences not only for surrogates in housing, but for the thousands of embryos imported there in recent months.
Cholera is a regular problem in Nepal, one which could easily become epidemic given the difficulty in maintaining clean water and adequate sanitation after a disaster of this magnitude.
When people advertise they are experts at surrogacy in a third world country the implication they are giving to intended parents is that they are prepared for the worst. Unfortunately, as has been seen repeatedly, many of the so called "experts" are little more than expensive glorified travel agents with little to know understanding of the challenges that may be faced even under the best of conditions. I have zero faith have the ability to truly help intended parents under conditions like these.