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Australian couple stranded in Mexico raise funds to get back home with new daughter

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“The Daniels” and their new baby Amaya. Photo: Instagram

A Melbourne couple trapped in Mexico is raising money to get back home with their newborn daughter, Australian media reported.

Daniel Brown and Daniel Wallace came to Cancun to become surrogate parent, but the coronavirus crisis complicated their plan.

“After years of research, we decided to go down the path of surrogacy. When we started there wasn’t a lot of information online about this and was a journey that we felt wasn’t really openly discussed. So after talking to surrogacy agencies across the world, we decided to do this in Cancun, Mexico, as this was where we felt the most comfortable during all our interactions,” Brown told news.com.au.

After an unsuccessful first try, “The Daniels,” as they are called by friends, had better luck the second time, learning they would welcome a baby girl in July 2020. But the news came before anyone had any idea what a wild year 2020 would be.

In March, Australia introduced an overseas travel ban as the coronavirus pandemic escalated.

On compassionate and humanitarian grounds, however, the Daniels were given permission to travel to Mexico in early July, weeks away from the baby’s due date.

The couple had planned to be abroad for no more than two months, but during the flight to Cancun they were told their surrogate had COVID-19, although asymptomatic.

“This meant the birth was delayed a week in hopes that her second follow up test would come back as negative,” Brown told Australian media. “Unfortunately her second test came back positive again, but having already delayed the birth by one week, the doctor made the decision that our daughter had to be born due to the amniotic fluid starting to get low and didn’t feel comfortable postponing this any further.”

Their daughter, Amaya, arrived safely but the ongoing lockdown situation in Australia and the travel restrictions meant the new family faced a lengthy and costly battle to return home. They said they spent approximately $18k on flights, an additional $2k on extended accommodation and an additional $10k — in Australian dollars — of hospital safety costs because the surrogate had COVID.

A GoFundMe page that began Sept. 18 raised more than $12,000. The page has been closed to more donations, but not before the new fathers expressed their gratitude.

“The goal has been more than achieved so we have made the decision to finish this GoFundMe page as despite continued donations we have already been truly blessed and are so grateful and humbled by this experience,” they said.

The Daniels are hoping to leave their Cancun Airbnb on Oct. 8 for a flight they finally booked back to the other side of the world.

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