A Western Australian couple are stranded in Ukraine after heading to the country amid coronavirus restrictions to welcome their newborn twins via surrogate.
Candice and Chris Dix have been in the country for three weeks and were due to return home to Perth on Sunday but their return flights from Kiev were cancelled.
They’ve since tried to find new flights but said “there are none” – leaving them stuck in Europe as the coronavirus conditions around them worsen.
“Conditions are getting really scary here,” Candice told 9 News.
“The COVID cases are rising every day, the government here shut borders to foreigners – you wouldn’t choose it. No Australian in their right mind would travel here right now, or to any European city right now, but we had no choice.
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Candice went on to explain their surrogate mum was halfway through her pregnancy when COVID hit and as parents they couldn’t leave their babies to be born overseas without being there.
“Any parent would know, you can’t leave your babies,” Candice said, visibly holding back tears.
“We had to get here for the birth of our babies,” she said, adding the pair had left their two sons behind in Australia with their grandparents to “keep them safe”.
After their return flights were cancelled a couple of weeks ago, they said they tried everything they can to get home with bubs Odessa and Starla.
“There’s no available flights for the next couple of months,” Chris told the program.
“Even after that we’re looking at having to go through Sydney or another port in Australia to do two weeks quarantine there then two weeks quarantine in Perth, so the mechanics really aren’t around.”
Like thousands of other Australians who are trying to get home in the global health pandemic, they have been affected by the government caps on the number of people allowed into Australia because of quarantine restrictions.
The couple claim they weren’t given any notice of their flights being cancelled and have received no explanation, adding they feel utterly “powerless” as they fight to return home.
At one stage, Chris even had a message for Prime Minister Scott Morrison, in which he said he was “begging” him for his help.
“Help us, help me get my family home, help us get home to our boys,” he said, as wife Candice fought back tears beside him.
Parents and parents-to-be in Australia using international surrogates have faced issues since the virus outbreak began.
Rob and Tenille Fellows, also from Perth, had the opposite issue to the Dix family, revealing in May they were unable to get to Ukraine for the birth of their son because of the ban on travel.
The pair had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars over the last decade trying to make their dream of having a baby become a reality.
After multiple attempts at IVF, the pair turned to an international surrogate for help, and were delighted when they fell pregnant last year.
Their son was due to be born on June 15, but their application for overseas travel was declined by the Australian Government multiple times.
It’s not known if they have since managed to get to the European country to meet their son and bring him home.