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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Taking Your Children on Adoption Travel

The question is often posed to me, wise sage on all adoption matters:  should I take my current child/children with me when I travel to country X, Y, or Z to adopt?

Well, that all depends.

What are the adoption procedures in that country, first of all?  Is there the possibility that you may “lose” your referral in a first-come, first-served scenario?  Or, might you be tempted to reject the child being offered to you?  This could prove too much to tender hearts.  (It could prove too much to many of us old and jaded souls, as well…)

I’m all for family travel, particularly if the kids travel well.  Go on a few longer road trips to either prep them, or test them out.  What happens when they’re overtired and overhungry?  Multiply times five for an international intensity level and throw in a few meetings with government officials.  An ability to communicate non-verbally or to learn a few words of a foreign language also helps.

Some kids can do it, and some can’t.  With Skype available, your kids can be part of the trip often without even being there.  Take along a Smart Phone and show them your town, your favorite café, and your child-to-be.  This is a great way for the kids to start bonding, even if it’s across the miles.

I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t invite a child into labor and delivery for the next child.  Adoption can be painfully similar, and yet totally different.  A lot of it depends on your unique circumstances.

Personally, I would never use an adoption agency nor facilitator who unilaterally dictates:  “You cannot bring any children with you on adoption travel.”  Trying to find ready and willing 24/7 caretakers for children during the one week or one month you’ll be gone might be a real hardship for the family.  And often, one child makes another child feel safe in the early days of adoption, or can demonstrate what they need to be doing at any particular moment.  Later on, the older child can share with the younger their reminiscences of the birth country.

This is a family affair.  If you want to take your kids with you, why shouldn’t you?



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5 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar Greg says:

    We took our 14 year old bio daughter with us to Ukraine to pick up her newly adopted 14 year old sister. This was the second of two trips so the court work was done and it was the final steps of the adoption. I think it was a great experience for both girls. I don’t think bringing her on our first trip would have been a good thing for the reasons you mentioned.

    • avatar admin says:

      That’s a good point, Greg, we need to be flexible. We brought our first son when we were on trips one & two for our second son in Russia. Then when the two girls were being added to the family, I went on the first trip, and my husband and I went on the second. The boys got to Skype and show off the dogs, so it was like the girls knew them by the time they came home.

  2. avatar Winnie says:

    I did not take my child when we traveled to Ukraine for all the reasons you mentioned. Two other American families who adopted from the same orphanage, at the same time did. I will say those two families were doubly stressed – more than us as we were all staying in rather cramped quarters. One of the families had a child with obvious letters added (and I don’t mean MD, or PhD) and that set us all on edge and I can imagine that the child’s behavior wasn’t well appreciated in government offices, court, not to mention by us. My advice is to not do it unless it’s that final trip where everything is already signed, sealed and your just doing the final leg of getting home. I would never take a child along if there was even a remote possibility of losing or turning down a referal.

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