13 Travel Tips for an Adoption Trip


Top 13 Things to remember when traveling for an adoption.

  1. Trust your foreign staff and agency. They want you to be safe and are protecting you. Often during an adoption trip your emotions and stress levels are elevated, so be sure to be extra cautious with your actions and words.
  2. Read your travel information from your agency and follow the guidelines.
  3. Talk to your physician or a travel doctor prior to departure (at least four weeks before departure is preferable).
  4. Be ready for delays and have tickets that can be changed. Don’t cut travel times too close with important dates/appointment.
  5. Be flexible, patient and kind to those around you.
  6. Don’t over pack and remember to keep important documents and necessities in your carry-on luggage.
  7. Dress modestly and appropriately.
  8. Take necessary items for your child and be prepared they may not come with much (clothes, formula, diapers, toys, shoes etc.). Be prepared in case you are not able to get to an appropriate store in a timely manner.
  9. Ask your foreign staff before taking pictures in public or of children.
  10. Do not attempt to expedite your process when traveling. We have often been told by foreign staff, Embassy officers and judicial officers that your attempts to expedite may actually jeopardize your adoption, let the process take its normal time. If you feel that your process is being unduly delayed, discuss your options for expediting with your agency and follow their advice.
  11. Timeframes or times for appointments are more flexible in other cultures/countries. Attempt to “let go” of your desire to control things by specific times.
  12. Be sure you have completed all your responsibilities prior to travel (paper work, background checks, education).
  13. Enjoy your time as this may be your only time in your child’s birth country. This is a time for you to remember and reflect. This trip will be part of your child’s story and they will want to hear about it (over and over).

Whether you are adopting from Africa or adopting from Eastern Europe, these travel tips can be helpful to you. International adoption travel is exciting and can make you very anxious, but remember the purpose and that your adoption service provider and foreign staff want you to have a successful adoption as well and are there to serve the child you are adopting.

Photo Credit: Jim Nix

For more information about MLJ Adoptions’ international adoption programs, please click here.

MLJ Adoptions is a Non-Profit, Hague-Accredited adoption service provider located in Indianapolis, Indiana, working in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Pacific Isles. We are passionate about serving children in need.