Written by Alexis Sullivan, International Program Team Lead
In all international adoptions, travel to the country is required. Each country has a different length of time that is required for prospective adoptive parents to spend in country. To give you examples of our current country program travel requirements, we have listed the time/travel lengths below:
Armenia (2 trips)
1sttrip: 7 days
2ndtrip: 3-5 weeks
Bulgaria (2 trips)
1sttrip: 7-8 days
2ndtrip: 10-12 days
China (1 trip)
Ghana (2 trips)
1sttrip: 4.5 weeks
2ndtrip: 3-4 weeks
Haiti (2 trips)
1sttrip: 2 weeks
2ndtrip: 3-5 days
Moldova (2 trips)
1sttrip: 6.5 weeks
2ndtrip: 1 week
South Korea (2 trips)
1sttrip: 1 week
2ndtrip: 1 week
12-month in-country required fostering period. After court and embassy processing, about 18 months in country.
Most countries’ first trip is solely for the purpose of bonding and acquainting the prospective adoptive parents with the child(ren) and the child(ren) with the prospective adoptive parents. This is a very important time in the adoption process because it will be when you first meet your child!
It is common for adoptive families to bring their biological children on at least one trip to their adopted child’s country and we strongly encourage that if it is possible! This can facilitate bonding between all siblings and children in the household. It will prepare your family for when you are finally reunited as one in the US!
During the time spent in country, families will organize different activities to promote bonding and attachment during their time together in country.
For example, some of our families have taken time to explore their child’s country while on their trip and even visited national parks. Zoos and historical sites are other popular activities for families and children while in country. This is a wonderful way to experience your child’s culture and appreciate the beauty of your child’s home country.
If your child’s birthday is around the time of your trip, you may want to have a celebration with his/her friends! If your child’s birthday occurs after you have been matched and before your trip(s), we can arrange to have a treat delivered to the children’s home for all of the children and staff to share.
With the China program, the prospective adoptive parents have the opportunity to send care packages, photo albums, and books to their child to initiate the bonding. In other country programs, Skype and video chat are great ways to continue the attachment process in between trips.
Traveling to country can seem overwhelming at first when prepping and planning, but your program coordinators at CAS are here to help you through every step of the way. The required trips to country are so beneficial for the cohesion of your forever family.
If you have any questions about travel requirements and our country programs, please contact Alexis Sullivan, International Program Team Lead at Carolina Adoption Services.
Adoption is a beautiful journey and we would be so honored to walk alongside you through every part of the process!