View Full Version : International adoption with a child in tow?

12-05-2006, 08:56 PM
DH and I have barely started the process again, and we're hoping to go full force soon, but the logistics of travel keep hanging us up and I was wondering what other families have done?

Even when it was just the two of us, some countries required too much travel time for DH's and his job (he just doesn't have 3-4 weeks of vacation time or any time he can use), but now that we have DS too, even if I could travel by myself, I wouldn't want to leave him for more than a week. And I don't really think I want to bring him with us/me.

But I'm looking for any BTDT advice. Did you bring a young child with you when you travelled? Would you have rathered if you did/didn't? I'm thinking I would also love to have some one-on-one time with a new child, but don't want DS to feel left out either. That's probably the same no matter how you add to your family! I also don't think I would fare very well by myself in another country with two small children! I think it's going to be hard enough being at home with two!

We had been thinking of Guatemala for a number of reasons, but we would like to apply to more than one country (and our agency allows for dual application), but many of the other countries we are looking at seem to require a good chunk of travel time and I don't think that's going to be doable. Any good advice?


12-06-2006, 08:14 AM
In terms of ease of travel and duration in-country I think Guatemala is easiest, but I don't think that's always the best reason to choose a country. I know many people who have traveled with kids for visits or pick up trips. You could also visit with Guatemala and bring Sawyer then or not. I honestly think he is young enough that it might not matter.

Are you sure you can apply to multiple countries simultaneously? I thought it was an USCIS limitation since when you apply you have to indicate the country. It might have changed since we did it though!

Let me know if you have any Guatemala-specific questions! I know there are several of us who have adopted from there. :)


12-06-2006, 01:28 PM
Hi Holli,

Thanks for your reply. We're actually thinking of Guatemala for a number of reasons. The travel just kind of fit too, but that is certainly not the main reason! (I like the individual foster homes, having some family history, the usual age of the children when they come home, the Spanish/Mayan history, etc.)

I know we could apply to multiple countries the last time we were adopting. Granted that was about two years ago, so maybe the policies of the agency have changed since then. Basically after you get your referral your information is pulled from the other program you had applied to. And last time we were applying both domestically and internationally and this time would be two different countries (perhaps) instead.

I'm sure I will have a ton of Guatemala-specific questions, but we are very very early so far and I'm not even sure where to start yet! I do have links to some online sites and will start reading more into those. But DH isn't totally prepared for this to happen soon, so we're taking it slowly.


12-06-2006, 07:55 PM
The Korea program has an option of an escort that brings your child to the US and you meet at the airport (what we're doing) - if that would make things simpler for you. We're in the middle of ours right now - about to have our homestudy sent to Korea - feel free to pm me if you'd like more info.

12-06-2006, 11:30 PM
Good luck in your decision. We are debating whether or not to bring Matthew with us to China. One of his classmates last year is from China (as is her sister) and their Mom was kind enough to let me watch their videos. I admit to being a bit nervous. The flight is long, the food is very different from what he is used to and obviously it is an entirely different world. Add to the fact that he will be in kindergarten next year and well, let's just say we are confused as to what to do. My biggest thing is that I want my whole family together when we become a larger one. If I was giving birth, I would want my son present (well, maybe not in the room but in the waiting room- you know what I mean!).

I know of several people who chose Korea because travel was an issue. If Guatemalan adoption is in your heart, you will figure out how to make it work. Can your DH take off via the family act? We are lucky in that DH gets a lot of vacation time and his manager has already agreed to give him some time off in addition to his usual to make sure we have enough time.

Good luck!!!

12-07-2006, 08:07 AM
Debbie, not sure if you are aware of this but the US is implementing the Hague treaty in 2007 which some serious implications for Guatemalan adoptions. There is a chance they might be halted. It's a very long and involved story but folks are recommending that you start adoptions sooner than later and get your application for your I-600A in before summer 2007.

These are the two sites I consider the best for Guatemalan adoption info. The mailing list is very busy and includes political/social discussions about Guatemala. I'd say there are more people on there with completed adoptions than in-progress but it is a great resource.


Also, depending on where you live in the US, travel to Guatemala is pretty cheap and quick. From NC, we flew to Miami and then to Guatemala; each flight was about 2 hours. My niece came with us one time and her flight from Houston was shorter than when she visits us in NC!

We went to Guatemala in 6/04, 12/04, and 5/05 so I have some experience traveling there now! :)


12-07-2006, 08:35 AM
Thnank you everyone for your advice and suggestions. I do know a tiny bit about the Hague Treaty, but not a lot. That was part of the reason I was looking for other countries. We were/are very happy with our choice of Guatemala, but I am worried that that will no longer be an option when we do want to adopt.

We thought long and hard, but it's just not quite the right time to add to our family (to try and get started before changes/halts). I know that means that Guatemala may end up not being an option and that's what gets me stuck. I know many countries may end up not being an option because of that, but...we're just not quite ready yet and I don't want to rush something so important.

We did look into Korea and it sounds appealing for many many reasons, but for some reason, that just doesn't feel like the right country for us—IYKWIM?

My agency has a new program with Kazakhstan, but I think the travel is going to be too restrictive for us to be able to do that. We had done quite a bit of research before deciding on Guatemala and I'm sad to think that that may not be the country we end up going to, but on the other hand, I'm prepared for that (kind of) as well and realize our child may be waiting for us somewhere else.


12-07-2006, 09:37 AM
Debbie, it sounds like you are taking the right approach! Honestly, I think the US and Guatemala will ultimately resolve the issues they are currently facing. Adoptions in Guatemala are controversial, and I think they do need an overhaul. I just hope they can manage to fix some of the problems quickly so that the children won't suffer. This is one of the most common topics right now on those two lists I mentioned.

We too hope to adopt from Guatemala again, and now is not the right time for us. I was hoping to adopt a young toddler once Mari is about 5 or so. So, I am keeping a close eye on the happenings.


12-14-2006, 10:02 PM
Hi Debbie,

We just got back last night from a visit trip to Guatemala with our 3 year old daughter. We are adopting a baby girl who will be 5 months old on the 20th of this month. I am SO glad we took our 3 year old. Sure, it made it more tiring and I had to go back and forth from caring for one to the other but our daughter was THRILLED to meet her sister. It was truly a wonderful experience.

That being said, we are thinking of not taking our daughter on the pick-up trip (which should be between 3-5 weeks from now!!!!!). We are thinking we would like a couple of days alone with our baby before going full-steam into parenting two!

I am confused on how you can apply to more than one country? Would you complete two entire sets of paperwork for the multiple countries? We had to be completely paper-ready before referral.

Good luck!

12-16-2006, 09:53 AM

Thank you so much for a BTDT perspective.

I do think we need to complete two entire sets of paperwork for dually applying, but I'm honestly not 100% sure since we didn't get quite that far last time. I know it was possible 2 years ago, but perhaps they've changed things since then. I'm not even sure we want to dually apply, but just in case...

Congratulations on meeting your daughter! And on getting to bring her home in just about a month! That's so exciting. When you get a chance (with two I know that'll be tricky!), I'd love to hear more of your story and how it goes.


01-13-2007, 09:22 AM
We brought our son with us when we adopted our daughter in Taiwan. He was three at the time and I so glad we brought him. He still talks about going to the "baby house" and he enjoys telling his baby sister about Taiwan. He really felt involved in the process of the adoption and I think it has also helped with their sibling relationship. Another thing to consider is how much travel experience your family has had. We have been traveling a lot with our son since he was a baby (we spent his first three years in Japan) so the long airplane trips, local transportation, and hotel stays weren't overwhelming for him. And one final thing to consider is the country. We considered travel when we were trying to decide which country to adopt from. We knew early on that we wanted to bring our son with us so we researched the saftey issues, health issues, and required travel times of each country we were interested in. Every family and every child is so different. It is a very personal decision and I am sure you will do what works best for your family when you get to that point. Good luck on your adoption journey!