Parent-to-Parent: My Best Domestic Adoption Travel Advice

Real parents share their best advice with fellow prospective parents who are preparing to travel domestically to adopt.

A baby who was adopted domestically travels home in a car seat

On our Facebook page (, we asked readers, If you traveled domestically to adopt, what’s one piece of advice you can give others as they prepare to do the same? Here’s what you said:

“The hotel we stayed at served breakfast and, during the week, dinner. It was in close proximity to a Target, so I could walk to get formula, diapers, and so on. Be flexible on your travel arrangements, as you don’t know when you will be able to get ICPC clearance to return home. We had family travel with us, and they were a huge help emotionally and practically—and they got to be part of our son’s life from birth. Finally, take lots of pictures!” —PAMELA

“Stay at a hotel with a kitchenette and a door for the bedroom.” —DANIELLE

“Let your hotel know you’re there for an adoption. When my son was born, the hospital gave us a room down the hall from his birth mom. When we went back to the hotel to check out, they refused to let us pay for that day and wished us all the luck in the world.” —APRIL

“Take extra clothes for yourself. Babies pee a lot, and, often, it may be on you.” —MARIA

“If things seem to take longer than you thought they would, call the ICPC office. Be nice and ask if there’s anything they need. People will tell you not to do this, but, for both of our adoptions, they needed more paperwork and didn’t hear back from the attorney or facilitator. We were able to provide the paperwork to get out.” —ROBYN

“We brought a portable bassinet that fit in our suitcase and a car seat with us. We purchased all the other bare necessities there. If you do this, travel with half-filled suitcases so there is room to bring home the new items. Also, scope out baby consignment shops. These are so much cheaper than retail for items such as baby carriers.” —MICHELE

“We traveled with our two-year-old and I won’t sugarcoat it—it was rough! Two-and-a-half weeks with a toddler and a newborn in a tiny extended stay without knowing anyone was not easy, but we survived and you will, too! If you travel with another child, I recommend finding stuff for him or her to do (local library, gyms, etc.), as well as a good grocery store, a hotel with a kitchen—and lots of patience and flexibility.” —ANGELA

“Tell the nurses you will be staying in a hotel. They gave me a grocery bag filled with formula and diapers.” —JULIE

Embrace the city/state you travel to. I still tell my son about the city where we first became a family. He loves hearing the stories.” —DENI



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