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Some families wish to travel with their older children to receive their adopted child. Several factors should be carefully considered. In addition to the usual concerns about international travel for young children, this type of trip presents special difficulties. Parents must help the new child adjust to the radical life change and must also complete complex legal procedures. Time for play, relaxation and sightseeing is limited. Parents are likely to be preoccupied with the details involved in completing the adoption. If there are legal or medical complications, the trip may be traumatic and difficult. Young children may not understand if something goes wrong and the child is unable to travel home with them ("But we can't leave my sister here"). It's often advisable for an additional adult to accompany the family. If someone becomes ill, an extra pair of hands is invaluable.

Children who have themselves been adopted may become anxious that they will be left behind or "replaced" by the new baby if they return to their birth country. Some children become frightened to hear their birth language again after adjusting to the adoptive family. Parents must balance these concerns with the difficulties of leaving young, insecurely attached children behind for several weeks. These concerns should be addressed early in the planning stages of a second adoption.


From THE HANDBOOK OF INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION MEDICINE by Laurie C. Miller. © 2004 by Oxford University Press, Inc. Used by Permission.


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