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Adopting from Korea - A Parent's Guide to Korean Adoption

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What You Should Know If You Decide to Travel

Although most families prefer the escort option, many have chosen to make the trip to Korea to get their children first hand. If that's for you -- you're in for the trip of a lifetime. You'll have the opportunity to see the orphanage and meet the staff where your child was first born or brought, visit with your child's foster parents, and see a few of the many beautiful sights and sounds Seoul has to offer. Here are a few sites to check out while you're making plans:

  • American Embassy in Seoul - lots of interesting info, check out the Adoption section (See Korean language info at
  • Korean Embassy in Washington, DC, not only a visually stunning site, the first place to go for up-to-date travel information. I'd bookmark this one.
  • Adoption Travel, a good resource for general, international adoption travel-related information. Nice selection of links, too.
  • Don't speak Korean? Then be sure to check out Travel Language -- learn the basics with audio pronunciations!

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Check the airfares!

Travel to Seoul isn't cheap, especially if you get "the call" and have to make plans in a hurry. Check the fares at these sites to see what works best for you:

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Packing Light for Trip
Contributed by my good friend and adoptive dad, Bob Pyke, Jr.

To pack light, take a carry on suit case or back pack, fill it with everything you need, then remove half of it.
I spent a month in Nepal with a combined back pack/suit case, a Lands End Brief Case and my adoptive daughter.
I did not miss anything and bought what I needed in Nepal. No checked luggage, no lost luggage, and in and out of airports.

Yes it can be done. Here is Bob's 18 ways to travel light list.

1) A carry-on suit case that can double as a back pack, if needed.
2) 1 coat or parka, preferably Gore Tex. especially for winter in China or in Korea
3) 1 pair good walking shoes and keep 1 pair in the bag
4) 3 wash and wear slacks or skirts
5) 3 shirts or blouses
6) 3 pair underwear and socks (Roberta's note - or pantyhose for skirts. Also some folks I know recommend wearing your not-so-nice underwear when you travel. Wear 'em and toss 'em.)
7) Small bottle of Woolite or equivalent
8) Zip Lock freezer bags or equivalent
9) A piece of rope to hang clothes in the bathroom
10) Swiss Army Knife
11) Toilet paper
12) Toiletries in small travel sizes - shampoo, toothpaste, etc. (Roberta's note - add a small hair dryer with the right attachment for Korean electric outlets.)
14) My trusty Lands End brief case, it has more frequent flyer miles then some people do.
15) Towel and wash cloth (1) (Roberta's note - I like to have plenty of wash cloths when I travel. Buy them cheap at BJs, Costco or Sam's Club. Wash once and throw them away.)
16) A small portable Short Wave radio from Radio Shack, when you tired of TV
13) Small Mag Lite with extra batteries
14) Extra Pair of glasses
15) A sense of humor
16) Small Korean phrase book
17, Leave the suits, shirts and ties and dry clean stuff at home, unless you been invited to have dinner with the US Ambassador at his or her residence
18) Leave the good jewelry at home. My trusty Timex has over 200,000 miles and is still ticking.

About Laundry - Bob suggests to take a bottle of Woolite, put in a plastic bag, shake and rinse. In Korea, it's cheap to send out your laundry, and it's same day service, and they send back your socks and underwear ironed and folded. So you may want to take advantage!

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What to do when you get there!

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What you need to know when you get there!

Then do check out the Korea: What to Know Before You Go, contributed by Becca Piper, Director of Korean Ties.



Book Tip

What's the Time in Seoul?

Adoption Travel Info