As the adoptive family, there are many emotions you’ll experience with the baby’s due date approaching. But as you’re getting ready to complete the last stages of the adoption journey, it’s important to make sure all your ducks are in a row.

Things like where the birth mother will be giving birth and post-placement contact are items already laid out in the adoption plan created by the birth mother.

But for the adoptive family, here are some tips as you prepare to travel for the baby’s birth.

Call us today at 1-800-ADOPTION to learn more about what you should do as an adoptive family before traveling for the birth of your baby.

Pre-travel Checklist

The hospital will provide some basic items for your new baby, like diapers and a short supply of formula, but there are things our experienced staff recommends before traveling for the birth of the baby.

Before adding a new member to your family, these things can make your trip that much smoother:

  1. An up-to-date home study. This includes documentation, an in-home visit, updates to any significant life changes and post-placement visits.
  2. All of the paperwork for the ICPC adoption requirements.
  3. Child/pet care. We ask that adoptive families not bring their children or have a support person able to care for them away from the hospital if they do bring their children. The focus for adoptive parents needs to be on the birth mom and baby.
  4. Looking up/planning tentative travel accommodations ahead of time. Wait to book until given the green light by your Birth Parent Specialist.
  5. Buy a car seat. Depending on how you traveled, think about the return trip.
  6. Bring an outfit for the baby to wear after leaving the hospital.

Regardless of your choice of travel, packing lightly can be beneficial to those traveling far or out of state to adopt a baby. Items you may need for the newest member of your family could occupy any extra space you have in your vehicle or luggage.


If the expectant birth mother goes into labor, our Birth Parent Specialist will confirm she’s been admitted to the hospital so your family doesn’t begin its travel over a false alarm.

As eager as you may be, and going earlier before the birth is an option, there are variables to the birthing process that need to be considered when planning to travel:

  • Yes, there are due dates or even scheduled inductions, but it’s important to remember things are fluid in this regard and can change based on when the expectant mother goes into labor.
  • What is the birth mother’s hospital plan? Some birth mothers want adoptive families in the room immediately, and others don’t want the adoptive family there initially or until the next day.

While travel arrangements shouldn’t be finalized until you’re given the go-ahead to travel by your adoption specialist, according to our staff, the best case scenario for travel is to begin your trek once the expectant birth mother is admitted to the hospital.

Again, it’s dependent on the birth mother’s birthing plan, but sometimes there’s no point in traveling early. The family will have a full day to travel once the birth mother goes into labor.

Once you arrive to the birth mother’s state and hospital, it’s important to remember this is an emotional time for all parties involved.

A birth mother is preparing to give birth to and say goodbye to their baby, while an adoptive family has put their life on hold for something that could change in the event of an adoption disruption.

As an adoptive family waiting for the birth of the child, we recommend exploring the surrounding area and passing the time in other ways than anxiously waiting by the phone.

No matter what side of the adoption you are on, keeping normalcy as much as possible can help with the stresses of the adoption journey. Empathy and flexibility can go a long way as you near the competition of the adoption.

What Comes Next

It’s a simple process once baby is born.

The next step is staying in the state where the baby was born as you await the completion of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) requirements.

ICPC is a federal law regulating adoption in the United States and was enacted to protect children moving across state borders for adoption purposes.

After the birth mother goes into labor, the baby is born, the baby and birth mother are discharged from the hospital, finalization of the adoption takes place, and the ICPC process can begin.

ICPC provides a clear process for both sending and receiving states in interstate adoptions to ensure the placement of the baby is in line with both states’ adoption laws.

If you have more questions regarding traveling before the birth of the baby, fill out our online contact form now to get more free information on what you need to do as a family preparing to travel before the birth of your baby.