Supporting adoptee identity means much more than simply providing opportunities to learn about birth country culture. Holt was the first agency to pioneer the concept of heritage tours for international adoptees in the 1970s. With adult adoptees in leadership positions and on our staff and board, and with years of experience working with children in orphanages all over China, Holt is uniquely qualified to offer a special homeland experience for you and your family.
- 50+ years of unparalleled history and expertise on adoption
- Strong ties with the Chinese Government and Social Welfare Institutes throughout China
- Direct involvement of adult Adoptee(s) on our tours
- Highly capable resident staff in China to assist with foster family and finding site search
2017 TENTATIVE DATES AND ITINERARIES
We are still in the process of planning the 2017 Family Tour. The approximate dates for this year's tour are June 25 to July 9 (departure from the U.S. on June 24). Actual dates and itineraries will depend upon our government partners in China, the amount of interest expressed and staff availability. We will keep everyone on our interest list updated should plans evolve.
- Approximate dates June 25 to July 9 (departure from the U.S. on June 24).
- Open to families with adoptees 9 years old and older.*
- Each party limited to three adults per adoptee.
- Co-escorted by an adult Adoptee.
- Facilitated by bilingual guides from Bridge of Love Adoptive Service in China.
- Visit famous sites in Beijing — like the Great Wall, Temple of Heaven, Forbidden City — the Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an, the world-renowned natural scenery of Guilin & Yangshuo, a relaxing cruise down the Li River, home province with orphanage/finding site/foster family visit (where possible), and much more!
OPTIONAL ADD-ON TOUR:
Tour and volunteer at the Dujiangyan Panda Reserve in Chengdu with an opportunity to pet a live baby panda (an additional fee will apply)
Note: A trip to visit a second orphanage after the main tour may be added in addition to either add-on option above.
Some comments by Adoptees:
"I loved all of it. The sightseeing was amazing and the whole experience was great. I am so happy that I got to bond with the Holt Guides and the BLAS guides. I loved my province the most. It was amazing to get to see that. It was very special and I have a stronger connection to China than I had before."
"I believe I have gained a better understanding of my past and that I am more connected to China because I can be proud of where I came from and all of the accomplishments that were achieved there."
"I'm glad I went on this tour to China. I now understand more about why I had to be adopted."
"I know that people in China care about me. Since this trip I think of China as a beautiful and interesting place. It makes me feel special being American and Chinese."
"What I liked most about the tour was meeting my foster family and spending time with girls who understand what it's like to be adopted."
"I feel more at peace with myself... Holt was really good to us and we were treated with only the best. I not only made lifelong friends who truly understand what I've been through as an adoptee, but I made lifelong memories too."
"Totally go. You won't regret it at all! This was a great experience I won't ever forget."
Some comments by parents:
"I would recommend this tour for any child who has questions about her/his beginnings and wants to reconnect with his/her birth country. I would also highly recommend Holt. I cannot imagine a better tour in terms of where we went, what we saw, and what we did. The meaning of this trip will continue to unfold for all of us, but at the very least, I know our daughters have reconnected to their birth country. They tasted, touched, smelled and felt China. And they now know people in China that they know love and care about them."
"Meeting with orphanage workers, (our daughter's) foster family and being welcomed as valued and important individuals by persons involved in their early life gave our daughters a sense of belongingness no story we could tell them could ever convey."
"On our last day of the tour, (our daughter) told me that she was very sad that the tour was over... I wish I didn't have to leave... She looked at me with shining eyes and I heard her unspoken words "I love China and now I know that China loves me."
"(My daughter) is different after this tour. She has a stronger sense of belonging, a sense of having a connection to her birth, and pride in being Chinese."
"As a whole it was all a valuable experience, because as a whole our family was so happy to be participating in this once in a lifetime experience. Learning about China, touring around China, eating great food — all positive experiences layered on more positive experiences. But the true value was what the girls learned about themselves and what we learned about our family. Our daughters know that we (mom & dad) cherished them since they were little babies, but so did others... All these groups of people took time out of the holiday to tell our daughters we remember you, we miss you, and we think of you. This was profound and we had no idea any of this was going to happen. When does this ever happen in one's life? It happened in our family's life, for our daughters, and it happened not in just one day, but in three consecutive days! Thank you, our experience will be remembered for the rest of our lives."
Tour Participants on this China Tour will:
- Experience the culture, customs, and history of China presented by the local people
- See everyday life in China: cultural activities, from big city to village life
- Visit a number of famous Chinese tourist sites such as the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Terracotta Warriors, the mountains of Guilin, and enjoy the beauty of the diverse Chinese landscape
- Learn the inside story of adoption, orphanages, and child welfare in China from real experts
- Meet people who touched Adoptees' early lives before they found their forever home. Visit their orphanage, foster families, and sites of significance to their adoption story (wherever possible)
- Travel with a group of Adoptees who are all experiencing their homeland visit together
- Travel with a group of Adoptive Parents and Relatives who are also reminiscing about the memories of a pivotal event in their lives, and visiting locations that represent a paramount moment in their families' histories
- Enjoy the trip of a lifetime
Tours will be open to families of children adopted from any province and through any agency; families will separate mid-tour to visit orphanages, and reconnect with the main group in Guilin. For each year's tour, we plan to announce exact dates in the Fall of the year prior. Contact Holt for up-to-date details.
*We strongly recommend that all children participating are at least 9 years old at the time of travel. Our tours are developed with an older Adoptee in mind and include presentations and discussions about abandonment and adoption in China, birth families, finding sites, foster families, and other such heavy topics.
Cost for a 2017 Family Tour to China: Your exact tour cost will vary, depending upon your child's home province and other personal choices. However, as an example, in 2016 the average family's fee for a tour was in the range of $3400 per adult or child aged twelve and older, and about $2969 per child under twelve. This cost did not include international airfare between the U.S. and China, any additional travel arrangements before or after the main tour, or additional travel and lodging expenses outside capital cities of Adoptees' home provinces. Please see FAQs for more information.