This page is for CACH-All members who are looking for information about how to plan a homeland visit. We welcome info from members who have been, so we can pass on great information and tips. At the moment it's very China orientated, we'd love input from families with other home countries.
Please let us know:
- Recommended tour agencies with their contact details
- Recommended trips
If you are happy for people to contact you, please give your contact details.
You can also ask questions which can hopefully be answered by others using the CACH-All facebook group.
Please send your contributions to email@example.com
Planning a Homeland Trip
Claire Walker led a great seminar on 'Homeland' trips at the 2011 CACH reunion. It covered a range of topics including:
Decision making – why do we do it
When is the best time to go
Where / how to go
Preparation work - logistical
Preparing our children
Trip outlines / modes of travel used
SWI liaison / donations / finding place visits - pros and cons
How to arrange it … service providers
See the slides (pdf)
'From Home to Homeland: What Adoptive Families Need to Know before Making a Return Trip to China' by Debra Jacobs, Iris Chin Ponte & Leslie Kim Wang. Paperback; January 12, 2010
A useful book, especially if you read it at the start of your planning. It covers preparing your child as will a other practical tips.
Chinese Visa Requires UK Deed Poll for change of name
CACH-All members have found that a UK Deed Poll is also SOMETIMES required when applying for a visa (see Nigel Smales piece in CACH-UP! Winter/Spring 2016 p5). Check current status in the CACH-All fb group as it has varied over the last couple of years.
Contact www.deedpoll.org.uk or call 0333 444 8484 and pay £60 (including an ‘Expess’ fee) to acquire a Deed Poll certificate.
In addition to documents required on the CVS (Chinese Visa Service) website Nigel also needed:
Original Chinese passport
Expired British passport
copies of data and visa pages
copies of parents data and visa pages
Thanks to Nigel for this information.
Carrie Flemming, CACH fb group, 24/2/16 posted:
Today in London they specifically wanted to see not only all the Chinese adoption paperwork and passport but also UK birth certificate, adoption register certificate and deed poll name change. The senior official (I had 3 inspecting everything) was NOT happy that her Chinese name on the deed poll was not in characters (not sure really why he thought that would happen but hey ho!). However they took it. And to confirm with her paperwork they need copies of parents passports and previous visas, in addition to the set you have with your own.
'Recommended' Hospitals in China
The UK government published a list of 'recommended' hospitals in China, March 2015 . www.gov.uk/government/publications/list-of-hospitals-in-china
Thanks to Pam Barnsley for this.
Baron Family Homeland Trip 2015
Bob, Helen & Adele Baron travelled back to China for three weeks in September 2015. We used China Heritage Travel in Beijing. Very efficient, although they couldn’t put all our names against each hotel and flight on the itinerary. The visa official at Manchester wouldn’t accept this so we redesigned the itinerary (which was in Word) with our names everywhere! This was accepted on the second visit to the visa centre. We went to Beijing, Xi’an, Chengdu, the orphanage in Lanxi in the province of Zhejiang, and Shanghai. The 5 hour express train from Beijing to Xi’an is highly recommended with lots of leg room, first rate toilets and a good trolley service. One word of advice about the visit to the orphanage. If you’re not in regular contact with them, find out more about the age group of the residents either before you go or double-check when you meet the guide so that you arrive with age-appropriate gifts.
Contact Jenny Peng at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Use the @yahoo.com email address rather than the others shown on their website – that was Jenny’s advice.
More information from Helen at email@example.com
Vicky's trip to China 2015
Vicky is attempting to book train tickets herself this visit rather than relying on hotel staff or their guides. She is using the company www.china-diy-travel.com/en, train travel experts in China, and thus far they have been ultra efficient, replying almost by return and being very helpful. They have incredible reviews on TripAdvisor.
Vicky is using their original guides for this trip, Charles and Jane based in Beijing, who are arranging the provincial permission to visit Lucy’s SWI, plus a local guide for the three days when they will be around the SWI area (same guide as five years ago, in fact). Charles and Jane will also organise a minivan for a day trip up to the Wall and Ming tombs whilst the family is in Beijing. Vicky echoes what others say about them: “can't recommend them highly enough, just lovely, lovely people.”
Miller Family Travelog China 2014
Vanda and Gareth Miller travelled to their daughter’s orphanage, (Maoming Maonan SWI), in Guangdong, Easter 2014.
They travelled from Guangzhou to Maoming and back, then from Guanzhou to Guilin, Yangshuo, Xi’an and then Beijing.
They used Jane and Charles (highly recommended), based in Beijing, to get the necessary permissions and arrangements with the SWI and to help with internal flights and travel. Jane also provided a guide/translator to accompany them on the SWI trip. Jane’s contact email is firstname.lastname@example.org. More information from Vanda and Gareth at: email@example.com
Doherty Family visit to China 2012
We did a homeland trip at Easter 2012 for 3 weeks. Into Beijing, to Chengdu (to see the panda breeding program), province week (Chongqing), relax near Guilin (Yangshuo Moutain Retreat is heaven on earth) then Hong Kong for a few days before home.
Tour guide: China Women Travel Service - excellent
firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.