Travel to the Philippines

Are you considering, or already planning, a trip to the Philippines? For adoptive families and adoptees who wish to travel apart from an organized Heritage Tour, Holt offers basic information about the adoptee’s birth country. We would be happy to assist you in scheduling a visit to the Kaisahang Buhay Foundation (KBF) offices or other locations, if possible. In some situations, Holt may be able to assist with scheduling meetings with foster parents, visits to important sites, and assist with in-country transportation if feasible.

To begin your adventure, please contact the Post Adoption Services department through the links below. There will be a fee for this service. Please contact the PAS Department for fee information at we respond, we will ask for your exact dates of travel, where you will be staying while in the country, and what you are hoping to accomplish during your visit; we will contact our partner agency on your behalf to schedule your appointment or other services.


Adult Adoptees Only

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If Holt International facilitated your adoption and you would like a copy of your file or are interested in our search services, please notify us immediately as these services must be started well in advance of your visit to the Philippines.

Because searches are tentative, time consuming, and can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months or longer, it may not be possible to complete a search before you travel. Please be aware that identifying information for birth parents, as well as adoptees, is confidential and cannot be released without written permission from all parties.

If your adoption was not facilitated by Holt International, we suggest you start by contacting your U.S. agency for services, especially related to search and background information. If you are not interested in a search, we would be happy to assist you with arranging a visit to the KBF offices, if possible.


Things to Consider When Traveling…


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Should you have the opportunity to visit the KBF offices, your orphanage, or other care facilities, you will need to understand the Filipino culture. Occasionally the staff at these locations may appear to be cool, overly factual, or unsympathetic. This is simply a cultural difference, a perception based on the American cultural norms. In general, you will find the Filipino people to be a warm, generous, and understanding people. In a business setting, such as a visit to an office or tour of a facility, they may not show the warmth or concern you might expect. Again, this is simply a cultural difference.

Getting Around

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If you are planning to visit a specific location without the aid of your travel agent or Filipino guide, ask the front desk of your hotel to write the destination, address, and phone number on a small card to provide to your taxi driver, or whomever you are asking directions.


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Culture Smart! By Kuperard Press – This wonderful series has books for many countries that are easily portable, informative, and reasonably priced. Available in Kindle and paperback.

Is Your Family Ready for a Homeland Journey? by Colleen Calvani

Where They Once Called Home : Insights into Homeland ToursIf you’re considering, or planning, a trip to your child’s birth country, many factors other than just travel influence how the trip goes. Hear directly from adopted persons and parents who have experienced homeland tours. They will share their personal experiences and feelings from preparation to the lasting impact of their travels.

Planning a Homeland Visit: A Professional’s Perspective, Judy Stigger, LCSW

Discovery Channel’s Insight Guides – Another great series of books for multiple countries and regiouns around the world. from Innovative Language Learning Solutions – Learn essential travel phrases, cultural insights, and travel tips for 20 different languages.

Tips for Traveling Abroad – U.S. Department of State’s website has tips, programs, and lists for anyone considering travel outside of the U.S.


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It is appropriate to take small gifts when meeting birth or foster parents, staying with friends, or visiting someone who has made special time just for you. Consider packing items made in your home town, such as note cards by a local artist, candles, lotions, or something that represents your family or town.

After Returning Home

Let us know about your experience, including what went well and what didn’t. Did your trip meet your expectations? Did it raise questions you hadn’t considered before? Follow-up can be an important part of the experience, and will help you sort out everything you saw and heard, especially if you met with birth or foster family, or visited your orphanage. Holt’s Post Adoption team is here to help you process your feelings, and to find answers to questions whenever possible. Please feel free to contact us any time before, during, or after you trip.