Frequently asked questions on China orphanage visits

Q: What documents are needed in order to plan an orphanage visit?

A: For an orphanage visit, Lead to China will need the copy of your child’s Adoption Registration Certificate, each visitor's passports and the orphanage visit application letter.


1. If you would like to see your child’s Finding Spot while on your orphanage visit please send us their Abandonment Certificate (Chinese version) so we can arrange this for you.

2. If you plan to return & hope to meet your daughter's foster family, do it sooner vs. later. We were told that it is only possible to meet foster parents if they are still fostering thru the CWI.

3. If the SWI your children lived is in Guangdong or Chongqing, you can check the records of your children in the Provincial Center of Adoption rather than the SWI.  

4. Viewing your child’s original file, meeting with foster parents and /or nannies, & visiting your child’s finding place may not be available. Please contact us for more information.

Q: Do I/we need to pay any orphanage visit fees?

A: Yes, different orphanages charge different amounts for an Orphanage visit, usually ranging from $150 to $350 per family.

Q: What should I expect on my/ our orphanage visit?

A: Families should be prepared for the unexpected and be flexible during orphanage visits. Visits can vary greatly depending on the orphanage itself, the director and other factors. There is no “standard” orphanage visit. Some orphanages could have changed significantly since your child was there. They could have moved to a new building or only have special needs children living at the orphanage for adoption. Your child’s orphanage could have lunch or dinner waiting for you while others may not have anyone working there anymore who cared for your child while they were there. Some orphanages will set out your child’s file to view while others will not. The most successful orphanage visits begin by each person’s expectations are in check and each person is able and ready to adjust and be flexible when necessary. It is never too early to begin talking with your child about the orphanage visit to know the best time to visit and to prepare them as much as possible beforehand.

You may also consider referring to the orphanage visit as a “hometown visit” when talking with your child. Much of the orphanage visit tends to be out of your and your child’s control as everything is organized by the orphanage officials and therefore if the visit isn’t up to expectation it can lead toward great disappointment for a time that should be so special and memorable. This being said, there are some things that can be “controlled” when visiting your child’s hometown. You can choose restaurants you will go to, which parks you may visit, what you will do with your free time in the evening. By placing less overall expectation and emphasis on actually visiting the orphanage and looking at the entire experience of visiting your child’s hometown, it may lead to an overall more positive and successful visit.

Q: Should I bring a gift(s) for my/ our child’s orphanage?

A: Although gifts are not required as part of the orphanage visit, if you would like to bring a gift you may consider bringing chocolate, vitamins, baby bottles, socks, shoes & new clothes for boys and girls of various sizes. You may also consider inquiring with the orphanage when you arrive about any needed items. If you would like you can purchase what is needed in China. Please know any gifts/donations are strictly optional.

Q: How much money should you tip your guide & driver?

A: We recommend that $3-5 or 20-30 RMB /person/day/guide is the appropriate amount of money to tip your guide. Also, you are suggested to tip $1-3 or 5-20 RMB/person/day/driver in your party for the driver. To make the tipping easier for your family, you can tip your guide/ bus driver at the end day of each city on the tour. It is fine to tip by either USD or RMB in cash. Of course, based on the service provided to your family, you may choose any amount of money to tip!

Why Lead to China

Plan Your Trip Today