Answers to the most common questions we receive are below. More questions? Contact us anytime.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Orphan Hosting and Host Orphans Worldwide?
Often called a “reverse missions trip,” orphan hosting is an opportunity to bring children from another country to the United States during their school holidays. It offers orphaned children a chance to experience a new culture but more importantly, it allows them an opportunity to experience life in a stable, loving family. This is something many of them don’t know.
Host Orphans Worldwide (HOW) coordinates with in-country officials, facilitators, and orphanage directors to organize hosting sessions that vary in length from about four weeks (usually over Christmas) to as much as ten weeks (Summer). HOW is run by a team of volunteers, all of whom have experience as host and adoptive parents, as well as serving in other orphan care initiatives.
What Host Orphans Worldwide is NOT:
Host Orphans Worldwide is NOT an adoption agency. While our desire is to see every orphan find their “forever family,” we do not facilitate or support adoptions. Many of our volunteers and families have pursued adoption and may be willing to share personal experiences but HOW is strictly a hosting organization.
HOW does partner with adoption agencies that work in countries where we host and can assist families with contact information and referrals but we have no involvement in the adoption process.
Is it cruel to host and send children back to the orphanage?
This is a very common question. Hosting allows children to see what life is like in a stable loving family, expanding their horizons, and giving them an opportunity to experience a very different life than that which they are used to. Very often, they are introduced to faith and the Gospel for the first time as well. While experiences for both children and families can vary considerably, most children find hope through hosting and the lives of the vast majority of children and families are forever changed. Almost always, it is for the better.
One way to think of it is like this: Consider you were given the opportunity to take an all-expenses-paid trip to an exotic location for vacation. Would you turn it down simply because you’d have to return home and go back to life as usual? What if there was a chance you might have the opportunity to go back and live there permanently? Would you turn down the opportunity to travel and explore another culture, expanding your worldview? Most would not!
How many host children are ultimately adopted?
Our experience suggests that 60% or more of children who come for hosting, are eventually adopted. Sometimes children are adopted by their host families and others are sometimes adopted by another family they meet during hosting.
It is worth noting that intercountry adoption is a highly regulated process that can vary considerably from one country to another and occasionally, families wish to pursue adoption but are unable to for various reasons.
How much does hosting cost and what does the money cover?
Regardless of the length of the session, the hosting donation is about $3000 per child with discounts for sibling groups. Most families spend considerably more on the child(ren) during a hosting session on various needs but the main fee that is handled as a donation to HOW covers the following:
- INTERVIEW TRIPS: HOW volunteers travel to the countries we host from to interview every child for inclusion on our hosting list. This gives us an opportunity to screen the children for placement suitability, as well as to ask questions of the children and their caretakers to build their hosting profile. Interview trips include travel costs, as well as fees for the in-country facilitators and translators that accompany our team.
- TRAVEL: Many children travel for visa interview from their orphanage to the US embassy, prior to travel for hosting. All children need round-trip transportation by bus/train from their orphanage to the airport, as well as round-trip international airfare to one of several destination cities in the US. Transportation beyond the arrival cities is an additional cost and the responsibility of the host family. Airfare for adult chaperones who travel with groups of children both in-country and international to ensure their safe arrival, is another necessity.
- DOCUMENTATION: government fees for your child’s passport, visa application, and processing in both countries, as well as medical exams to ensure children’s general wellness before traveling internationally.
- IN-COUNTRY TEAM EXPENSES: Our facilitator teams are responsible for a wide variety of activities, including: maintaining relationships with orphanage directors in more than 20 orphanages; accompanying the US team for child interviews; accompanying children to the embassy for visa interviews; preparing all the government approval documents and travel papers; liaising with the governmental entities that have oversight of the hosting process.
- HOW ORGANIZATIONAL EXPENSES: Marketing and awareness of hosting as a ministry and available host children, until we find families for them. As with any organization, we also have legal and administrative costs.
- HOSTING EXPENSES: These include emergency medical insurance while your child is being hosted, stipends for chaperones who accompany the children during travel and provide support to the children during the hosting session.
Are all of the host children adoptable?
Our desire is to see all children placed in forever families. To that end, we work with our in-country contacts to try to determine the adoption status of children when we interview them. Many children are available but not all. Some may be in the process of being made available for intercountry adoption, others already are. HOW is strictly a hosting organization, and as a result, we are not always able to obtain current or accurate information and we’re unable to guarantee the availability of any child for adoption.
If you have any questions about the status of your host child, we will gladly recommend qualified adoption agencies and/or Ukrainian adoption facilitators who may be better able to answer questions.