Here are our most frequently asked questions about our host program. If you don’t see an answer to your question here, please contact us and we will be happy to talk to you!
What is Hosting? Hosting is a unique opportunity for your family to walk alongside and care for an orphan - without requiring a life-long commitment or expensive and time-consuming foreign travel. The child gets to visit the USA, learn some English, and receive unconditional love and focused attention from family – something most don’t get to experience in their home country. The host kids return to their home country filled with more confidence and a vision for what life outside the orphanage might look like in the future. Most importantly, they receive HOPE for their future.
How is this different than adoption? The hosting program is a 4 (in winter) or 9 (in summer) week commitment. The child is like a long-term visitor or “sleepover”; he or she arrives with a group of 10-20 to a regional airport, goes home to spend several weeks with your family. At the end of the hosting program, you accompany him/her to the airport for the flight home to Ukraine.
Isn’t it cruel to show them a family and then send them back to an orphanage? There are two ways to look at this: 1) All children who have been hosted, regardless of whether or not they were later adopted, are reported to return to Ukraine with increased confidence, better English language abilities (a huge aid to any Ukrainian), and the knowledge that there are some people in the world that valued spending time and resources on them. Refer to “What is hosting”. 2) If you were offered a month-long all-expenses-paid, 5-star trip to Tahiti or to stay in the palace of royalty in England or Denmark, would you accept it, knowing you had to return to your home, job, responsibilities afterward?
Do we have to be an adoptive family to host a child? No, we have many families that have hosted just to advocate for their child. There are also children that are host only that benefit from a mentorship relationship.
Why are there different groups? (Ukraine) There are different facilitators in Ukraine that work with different orphanages. They are involved in pre-screening and selecting the children.
Who are facilitators? (Ukraine) They are Ukrainians who work with orphanage directors and facilitate with the hosting programs, as well as adoptions.
Is it ever possible for the child to stay in America and not return to Ukraine? Absolutely not. The orphans are granted visitor visas through the US Embassy in their country and are permitted travel for the period of time their visa is issued. At the end of the host program, all orphans must return to their country of origin. They are not citizens of this country, they are visitors, and cannot remain here past the time allotted by the two governments.
Is a home study required to host? A full home study is not required to host, but a mini home study is required. Contact us if you would like to see a sample mini home study.
When does my mini home study expire? The home study expires 15 months from the date on the home study.
Do I need to know how to speak the child's language to host? No, you do not need to know any Ukrainian, Russian, Spanish, or Chinease language! The children will learn a lot of English through immersion with the help of the host family. We encourage host families to learn a few stock phrases to make hosting go smoothly.
Where does the money go? For what are costs allocated? The funds cover: Facilitators’ fees for pre-screening the children and translating biographical information provided by the orphanages Fees associated with obtaining the passport and visa Plane ticket for the child Plane ticket for the chaperon (legally required by each host country) Emergency medical insurance while in the USA
Can both parents work and still host? Yes. However, there must be a caretaker who has cleared an FBI background check.
Do we have to have other children in the home? No. Several families without other children in the home have hosted and continue to host. There are also host families who have never had children.
Is there a limit on family size? No. There are no limits on family size.
Are there age limitations? There are no upper age limits. The youngest host parent must be a minimum of 15 years older than the hosted child and at least 23 years old.
What is a chaperon? The chaperon is a citizen from the child's home country that works with orphans or adoptions and travels with the children from their country to the USA to ensure safety and to comply with their country's law.
What are my requirements with the chaperon? The chaperon must either be hosted in your home or the home of someone you know (the latter is preferable). Hosting a chaperon includes providing a bed, meals, and some outings and entertainment. If this is not possible due to associated travel costs or the number of other host families who are hosting, then a financial contribution is required to help offset the cost for the families who are hosting. Contact us for more information and for suggestions on how to entertain a chaperon.
What are my requirements as a host family? You are required to provide a safe, loving home environment for the child, as well as feed and clothe them Clothing does not have to be brand new. Vacations to Disneyland, etc, are not necessary.* *Depending on the child, a trip to Disneyland or the like is often not recommended.
Can I adopt my host child? (Ukraine) The hosting program focuses just on the hosting experience, but can put you in touch with a partner adoption agency if you decide to pursue adoption subsequently. We focus on the host experience and the mentorship relationship first. Many children are adopted after hosting. (Colombia) This is an adoption focused program and every child on this program is available for adoption and we encourage a high level of advocacy if not adopting.