Going Abroad
Traveling abroad is not difficult and is a great experience, if you are well prepared.  It's a good idea to have a checklist of items needed in order to be adequately prepared.

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If you are traveling abroad here are  10 tips, to help make your trip easier (taken and adapted from the U.S. Department of State website):

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1. Make sure you have a signed, valid passport and visas, if required.  For women, if you have been married since your last trip abroad, make sure your married name is on your passport. (If you changed your name.) Also, before you go, fill in the emergency information page of your passport!

2. Read the Consular Information Sheets (and Public Announcements or Travel Warnings, if applicable) for the countries you plan to visit.  It's a good idea to check with the
CDC (Center for Disease Control & Prevention) for outbreaks in the countries you plan to visit and any necessary vaccinations, if applicable.

3. Familiarize yourself with local laws and customs of the countries to which you are traveling. Remember, the U.S. Constitution does not follow you! While in a foreign country, you are subject to its laws.

4. Make 2 copies of your passport identification page. This will facilitate replacement if your passport is lost or stolen. Leave one copy at home with friends or relatives. Carry the other with you in a separate place from your passport.

5. Leave a copy of your itinerary with family or friends at home so that you can be contacted in case of an emergency.

6. Do not leave your luggage unattended in public areas. Do not accept packages from strangers.

7. Prior to your departure, you should register with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate through the State Department’s
travel registration website . Registration will make your presence and whereabouts known in case it is necessary to contact you in an emergency. In accordance with the Privacy Act, information on your welfare and whereabouts may not be released without your express authorization. Remember to leave a detailed itinerary and the numbers or copies of your passport or other citizenship documents with a friend or relative in the United States.

8. To avoid being a target of crime, try not to wear conspicuous clothing and expensive jewelry and do not carry excessive amounts of money or unnecessary credit cards.

9. In order to avoid violating local laws, deal only with authorized agents when you exchange money or purchase art or antiques.

10. If you get into trouble, contact the nearest U.S. embassy. For obvious reasons, avoid demonstrations and other situations that may become unruly or where anti-American sentiments may be expressed.

Adopting a Child from Overseas?
Adoption outside the U.S. has been steadily growing in numbers.  While most adoptions go through without any problems, it's important to keep in mind that overseas adoptions are considered private matters.  That is, it's between the adoptive parents and the foreign court.  The U.S. government cannot intervene or be involved in the adoption process.  

If you need more information on the government's stand on overseas adoptions, you should visit the State Department's International Adoption webpage.

What are the Entry Requirements for the Country I'm Visiting?
Each country is different, some with very relaxed entry requirements and others with stringent rules that must be adhered to before entry. See the Government's list of foreign entry requirements.

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