Abroad Baby Things is a guide to help parents who desire having their babies abroad for various reasons. Below is a guide compiled by those who have successfully gone through this process. Read on for a checklist and things to keep in mind as you plan to receive your bundle of joy abroad. One of the main things to remember is that you must not be a burden to another Country’s health system. Start planning, saving and researching early.
Documents Required Pre Trip
- Correspondence with identified Doctor (It is recommended to print out all email correspondence with the doctor abroad).
- Medical records from home country doctor which should include :
- Fit to fly travel letter
- Letter from your doctor on status of pregnancy (this should document all the pre-natal visits and regular checks)
- Copies of Ultrasounds reports
- Copies of prenatal / antenatal lab work
- Copy of previous cesarean delivery operation report (if applicable)
- Health Insurance documents where (applicable) – It is useful to show that you are not going to be a burden to their health care system. (Have your Health insurance card handy and a letter to whom it may concern showing cover).
- Evidence of pre-payment to the delivery hospital
- Bank statement
- Some cash does not have to be a whole lot especially if you have insurance
- Pay slips for a minimum of 6 months
- Return ticket
- Address and phone no. of your host you should be handy.
- Your host should also send you a copy of their passport or legal status in the country and a letter showing what they do or where they work
- Accommodation – Hotel or Long stay booking and confirmation if renting or staying on your own
- Fitness for Preschool letter from your hospital if you are travelling with another child and plan to enrol them in preschool.
- International drivers’ license (if you plan to drive, in the US, it may be cheaper to drive than taking taxis)
- IDs – Your passport, your international drivers license, your local NG drivers license, your national ID card or voter’s card, your bank card (Master card or Visa card).
- As a mother, if traveling alone, you will need a consent letter from your spouse that has to be notarized. This is required for the baby’s passport / travel document
- Passport photographs
To do before you go:
- Find a doctor and hospital. Decide on that and start to correspond with the hospital via email with records available.
- Schedule your first appointment and have that date handy
- Find a place to stay and have that address and phone no. of your host handy
To do when you get there:
- Go for you first appointment , you will do a number of tests (you should have shared all your previous test results)
- Open a US / other country checking account. You will require a deposit about $1,500 as at 2013. It is easier to make payments with an account domiciled there.
- Get a local sim card and international call card. Though you should be fine with Google hangout for international calls
- Know your local pharmacy.
- Identify a paediatrician for your child. Makes sense to have this near the house. (You will need to visit the paediatrician few days after leaving the hospital for routine checks).
What to do after the baby:
- Paediatrician visits, baby immunisation, 6 weeks check for mum, birth control. You will be advised by the hospital and given guidance.
- Sort out your payments with the hospital and doctors. Get a zero balance confirmation letter from the hospital ( Necessary if you are cash paying.)
- Take baby’s passport photo
- Get all paper work done – US and Nigerian Passport. Social Security No. Birth Certificate (get copies too). Nigerian visa if needed.
- Ensure you get the passport done while both parents are present otherwise, you will need a notarised consent.
- Call your Airline and book an infant ticket (you will need to add this booking to your ticket). Also request for a priority seat (bulk head seats). The seats in front with the baby carriage/cot for the baby.
- Buy a baby carrier to help when returning home as this is more convenient than pushing a pram.
- NOTE You can use an agent for both passport and visa. They obviously have their own fees but them make it easier especially the Nigerian visa. Here is a recommended agent
- Must buy an infant car seat in the US, you will not be allowed to take your baby out of the hospital without this.
- Hospital bag in the US you are given everything you require for your stay in the hospital therefore you really do not need to pack a hospital bag. You just need an outfit to wear home and outfit for your baby to wear home.
- You might want to take professional baby photos in the hospital before you leave (the hospitals usually offer this).
- If you have a boy and you choose to circumcise your baby – you can do so either before leaving the hospital or afterwards.