Airlines offer adoption fares

Taking a cue from corporate employers who provide adoption benefits to their employees, two airlines, British Airways and Northwest/KLM, offer a variation on that theme - special fares for all passengers adopting children internationally.

In addition to making travel more affordable, the adoption fares are flexible. They waive advance-purchase requirements at a time when parents often need to travel on short notice to pick up their new son or daughter. They also eliminate penalties for cancellations or changes.

British Airways gives adopting parents a 65 percent discount off the round-trip, full economy fare from any British Airways gateway city to any of the airline's main destinations. Similar fares prevail at Northwest/KLM. Called Special Delivery, Northwest's fares apply to more than 100 international destinations. At both carriers, only adopting parents and their children are eligible. A newly adopted child may travel to the United States, one way, at half the discounted fare when accompanied by the adoptive parents. To qualify, parents must supply information related to the adoption and offer proof of US residency.

These fares reflect the growing popularity of international adoptions. The numbers of such adoptions doubled in a decade, from 8,000 in 1989 to 16,300 in 1999, the last year for which figures are available.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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