Our knowledge of the interactions between international migration and fertility in sending countries is biased towards family members left behind, who constitute a minority and decreasing share of populations. We assess the potential for emigrants’ social diffusion of low fertility into Albania and investigate how family behaviours are affected by indirect exposure to migration within the sending society, using data from multiple survey rounds. Effects arising from direct exposure within the family had a limited importance. Marriages were postponed and marital fertility was reduced because of the transformation of the larger social context, as indicated by the importance of community migrant networks and by women’s increased aspirations, which are induced by the perception of the prospects and benefits of migration in the society at large. The effects of emigration on the fertility transition seem therefore to be independent of periodic fluctuations in population flows and their associated economic benefits.