Friday, September 18, 2009
Alert: Korea intends to halt International Adoption at the end of 2012
PEAR urges prospective adoptive parents considering Korea at this time to inquire to their agency or possible agency about how the closing of the international adoption process will work and how this will effect non-special needs referrals and special needs referrals from now until closing.
PEAR urges all agencies to clarify on their websites the current situation and how the process of closing the country will affect prospective adoptive parents.
The Department of State has updated their website
"Please Note: U.S. citizens who are considering adoption in the Republic of Korea (South Korea) should be aware that the Korean government has expressed its intent to eliminate the need for intercountry adoption of Korean orphans by 2012 by encouraging domestic adoption of all Korean orphans. According to some estimates, wait times for American citizens to complete a newly initiated adoption in Korea could be as much as three years. Prospective adoptive parents should consult carefully with their adoption service provider in light of current Korean adoption processing times and the Republic of Korea’s intention to end inter-country adoption by 2012.Updated: September 2009"
Rainbow kids article dated August 1, 2009 http://www.rainbowkids.com/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=664 indicates a slow closing of Korea.
Children’s Home Society and Family Services disputes the full closing and discusses special needs adoptions at the September 1, 2009 article also at Rainbow Kids http://www.rainbowkids.com/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=668.
Adopt Korea.com offers this information under its Choosing Korea tab “Korean culture and its emphasis on blood ties and family name have continued to be a difficult obstacle to reaching that goal. That's why, in a major push to encourage domestic adoption within Korea, the Korean government has approved several initiatives for 2007. Although this is welcome news, these initiatives will have a significant impact on Korea's entire international adoption program. You'll want to speak with your agency about these changes and their impact on specific agency programs.”
Welcome House (Pearl S. Buck International) has stated on their website the following: “Welcome House received a recent communication from President Min, the head of Holt Children's Services in Korea, reiterating the Korean Ministry's commitment to increase domestic adoption and to stop inter-country adoption. The current federal Ministry in Korea will leave office in 2013, and we have received confirmation from Holt and from Holt affiliates in the United States, that Korea will officially close to international adoption at the end of 2012.
For any new families interested in adopting from Korea through Welcome House Adoption Program, we have closed the wait list for the Korea program to any new face sheets of application, except for families who are applying to adopt a waiting child with significant special needs. Please visit our waiting child page for more information. Thank you for your interest”
Holt International’s website does not indicate the 2012 closing, but has already limited applications to Holt Korea alumni families, Korean-American families (including Holt Korean adoptees), and families open to children with special needs since October 1, 2008.
As of September 16, 2009, the following agencies do not mention the closing in 2012 or limiting applications for healthy children on their websites:
AAC Adoption and Family Network
Adoption Advocates, Inc
Americans for International Aid & Adoption
Bethany Christian Services
Carolina Adoption Services
Catholic Social Services of Philadelphia
Children’s Home Society and Family Services (CHSFS)
Connecticut Adoption and Family Services
Family & Children’s Agency
Heaven’s Sent Children
Kentucky Adoption Services
Lifelink Child & Family Services
Love the Children
Lutheran Social Services TX
As of September 16, 2009, the following agencies mention limiting applications or putting the program on hold without explaining the reasoning or 2012 closing:
Florida Homestudies and Adoption
Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.
9/23/09: Title of post corrected from Korea will officially halt International Adoption at 2012 to Korea intends to halt International Adoption at the end of 2012. DOS link and notice added