I have been getting many questions from a lot of readers wanting to know when the EP process for the year 2012 will begin as everyone is anxiously waiting for The Call.
As the new year has dawned, the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) has not issued any new Exit Permits (EPs) yet. This is typical in a new year as MOHW usually starts to flow the EP process by mid-January to late January. So the agencies are all waiting for the go ahead signal from MOHW.
The MOHW is working out some guidelines that need some clarifications. They are examining the issues of recent cases of forced deportations by the US on the adoptees that were legally adopted into the US, but somehow the parents overlooked to finalize the adoption process and to file for the US citizenship for them. MOHW is wanting to prevent this from happening and they are reviewing the process of citizenship acquisition process. Also, there is the issue of giving priority to Korean heritage families, where questions remain as to who would qualify and what process is needed. This has not been clearly spelled out yet, thus not able to implement priority service to Korean heritage couples yet. There is also the review due to the changes in the adoption law that requires the family court in Korea to handle both the domestic and the overseas adoptions. So they need to figure out different responsibilities shared between the MOHW and the family court.
MOHW has not yet assigned the quota numbers to the agencies yet. In the past they let the process flow and let the agencies know what their quota would be later, but the agencies do not know what direction the MOHW will take.
The bottom line is this. I think the wait is going to be a little longer this year, but hopefully not too long a wait. I did request MOHW if it isn't possible to start the EP process while all the changes are being made, but I think they are understaffed.
The adoption agencies in Korea and in the US - they are all waiting, just like many of you are. So Everyone is Waiting for the EP process to flow again. The agencies will be more than happy to hear from MOHW to start the EP process again. Hopefully it won't be long. I will post new information as they come my way.