Since the first group of parents was summoned by the judges on May 31st, they have met many ICA adoptive families. The judges were very impressed with the adoptive families they met. A judge confessed that in some cases she was moved to tears when witnessing the love displayed by the visiting adoptive families.
On May 29th, there was a discussion in the family court regarding adoptive parents’ medical reports. The judges were concerned about few parents that might have history of substance and alcohol abuse. While their doctors at home may have declared them healthy from substance abuse and alcoholic problems, the judges wanted to make sure the ‘healthy’ declaration is not just temporary condition but permanent ones.
As for the ICA, the court has decided that children should receive IR-3 visas to make sure they get the citizenship immediately. As for IR-4, while the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 guarantees the receipt of citizenship upon finalization of adoption, and there is no chance of deportation to worry, the judges felt that making sure that receiving the citizenship with certainty and immediately upon entry is desired, and that’s the least that the Korean government can do for the children. Judges felt that despite the fact that there are increased workloads and delays for choosing IR-3, they felt that this was a burden that they need to bear.
As for the long term stay in Korea, the judges will do their best to speed up the finalization process. They have decided to eliminate some procedures required for birthmothers by not requiring them to show up in the court. If the birthmothers do not wish to be notified of adoption, the court will not notify them. If they wish to be notified, the court will work with them on how and when they should be notified.
When the agencies receive adoption relinquishment agreements from birthmothers, they will note how the birthmothers wish to be notified, where, and what form of communications is preferred. This will save some time in determining the court dates as they will not be required to be summoned. However, there were some birthmothers that decided to change their minds after being notified of adoptions. Just in April and May, there have been five cases of birthmothers cancelling the adoptions, and deciding to keep the babies.
As for the issue of adoption delays, when the judges examined the adoption cases last week, there were some cases where the parents waited 18 months before the cases reached the judges in April this year. It appeared that the delays happened long before reaching the court, thus the court does not feel responsible for the delays.