I hesitated to write about this as the news is not very good, and this might discourage many waiting families. But the news was already broken by an agency, and so I will follow up with what I have learned.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) is scheduled to move their office from Seoul to a new city called the Sejong City, which is two hours south of Seoul. The city is named after the most respected and revered King Sejong (1397 - 1450), under whose rule saw the dynamic progress in Korea, including the introduction of the Korean Hangul for common people to communicate.
The move is expected to take place in November, and this will certainly put some delays in the processing of the EPs. Currently they have around 300 EPs submitted, of which about half of them have been approved. The processing of the EPs by the MOHW has been very slow recently, and the agencies have requested the ministry for quicker approval, but ministry has not responded yet.
As for the family court schedule, I am hearing that the judges are able to process quicker than they used to be, but the real slow down is not the court, but it's the ministry. Another bad thing is that right after their move to the Sejong City, the MOHW will undergo an audit (they do this each year), and this will certainly take the workers' time away from processing the adoption papers.
Another news is that there seems to be some changes in the staff at the Ministry. A couple of staff has been rotated out, namely the section director. However, the team leader and the department director have not been rotated, yet.
So I am sorry to let the readers to know that because of the moves by the ministry and the annual audit to take place, and the staff rotation and additional staff changes expected (and the new roles and responsibilities they need to learn and catch up), the approval of the remaining EPs this year is questionable. But most likely they won't meet the quota set for 2013.
I hope I am wrong on this. And I was very hesitant in sharing this information, but I think the agency that already broke the news did a responsible thing by letting the parents know.