I tried to sleep, but the sleep wouldn't come. So I decided to get up and update my blog. I have been back to the States for three days and still going through a tough time in adjusting to the Pacific Time zone. I had a very fruitful 10 days trip to Korea.
The family court in Korea has
added one more judge, bringing the total number of judges to five.
However, this new judge is dedicated solely for the purpose of adoption
hearings. Apparently, the four judges that have been summoning the
parents so far were not always dedicated to the adoption cases as they ruled on
other family related matters at the court.
I asked my source whether
this addition of a dedicated judge to the adoption cases would mean quicker
court proceedings, but they weren't sure. They weren't sure whether the
existing four judges will continue to be involved with the adoption processes
at their usual paces, but augmented by the addition of the fifth
judge, or that the four judges will have a reduced roles in the adoption
hearings due to the addition of this dedicated judge. No one has the clear
However, the new judge has
already summoned some families, thus giving clear evidence that the court
has five judges that are handling the adoption cases now.
I have also heard that the EP
process has picked up some speed under the new director, who I happened to meet
at the MPAK conference. I had a brief exchange with him, but it was more
on the issues of the special adoption law.
This year’s quota was set at
743, and the number of EPs submitted to the Ministry of Health and Welfare is
now around 50% of the quota (currently around 375) as of mid-November. It
is expected that by the end of the year, we can expect the EP approvals to be
closer to 425, which is still a way short of the quota level.
If the year 2013 can be
considered a year of experimenting and a new learning process for all (the
agencies, the Ministry and the family court judges), coming short of the quota
is understandable. But I am hoping that when they set the new quota for
the year 2014, I expect them to meet it 100%. At least that's what I'm
hoping for. But if the past is any indication, that could be a challenge.