Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Age Waiver Relaxed for Previously Adopted Couples

Some of you have already heard this news.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare in Korea (MOHW) has relaxed the age requirement for couples to apply for adoption up to 49 for those that have previously adopted from Korea, effective August 1, 2014.

For those families that want to adopt another child from Korea, this is great news.

The new guideline also clarifies the age limits for the Korean-heritage families and adoptee couples, but this practice was already in place since 2007, though some agencies may not have followed closely on this.

For those that are adopting for the first time from Korea, the age requirement is 45 at the time of application (some agencies confuse this as the time when the MOHW approves the adoption).  But the agencies may have already put in place for people to allow enough time by applying at 42 or as late as 43.  But in my previous email inquiries to MOHW, they were very clear that the age is applicable at the time of application, not at the time of approval by the MOHW.

I will double check on this fact and get back to you.

A special permission will be given to prospective adoptive parents up to age 49 as long as they meet one of the below requirements:

1. Both prospective adoptive parents are Korean-heritage.
2. One prospective adoptive parent is a Korean adoptee.
3. The prospective adoptive parents already have a Korean adopted child.

I think I understand why this new guideline is being placed.  It is perhaps to shorten the adoption process, where the home study is already available, and also the psychological evaluation already being available as well.  Also, there is already an established trust where a family that has already adopted a child from Korea and does well, will most likely be trusted again with another child.

So for those who wanted to adopt again but couldn't because of the age limitation, this is your chance.

At any rate, this is a great news to many prospective parents and for children as well, only if more children are allowed to leave Korea to go to their homes.


  1. Hi Steve, thank you so much for always keeping us informed of the latest news! Can you give us any idea of how long it will take for the judges to assign a court date once they receive a family's file? Thanks so much! Gretchen

  2. It seems like court dates are anywhere from one month to four months after court submission. Just depends on your judge.

  3. Yes, Katie is correct as it varies. However, typically it takes two months average.

  4. Thanks, Steve and Katie! Steve, when you say "two months average," do you mean from the submission to the actual court date? Or from the submission to being notified that you were assigned a court date?
    Thanks again!

  5. From the day of the submission to the court.

  6. Thanks so much, Steve! We are getting very excited to make the trip!

  7. Steve, does the relaxing of age requirements pertain to prospective parents, one of whom being of Korean heritage, or do both parents need to be of Korean heritage? I am 43 and my husband is 47. What agencies would you recommend for a couple in our situation?

  8. Relaxing of age is for the couples with two conditions.
    1) For a couple where both are Korean-heritage
    2) For a couple that have previously adopted (not limited Korean-Heritage).
    All three agencies (Holt, Eastern, and SWS) are excellent agencies in Korea.
    Please work with the associated agencies in the US.