Thanks to all of you for patiently waiting for my updated report from Korea regarding the EP situation and the effect of the new adoption laws in the intercountry adoption process.
Many of you have emailed me or responded to the previous blogs with questions on wanting to know what the latest development is. I'm sorry that I got delayed in answering your requests. For the month of September, there were MPAK and my work related travels every single week. For instance, for the past two weeks I was in Denver for my work-related travels.
So here is the update.
Based on my interviews with two different sources in Korea, I found out that the intercountry adoption process is going very slow, but for a legitimate reason (of course there is really never a right and legitimate reason to delay a process of uniting a child with parents).
As I have mentioned on my previous blog where I said that this year Korea has already expedited 90% of the quota level (number of children allowed to leave Korea in a year) before August, at which time the new adoption laws kicked in. I also mentioned that this was done to expedite all the children that need to go home, and the remaining 10% cases (from Aug – Dec, or 5 remaining months) would be processed under the new adoption laws to serve as a learn-as-you-go type of processes for the agencies, the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW), and the Family Court that will be the final place of approving authority.
Unfortunately the learn-as-you-go process for the remaining 10% has been going very slowly, and this has not only affected intercountry adoption but also the domestic adoption process as well. To date, there have not been any new EPs issued for intercountry adoption, and in the case of domestic adoption, there have only been one approval by the Family Court to date. So whether inter country or domestic, the process is going very slowly for the remaining cases. For those of you waiting overseas, rest assured that the delays in your cases are temporary as Korea tries to find a right process not only for intercountry, but domestic adoption as well.
One of the reasons for the delay is that all the agencies, MOHW, and the Family Court need to have the new processes and all the appropriate paper works that are understood and accepted by all parties. So working on the new processes and creating new forms of documentation is taking a lot of time. Undoubtly there are many reviews, rejections, reworks and revisions that are being made, but this is a natural pain in the new process that cannot be avoided.
Another reason for the delay is that MOHW is undergoing their annual audit conducted by the government, and this has stalled all the work related to adoption. I am told that this should be over by next week. Also, I am also told that additional EP requests have been made to MOHW under the new laws, and once these are approved, the agencies would hand the cases over to the Family Court for the final approvals.
I don’t know how long it would take for the Family Court to approve the intercountry cases, but I was told that in the one domestic adoption case just approved, the Family Court took one month to process it. I predict that it will be a bit longer for intercountry adoption. But I also believe that once they go through a number of these, I think it will set the rhythm for the remaining processes and should become quicker as they get ready to process the new quotas waiting in the year 2013.
I plan to visit Korea in three weeks to attend MPAK’s national conference to promote domestic adoption, and while there I will try to make another updates to the blog to inform the latest happenings. Please stay tuned, and thanks for your patience.
What do you mean "additional EP requests have been made"?ReplyDelete
It means additional EP requests from the remaining 10% cases.Delete
Sorry, just so I understand this correctly, of the 10% of EPs remaing for the year, the MOHW has some of these already and is currently reviewing them AND the MOHW has asked for additional EPs from the agencies so the MOHW can start reviewing?Delete
All I know is that some EPs have been requested from MOHW and they are reviewing them. Additional EPs? that I don't know.Delete
Hi Steve - Thanks for the update. Are they done figuring out the new process and additional forms and documents? If not, are they close? What I don't get is, they've had so much time to figure this out. They knew this day would come and it's almost like they didn't start creating the new process until August 5. A few weeks ago, we received instructions on additional information they requested. Most of it was unclear and we had to wait another few days to get further information. We are still waiting for more clarification on some of the items. Did they give you any indication on when they would start EP submissions? Do they have a goal of trying to get the kids in the last 10% batch home before the holidays?ReplyDelete
I think they are getting close to it. They still have most of October - December to work it out. I believe they will be able to process the remaining 10% loads of EPs and the finalization by the Family Court before the Christmas.Delete
Hi Steve - Thanks so much for your posts! You have given us a flotation device in a sea of uncertainty! How is this process affecting referrals? Will referrals still be given throughout the remainder of the year? They have already slowed down greatly, will this pace continue? Many thanks!ReplyDelete
The referrals must reflect the number of adoptions set for a given year through the quota system. For this year most of the referrals have already been given and EPs processed. Thus the slowness of additional referrals.Delete
Steve...do you mean that agencies now have to match referral numbers to the EP quota? We just received the referral of our 2nd son in September. I'm assuming he will have a 2013 EP....Delete
Thanks for all that you do. What about those not in the 10%? We are under the old law. Our son's EP was approved in early august and he recently had his visa physical but no travel call yet. It is taking forever. Any insight?
If that's the case it should be a matter of time. I am confident your son will be given the clearance to travel before the year is over.Delete
Thank you so much Steve for all your time and work, to find a way of understanding in the jungle of this adoption world :-)ReplyDelete
But I can`t help my self, being so sad, becaurce I can understand that my son is not coming home before christmas :-(
I will hop for and pray to, that someone in Korea will open there eyes, and see, that the only loser in this game is our children, who gets older and older before they can come to ther "forever" family. It is not in the children`s best interest. And us who is waiting having a very hard time and we are sad lots of the time :-(
That sentiment is shared by most of us. Continue to keep your hopes high.Delete
Thank you so much Steve for all your time and work. I was wondering if in one of your future blogs you can address if there will still be an expedited adoption process for families of Korean heritage (international adoption). I am of Korean heritage and already have one adopted child from Korea. With all the changes in the international adoption laws, I was wondering if the law from 2011 that promoted international adoption for those of Korean heritage still stood. I very much advocate for my Korean friends who are experiencing infertility issues to consider international Korean adoption. It would be wonderful to have some information about this specific topic.ReplyDelete
Also, I send all my best wishes to those still waiting to bring their children home from Korea. My thoughts and prayers are with you, especially during the uncertainly during this transition.
Which agency had EPs submitted that you say are submitted to the ministry?ReplyDelete