It is especially frustrating when these documents are asked after having waited so long, and to provide these documents may take several months for some. While many waiting parents may already have these documents in hand, others may have misplaced them or lost. One reader complained, “Has the agency say anything about delays because you now have to get these additional documents? How utterly frustrating? Even more frustrating is that there is NOTHING WE CAN DO, but comply!”
I wish I had a magic wand where I could just grant all the wishes come true.
In my earlier blogs, I mentioned that by August 2012, 90% of the quota for the year 2012 has been fulfilled under the older adoption laws (to expedite as many as possible before the new law kicked in by August 2012). The remaining 10% would be used to process under the new adoption laws as the agencies, the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW), and the Family Court will need some time to learn and apply the new laws into the adoption process.
This process is still continuing, and to date about half of the remaining 10% cases have been approved with the EPs from the MOHW. The approved EPs were then submitted to the Family Court by the agencies. The remaining half has been submitted for EP requests just recently, thus completing the quota set for 2012 (even though they haven’t been fully processed yet).
In the past, when the adoption files were submitted to the MOHW for EP request, the agencies typically attached the translated summary of home study reports. However, under the new law, the original home study reports must be attached along with the translated summary. Apparently the lawyers in the Family Court felt that the translated summary version of the home study report isn’t enough to verify what type of families the children were being sent to.
So the Family Court has asked the agencies to provide the proper documentations to show that the adopting parents and their children mentioned in the home study reports can be properly verified through birth certificates, marriage certificates, and certificate of citizenship. As a country being prepared to ratify The Hague Adoption Convention, Korea feels that this is a necessary part of the adoption process.
Apparently in the past some agencies required some portion of the documents, but not all of them. Especially, not all agencies asked for the birth certificates of children living with the adopting parents. So in anticipation of this and the requirements by the Family Courts for the documentation, the agencies have started to request the additional documents to comply with The Hague Adoption Convention.
Unfortunately for many, the requests for such documentations should have been made early in the adoption process by the agencies, but I don’t think the agencies could have anticipated that. It is especially hard for many waiting parents as they have waited so long, and to think that additional efforts to prepare and obtain the documents may add additional months on top of their waiting period…it would be very frustrating for anyone.
So it would be very prudent for all the agencies to ask such documentations from the new applicants. And for those who are still in the process and waiting, you don’t want to find out about the requirements of these documents late in the process. So I suggest that you take the action to start the document preparations if you haven’t already done.
In the meantime the agencies in Korea are waiting for the new quotas for the year 2013 to be issued to them by the MOHW (the three agencies have not been informed about the new quotas yet). But the quota level assigned to each agency will depend on the number of domestic placements the agencies have completed in the year 2012, and other minor factors. But as expected, the quota will be 10% lower this year than the last year.