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.
Certificate of Citizenship, while an understandable request in light of problems with deportations in the past couple years and something all families should obtain for their children at some point, are going to be a big problem for many families who have yet to get them and are waiting for EP/EP approved. COCs seem to take, depending on the location 6-9 months (my older son's took 12 months). This seems like a totally insupportable additional amount of time to make a child wait after already waiting a year. Have you heard anything about the courts accepting a certified receipt of N600 filing for those families who are close to EP but still months and months away from getting their child's COC? The rest of the documents are time and money, but doable. The COC is impossible to fast track. Thanks for your insight.ReplyDelete
What I don't get is, why isn't a US Passport enough? Why does it have to be a COC? Also, the information they are requesting - they have it all. They are just wanting them in different formats. Our US Passports already have our relevant birth information on it. Why the need for birth certificates that many of us may not even have. They already have our marriage certificate - why the need for a CERTIFIED marriage certificate? All ridiculous requests. Just a waste of time for everyone and it makes them look incompetent.ReplyDelete
You are absolutely right. US passport should be enough to justify the existence of COC. Hope they can iron this one out soon.Delete
I am one of the families with a 12/31 EP approval who was asked on Friday to scramble for this new paperwork. We fortunately have family who can help us gather it in other states, so we should be sending it to the agency within 2 weeks. However, I'm really worried about the ones who will have to mail off for certfied copies of these things and wait for weeks to get it back in the mail. I really can't believe Korea is just now asking for this stuff. It almost feels like a stall tactic to me. I can't believe they have no worries about holding us all up even further.ReplyDelete
Is there any indication that the court will use their power to deny someone even after we've met every other review along the way?
The Family Court has the ultimate authority in granting the adoption decision. There may be cases where they might deny based on addtional findings, but highly improbable if the agencies and the MOHW have cleared the process ahead of time.Delete
Then, why? Why the need for a family court approval? All they've done so far (to my knowledge) is request more paperwork - not even requesting new information, just more paperwork. Is having one more layer of approvals on top of at least two levels of approvals really necessary? The people who put this chaos into place should be ashamed for being so disorganized. Their incompetency hurts the children, foster families and the families who are waiting to adopt them.Delete
We currently have one child adopted from Guatemala and are in process to adopt our Korean son. Do you know if the Family Court will require us to submit our Guatemalan childs COC in order to complete our Korean sons adoption or are they just requiring birth certificates at this point?ReplyDelete
In your case it is different, and I am told by an agency in Korea that Child's legal document (i.e. passport) should be sufficient along with your adoption documents.Delete
Steve, thanks for all your info and support. Today, we were told that if the court gets your case and requests more info on it, you have 14 days to comply or the case gets "dismissed". The agency didn't know what that meant. Do you know if/think that "dismissed" because you couldn't get info to them within 14 days means adoption denied? Or just the case will be removed from their pile and can be resubmitted later? This is very disconcerting to hear.ReplyDelete
Sorry, I can't answer this one for you. What are they asking to comply? This could be something the agency could provide right away, or if it takes longer the agency should be able to provide some explanation that it would take longer. I do not think that the family court will be so unreasonable.Delete
If this is true, then again it just shows how ridiculous their roles are. They are absolutely clueless as to how things work. They tell the Korean agency the need for additional information, they the agency let the US agency know (and in many occasions, it requires a few days of back and forth emails to get clarification). Then, the US agency lets the families know. Then the families are once again - stopping life to get the requested paperwork - sometimes it takes at least a few days. Then, that gets mailed to the US agency (usually priority so it costs even MORE money), then they mail it back to the Korean agency. Then the Korean agency gets it to the family court. 14 days is absolutely unrealistic.Delete
Wow. Who told you this? We are in court and have heard no word of this from Dillon or Eastern...ReplyDelete
great news! how long have you been in court?Delete
We received our EP on Jan. 1. What timeframe are we looking at? Our daughter turns 2 in less than 2 months. We watched her turn 6 months, then 1, then 18 months- all from across the world. We just pray we can help celebrate her 2nd birthday(thought I know her foster family is taking very good care of her!)ReplyDelete
This really is disgraceful. Do they realize that this ultimately hurts the children with loving families waiting for them? Not to mention the pain it causes the families who have jumped through all of the hoops and have been approved to adopt from Korea( a country with tight policies on adoption to start with) And what happens to the backlog of children still been born and given up due to social stigmas! It just all seems so hypocritical.ReplyDelete
I want you to know that there now are many adoptive families in Korea, especially by the members of MPAK with the suggestion that there needs to be a revision with the currently passed adoption laws, especially because this law has caused so many birthmothers give up their babies unsafely.Delete
The MOHW and Korean Family courts have already embarrassed themselves for not thinking things through. They should just go back to the old law and once they have things figured out - THEN roll out the new law. This has done nothing but cause heartache for everyone involved and it hasn't and will not benefit any child going forward.Delete
I think families who want to adopt from Korea should submit all the newly requested documents. However, I disagree with them asking for documents as part of the "trial and error" process. If they see they want a new document, ask for it for the next batch of applicants and stop delaying the process. Unless something is VERY wrong - like there could be potential abuse - then I they shouldn't be asking for additional documents, just to satisfy their curiosity.
Does the case of each child go to court for approval or do the parents go to court when the are called to travel to Korea? I thought "going to court" would fall to the parents. Will you know before you travel that you "are approved?" or will you find that out once you are there and they give you a proclamation? And while I can hardly write this, what is your recourse if for some reason they say 'NO?"ReplyDelete
Each case will be forwarded to the court for the final approval, and then the agencies will contact you once the final determination is made. If they do say no, they will express their reasons for the decision, but I am sure the agencies will work with you closely to get the final approval. I think it will be very rare when the court would overturn the recommendations made by the agencies in the US, the agencies in Korea, and MOHW. Unless some criminal records or some history of abuse (and these things are weeded out early by the agencies) that pops up that others didn't catch, I see no reason why the court would not agree with all the previous entities that have made the recommendations.Delete
Would like to do something to help Korean orphans when we do finally get to travel. Will be bringing our 7 year old Korean adoptee with us. Is Pastor Lee's baby box anywhere near Eastern or accessible by subway. Is there something we could bring to help him (maybe blankets?)?
No the Pastor Lee and the Baby Box home is hard to find. Most taxi drivers would not know the place. But if you give them (taxi drivers) the phone number or address of the place, in most cases they will be able to find it. The best way to help them is not so much a way with material goods, but mostly cash donations. The pastor knows what is needed for the babies. But it certainly wouldn't hurt to take some medical needs such as baby ointment, diaper rash medication, some baby tylenols or powder, etc. Use your imagination.Delete
Our EP request was submited to MOHW last month, so we expect to have it by end of January
i have been contacted earlier this morning by our agency, who received the information from their Korean counterpart, that they urgently require to have some of the numerous documents we already provided few months ago translated into Korean (home study, ...) and to make them certified
Are you aware?
Yes, I am aware of this. However, slight difference is that the translated version of the homestudy is more of a summarized report, but attached with the original report in English.Delete
ok, good to know, thanksDelete
However, the person i got on the phone this morning told me that there are several other documents to be translated
I wait for her mail to have the exhaustive list.
ARE YOU SURE THIS IS THE ONLY DOCUMENT?
We were asked to provide 2 copies of each document wich were both delivered to the Korean Agency 2 months ago (i do not know where they are now)
How should i make them translated? (bring them back here? a copy or the original?)
How should i make the translated version certified? (how could a local notary or who ever could certify a document he does not understand?)
Why is this not done directly in Korea (several options could exist to pay back the translator)
Thanks for your previous support
I can't believe that the agencies are leaving up to you to translate and certify. I believe this is the job for the agencies. Please make sure this is the case.Delete
I was just told that the agencies in Korea want to have them translated for consistency and accuracy. However, we will be getting a bill for the translation.Delete
this is aligned with what we have been told by our agency ... we do hope this will not take too much time ... and once done, the situtation will then progress quickly !!!
Why aren't all agencies being told what are these new requirements? Those that are supposed to be first EP's of 2013 are in the dark still! And everything is speculation. It is so frustrating.ReplyDelete
Any new news here? We are all on pins and needles...any idea how long court will take?ReplyDelete