To answer your questions based on the recent blogs, where record number of people have visited and left comments and questions. I will do my best to give you heads up on what is going on.
Some have mentioned through the comments that the adoption agency representatives were scheduled to meet with the judges of the Family Court to address some concerns with the extended stay requirement. I was initially told that the meeting would happen March 5, 2013.
It was my goal that your comments will be compiled, summarized, and plotted by category the difficult reasons why the extended stay of 3 - 4 weeks requirement in Korea would be extrememely challenging, if not impossible for all the waiting families. We chose to summarize based on the top six reasons (will share this on another blog).
At MPAK, I worked with my members in coming up with the summary report and have submitted the final report to the interested parties in Korea. In addition to the comments posted, there were many emails received and these were included in the final results as well. The agencies were planning to take the results, that is, your voices to meet with the judges. That is the reason why we worked feverishly late into the night in getting the report finished and forwarded to Korea.
But the agencies were notified by the court that they need to postpone the meeting. This was due to two of the three judges handling the adoption cases had to be reassigned to another area and they have been replaced by three new judges, now totaling four. There is no doubt that the new judges will need to some time to learn the ropes and bring them up to speed.
But the issue of the extended stay requirement is a no brainer for the judges. I think the new judges will understand the situation right away, and hopefully they will agree to a solution where the adopting parents need to be in Korea no more than a week. And the agencies are hoping for this as well. To be honest with you all, when all is said and done, I have a strong sense that this will be the case.
We need to have a better understanding on the 14-day reconsideration period. In the current Family Court of law, when a decision is made, it is by law that a 14-day reconsideration period commences for both parties. This 14-day reconsideration period is not just for adoption related issue. It could be on other non-adoption related topics dealing with family problems or feud - such as divorce, custody rights, family relationships, inheritance, etc. The 14-day reconsideration period is an across-the-board ruling for all decisions.
But in the case of adoption, the two parties are an adoptive family, and the other is a birthmother. The court will first summon the birthmothers. However it is expected that very few will acually show up, and some birthmothers won't be found. But there will be a very few birthmothers that will choose to take their babies back. And they have the right to do so.
If the birthmother does not show up at the court or the court becomes convinced that a birthmother is unwilling or unable to take care of the baby, a decision will be reached to allow adoption. It is hoped that at this time the adoptive parents will be called to make a travel to Korea to finalize the adoption at the Family Court and take the child home, and hopefully they don't have to stay over a week.
This is all I have for now. In a nutshell, the agencies are trying to reschedule a meeting with the judges to iron out the extended travel issues and come to an acceptable solution that can be satisfactory to all the adoptive families.
So what happens if the birth mother takes the child back? Is a new referral offered?ReplyDelete
It is not unheard of for a birth mother to change her mind in the Korea program. It does (rarely) happen after a refer for international adoption has already been made. In those cases, another referral is usually made.Delete
Am I understanding you correctly to be saying you believe we will make two shorter trips as compares to one 3-4 week long trip?
No, there should only be one trip.Delete
I thank you and MPAK for all that you do for the children and parents.
Assuming that we don't have to be in Korea for the 14 days of "cool down". One thing that's not clear to me is that, if we have to go personally to the family court and the court approves the paper, don't we still need to wait for a visa from the US embassy? Realistically speaking, can the trip still be a week long including bringing our child?
The agency will help you and inform you on how to take care of the visa issues and all. Depending on famiies and the prepared documents availability it could be shorter or longer.Delete
Steve, I cannot thank you enough for your work and these updates. We have heard nothing from our agency so it is a relief to hear any news.ReplyDelete
Would it be possible to get an update on the time table? Originally, it was estimated that we would bring our son home in Sept/Oct 2013. Should we anticipate a 3-4 month delay or longer?
Again, thank you. May God bless all your efforts for the children of Korea.
Sorry, no one, not even those in the agency can make the time table, althought it would be good to have one.Delete
I came to my computer anxious for any shred of news and this is encouraging, to say the least. Do you have any idea how long it will take to bring the new judges, "up to speed?" Will you let us know what date the meeting will take place as we will be praying mightily as they make their decisions? Never doubt that God is using you in a marvelous way to make a difference in this world. We know you are extremely busy, but it helps us all so much to hear from you. Please continue to post as often as possible. We are all waiting, waiting, waiting. There are no words to tell you how much we appreciate you.ReplyDelete
Yes, I will let you know when the meeting takes place, and I have asked my friend in Korea to keep me in the loop.Delete
Thank you so much, Steve!! I echo the responses above when I say we appreciate all you do for the adoption community. We will continue to pray for you and the MPAK team as well as the judges.ReplyDelete
Thank you very much, Steve and team. Your advocacy and hard work is greatly appreciated. You have been a godsend to the children.ReplyDelete
This is encouraging news. If it were not for you we wouldn't have known about any of this. There's a special place in heaven for you.ReplyDelete
I just wanted to thank you for posting this information last night. It really made the world of difference and enabled me to actually sleep! Thank you for all you do.ReplyDelete
Just wondering how often are new judges are rotated in and out of Family Court ? Will we always be facing a waiting period every few months for the new judges to be informed and caught up on the international adoption process?ReplyDelete
Well, they did just elect a new president. I wonder if that comes with the election process.Delete
BTW: Thank you Steve. You're the first person I've felt has been an active advocate for the children and their forever families. I think you've really made a difference in all of our lives.
We have to expect the judges to be rotated. People in government gets rotated often and it is a part of their operation in Korea.Delete
I echo all the applause to you, Steve. We got our referral the end of 2011 and we are going crazy waiting to bring our child home. Your information is so deeply appreciated. God bless the work you are doing.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much. I know that nothing is concrete, but your positivity eases my mind so very much. Thank you for all you do. It's appreciated more than you will ever know.ReplyDelete
Thank you for all of your help!ReplyDelete
Steve, thank you that in the midst of traveling for your regular full-time job, that you & your team worked into the wee hours of the morning to translate and compile our responses so that we can be heard. I'm a little disappointed that they postponed the meeting, but praying and hoping that the new appointments will have more compassion on the children and families involved. Thank you again for all your tireless efforts.--JudyLReplyDelete
Thank you for all your efforts on behalf of all interested parties. If in a position to please give to this worthy cause. It has proven to be a lifeline for many of us trying to understand what is happening on the ground in Korea and critical to finding positive outcomes for these children.
Steve, Thank you. We are lucky to have you on our side. I echo the sentiments above that you are a Godsend. I look forward to your regular updates...for better or for worse. We and the babies applaud you!ReplyDelete
Wow, we can't thank you enough, Steve, for keeping everyone informed and for all your hard work communicating with all the parties in Korea. We appreciate your thorough explanation behind what is going on - which is never provided by our agency. It sure helps to at least understand why things happen the way they do. We all deserve this information.ReplyDelete
My sentiments exactly. Why we can't get this clear explanation of events from our agency, I'll never know. All any of wants is to know what is going on, good or bad. Sometimes I feel like our agency is withholding information so we don't get upset or angry.Delete
I think the agencies wait to give information until they know it is for sure- they are wise to not get people upset or angry when they don't have all the information and we have to trust that when they do get the information- they do share it with us. Keep in mind- most of the social workers at the agencies have a heart for these children and want to see them placed too. Our agency waits until they hear directly from SWS before they share with us and I have learned not to get too excited until I hear something directly from them.Delete
You are absolutely right. People at the agencies have hearts for children, and they tend to be very sure of facts before they can let their families know. So in a sense the MPAK blog has been a good thing for them, and at the same time a source of nuisance to the agencies, as they have been inundated with calls and emails after reading the MPAK blog. Some people in the agencies have complained at my efforts, but I believe for good reasons. But my philosphy is that the parents need to know ahead of time what to expect coming up the horizon, even if it means the facts may change later.Delete
..and by the way Steve, I do think you do a great work and are a blessing to the children in Korea! I just feel sometimes like there is a distrust toward agencies/social workers when we all need to remember we all have the same goal- getting these little ones home with a forever family. :) I will continue to pray for you and MPAK and the work that is being done through this organization- and mostly for orphans all around the world waiting for a forever family!Delete
I agree with all of these responses and know that everyone involved wants what is best for the children. It wasn't meant as an attack on our agency, just that I personally would like to know what is going on while it is going on. At least that way I know something is happening. I am level headed enough not to get excited about anything I hear or read, I just feel better being as informed as I can be. That being said, this site has saved my sanity and restored a little hope that maybe we will be able to bring our boy home. I cannot thank you enough.Delete
Thank you so much Steve for all you do. You are our lifeline while we wait to hear when our little boy can finally come home to us. We just appreciate you so very much.ReplyDelete
Thank you for everything you continue toReplyDelete
Do for this community, you are appreciated! Do you think it is safe to assume we can expect our travel call to be later than originally expected? Our son was projected to be home mar to June of this year. We are just looking for some kind of suggested time. Thank you again.
You can probably definitely expect longer wait periods. NO doubt. Many of us are now into our child's 20th month. Many will be lucky to have these children home before 2 years old. At this point no one knows any definitive answers or timelines.Delete
Hello Steve.. Many blessings to you and everyone helping you! We support your ministry and will continue to do so.ReplyDelete
I appreciate your updates. I had a question on something you might be able to help with. Is there a document the courts are asking all referrals prior to Aug 5 (law implementation date)? Is this something different that the relinquishment paper they originally signed? Our agency had said (but not sure they even know for certain) that the agencies are trying to have Birth mothers sign this new document required by courts. Then are the courts also summoning the birth mothers? Will they do this for every case even if birth mother waited a period of time after birth of her child? Or are they doing this with cases they think are questionable? Do you know what the courts are doing with these birth mothers/parents at the summons? What will be results if a birth mother does come back, realizes she can't take care of child and re- places child for adoption at 2 yrs old? Do they go to orphanage?
Hi Steve, any updates at all on the rescheduling of the meeting? I'm checking your page each day and anxiously awaiting any insight you may have. Thanks again!ReplyDelete
All I can say is THANK YOU for these updates. We are in the same boat as everyone else and feel completely helpless and handcuffed. All we want is for our son to come home, period.ReplyDelete
Hi Steve! Thank you for keeping us posted. Any idea when there maybe a meeting or if/when the court might reconsider? Many of us families are feeling quite in limbo as we are trying to see what happens with our families. Thank you again!ReplyDelete