Monday, March 11, 2013

Your Voices Summarized - You Have Spoken

The folks who really care about your children are still trying to get on the calendar with the court officials.

It is very upsetting that at this juncture of the process with so many parents that have waited so long, due to the new adoption law and the procedure involving the Family Court, someone higher up would make a decision to replace the two of the three judges with three new judges, who now would have roll up their sleeves and learn the laws and regulations on the adoption process all over again.  This of course is putting additional delays.

But I am hopeful that this group of new judges will be quick learners, and that the process will flow again.  One recommendation I would like to make (if I ever get to visit the Family Court) is that in the future, do not replace several judges all at once.  Instead, replace them one at a time with a year lag in between.  This way the continuity will be remained in the process.

But I did also hear a hopeful rumor that one of the discussion items on the table is the issue on the extended stay requirement, and I am hopeful that they can reduce the requirement to just one week.

In my previous blog, I noted that I would share with you the results of many comments received from many readers.  My team at MPAK (namely Denise Adams and Junhyung Lee) spent hours compiling the comments by category, and we had a meeting to go over the data. I did the final edit and plotted the results shown in the figure below. I want to extend a special thanks to Denise and Junhyung for their hard work.

There were many more categories of reasons why the extended travel to Korea would be difficult for many of you.  However, we narrowed it down to the top six reasons why a parent traveling to Korea for 3-4 weeks is very challenging, if not possible. 

This is your voice.  You have spoken and I hope the judges in the Family Court will hear your voice and come to a better understanding of those waiting families, and come to a workable solution that will satisfy all of you and the Korean government as well.

The response comments were provided through the MPAK blog and also includes many emails and Facebook comments as well.  Some have responded with more than one category.
I recommended two solutions at the end of the report. 
1. Allow the travel by one of the parent.  If both wish to go this is an option.
2. Deal with the birthmother reconsideration period of 14 days ahead of the visits by the adoptive parents so they won't have to stay in Korea that long.  This also avoids the emotional and psychological impacts on the visiting parents while waiting in Korea for 3-4 weeks, unsure of whether they will be allowed to take their child home or not.
I want to thank all of you for so many valuable comments made in my blog, and thanks for participating in this effort together to make your voices known.


  1. Thank you MPAK team for putting this together! I've read the comments and know this was not an easy task.

    Do you know when the judges will be meeting to make a final decision?

  2. Thank you for your tireless efforts. I feel somewhat reassured just knowing MPAK is on our side.

  3. Thank you MPAK team for this. Steve, since you and your team are more familiar with Korean culture than most of us, I assume you will present this in a way that will reflex those differences? For example, if complaints about a sudden change in the policy because we were not told ahead of time will paint us as whiny Americans, maybe the emphasis should not be placed there. Maybe this type of sudden change is something that Koreans are used to, and the concept of “Grandfathering” is something they are not. I am just using this as an example but my point is that I think it is in everyone’s best interest for this to be painted in a way that will get us the results we want, as families just trying to bring our kids home,…not just to try to prove a point we may not win because of cultural differences. Even if the majority of folks are affected a certain way, you most likely know the aspects of this that may be the most effective arguments here when dealing with the cultural differences. Thanks again for everything!

  4. Thanks for the comment. I don't know whether culture has some impact on the concept of "Grandfathering". Korea can be flexible and reasonable regarding this. They can choose to accept or reject. We must however, recognize the sovereignty of a nation, and while we can voice our opinion, we are at their mercy whether they will listen or not. But your opinions were delivered in a manner that is proper and not offensive (or give an apperance of whining), and very direct and simple. But most of all, it carried reasonable explanations why the extended stay is too difficult for all.

    1. Thanks for explain that. Thank you Steve!

  5. We thank you and your helpers for compiling this! You are such a blessing! Something must be going down, because agencies were notified today that there would be no court appearance! Still no word on going back to BM or BP for another re-relinquishment document or them going to court.

  6. Good news, we were notified of this by our agency also!

  7. Thank you Steve, Denise, and Junhyung for your continued commitment to adoption. We are safely home with our son for almost a year and I can't imagine how these waiting families are coping. Best to you all.

  8. Thank you thank you thank you!! You and Denise and Junhyung and the rest of your team are amazing - I am so thankful for your advocacy and support!

  9. We received the great news from our agency about the travel. Thank you MPAK for working so hard to help make this happen!!

  10. Thank you MPAK for your hard work. It is a great relief to hear that the court travel has been cancelled.

  11. Our sincerest thanks to you and your staff. We are truly grateful for the time and effort you put into the summary in order for our voices to be heard. You are all angels. Many, many thanks!!

  12. Which agencies have provided updates?