Several of you have emailed me, or commented and asked questions on my previous blogs on why the EP process seems to have slowed down recently.
The EP process has not slowed down. It will continue, and there seems to be no real problem other than some information on adoptive parents were not in order and the agencies have been requested by the Ministry to provide additional data.
For the year 2013, by the end of June 30, 2013, there has been 250 domestic adoptions taken place this year in Korea. These adoptions were approved by the family court judges and finalized. However, there are additional 74 cases that have been submitted to the family court for approval by June 30, 2013. So there are 324 cases (250+74) submitted to the court, and represents all three adoption agencies submittals.
The Ministry, using their formula of 2/3 rule, will accept the EP applications from all three agencies, and that is 216 applications (2/3 of 324) for EP for the month of July. The 2/3 formula is not based on the final adoption ruling by the family court judges, but based on the number of cases submitted (or applied) to the court.
The Ministry will continue to use this formula, but I am told that they will be flexible and work with the agencies to come up with a solution if the agencies are not able to achieve their monthly objectives for domestic adoption. I'm just hoping that they will be flexible enough to reach this year's quota of 743 children by the end of the year.
So if the pace of domestic adoptions would have steady since the start of the year, and would continue at the same pace, that would mean 648 cases of domestic adoption applications submitted by the end of the year ( and 432 possible international adoptions). Thus almost 300 less than the quota.ReplyDelete
But what has been the actual pace of domestic adoptions? Did the adoptions through the family court really start in January or is the actual statistical pace based on fewer months?
The pace was really slow at the beginning, but the pace picked up much quicker and I believe the judges are pretty much on routine rythm. So I imagine it will be a lot higher by the end of the year, and they may even reach the goal. And the Ministry seems to be open to dialogue with the agencies on this issue.Delete
Is there any way to know the number of children currently matched for international adoption but waiting for EP? We are waiting for a referral and I am trying to understand if it could be years until a child referred to us may come home due to the bavklog.ReplyDelete
That sort of information can only come from the agencies, and I don't think they would go into that detail to release something proprietary. The bottom line answer is that I don't know.Delete
Hi Steve--helpful information--thanks. Given you had posted earlier in the spring there had been 22 domestic adoptions from the beginning of the year thru mid-April and now thru the mid-point in year we are at appreciably higher than that at 324 (around 130/mo. rate from mid-April thru 6/30). How much of this is de-bottlenecking of the domestic cases in court vs. true demand in domestic adoption?ReplyDelete
The judges at the family court has acknowledged the challenge of providing faster process, and they are doing all they can for now. What they need is more judges to handle the cases, that seems to be overwhelming for only four judges to handle. At least the court seems to recognize this.Delete
Steve--Just a follow-up. It looks like the courts approved 302 domestic cases over just the past 2.5 months. Would it be wrong to read that as mildly encouraging in terms of the rate of domestic adoptions picking back up post SAL? Said differently, is it reasonable to expect domestic adoptions could continue near this rate (roughly 130/month or 1560/annum if last 2.5 mos. are extrapolated) or did the courts just clear out a bunch of domestic cases that were stuck in the middle of the process and the domestic rate would abate? Thank you for helping clarify.Delete
I think it is an encouraging sign. The judges at the court has established a rythm of process and they are working hard. I hope they will add additional judges to speed up the process.Delete
Thanks, Steve, for your frequent updates. I very much appreciate it. Can you help clarify why the Ministry will be accepting applications for 216 EPs for the month of July? Wouldn't it be 216 EPs for the months of January through July since 324 domestic cases have been submitted to the Court? I know I don't have a good grasp of the formula so your insight would be helpful. Thank you.ReplyDelete
The court has pretty much handled the EPs that were released in the year 2012, and they just now finished with it at the end of June. So in July the Ministry will accept the EP applications for the cases that have been waiting since January/February this year. However, there have already been 18 or so intercountry adoptions finalized by the court at the end of June as well, but mainly the 2012 EPs had to be cleared first.Delete
Just an FYI. Several agencies are reporting that the courts are going on vacation from July 29-Aug 11. Not sure how this will impact cases being heard. I'm assuming that's why no July cases were scheduled. Not sure if court will still assign dates in judges absence or not but many don't have court dates from Jan/Feb EP approvals. Also to throw another wrench in the timing, there is the Korean Hiliday mid September. I wonder if there will only be late Aug court dates or if there will be early September dates scheduled still. Or if they won't schedule any till late September now?ReplyDelete
You are correct on the dates when the judges will be on vacation. I know there are a few court hearing cases at the end of August (23rd to 30th)Delete
What is the timeframe of when the 324 domestic cases were submitted to Court? Was it between 8/2012-7/2013 or 1/2013-7/2013?
I hope more children waiting for loving homes are able to join their families soon.
I think the time frame is Jan - Jun 2013.Delete
Just to give you and others an idea about timelines. We received word on Tuesday of this week that our little boy's visa is "about to be processed" and that we could expect to travel in 4-6 months. We were matched with him in June of 2012. Thanks for keeping everyone updated with this site. Very helpful.
4-6 months seems like a long time to process the visa. Did you by any chance mean that your EP is about to be submitted, because the 4-6 month timeline would seem accurate for that.Delete
We were matched in early May 2012, and we were just told that the Korean adoption agency had "requested our documents for EP filing." No word on when they would be filed, or when to expect to travel...Delete
We're in the same situation, we were told about a month ago that our paperwork was being prepped for EP submission, but we're currently still waiting for the news that it has been submitted (hopefully soon). We got our referral in March 2012 and have an early April 2012 ATK (acceptance paperwork sent to Korea) date.Delete
We haven't been given a definitive timeline, but 4 months from EP submission to actually coming home as a family seems about right given the many steps. Hence being anxious to hear we've been submitted.
Just wanting to share the happy news that our EP paperwork was submitted to the MOHW today :) Not sure how many other families are receiving good news today but I know that everyone in process is usually happy to hear of any movement so I thought I would share.Delete
Hannah Joy - Congratulations! Hope you'll continue to share your progress here. We are (hopefully) about a month behind you...Delete
Hannah Joy - Yes. Sorry. The EP is about to be submitted. Was in a hurry typing. And congratulations to you!Delete
Are you expecting that there will be EP submissions every month since it sounds as though there is a monthly quota? We were really hoping to see a July submission.ReplyDelete
Hi Steve - first I want to say thank you for providing all of your assistance in communicating much needed info, especially for those of us in the midst of the adoption process. I have a question for you - I was reading excerpts from the controversial new book "The Child Catchers," and in the last chapter which focuses on Korean adoption, the author states that "In 1994 a quota system was implemented to make the number of international adoptions agencies were allowed to broker dependent on the number of (much less lucrative) domestic adoptions they completed first." So this policy has been around since then and that it has only recently been made public? Just curious, because I had perceived this policy as "new," but it seems it may have been in existence for quite some time. Thanks for any insight that have regarding the history/implementation of this policy.ReplyDelete
Yes, it has been going on for many years, but the current requlation is different under the special adoption law. In the old days, there was no 2/3 rule (2/3 of the domestic level), but different rules with differetn ratio, as the intercountry adoption was still higher up to the year 2007 when the intercountry adoption was lowered below that of domestic. Even then the ratio rule was different.Delete
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