I have the latest number of adoptions as of 9/30/13. There was no data available for October or November, yet. But as of 9/30/13, there have been approximately 490 domestic adoptions, and 140 intercountry adoptions completed.
As of 11/30/13, the total number of domestic adoption cases submitted to the family court is around 650. Based on this number the EPs can be submitted to the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) for intercountry adoption. Using the 2/3 rule, this would be around 430, the number submitted to MOHW for application for the EPs. Of course the significant portion the 430 EPs have already been approved and many have been submitted to the family court for the finalization.
The big question is, how many more EPs can MOHW accept and process while their office is slated to move to the Sejong City on December 13th and will last at least a week or so. I asked my source whether this means all the adoption process by MOHW is essentially over for the year. I was told that it isn't over, as MOHW stated that they will still try to process as many as they can before the year is over.
The new director at MOHW (whom I have met in Korea) is being praised for taking the issue of the EP approval seriously and being much more agressive and prompt with the process, but he sticks to the rule and does not bend easily I am told. But he is much more effective in getting the number of EPs approved.
My source tells me that the domestic adoption application to the family court will exceed 700 this year, thus allowing a room for 465 or so intercountry EPs accepted by MOHW. However, one must be aware that it takes time for MOHW to clear all the EPs, and many of them won't be approved until early 2014. But the thinking is that all the EPs accepted by MOHW in 2013 will count as the total number of intercountry adoptions from Korea this year.
I am hopeful that the application for domestic adoption will reach 750, thus giving 500 EPs for intercountry adoption this year. While 500 is way short of the initial quota of 743 set for the year 2013, the speed has picked up quite a bit lately under the new director, and for the judges the process has now become more of a routine process for them.
Thanks for the update, Steve. Any word on how assignment of court dates is going? We've been waiting a little over 3 weeks since our court papers were submitted. I'd also be interested in anyone else's recent experiene with court dates. For anyone interested, here is our timeline so far: Accepted referral early May 2012. EP submitted Aug 29, 2013. EP approved Nov 1. Court papers submitted Nov 11.ReplyDelete
I heard anywhere between 4 - 6 weeks after your submission that you would get a court date. So you are pushing very close to the Christmas time. Perhaps a great Christmas gift awaits you. Hang in there.Delete
David, thanks for including your timeline. We are still waiting for our papers to be submitted to court so are a step behind you. Our EP was approved Nov 13th. Steve, thank you for all of your hard work and for your great blog!!ReplyDelete
Our EP was submitted on August 14.
It was approved October 24.
Court summons issued a few days later on November 11.
We leave Monday for Seoul. Our court date is December 17.
Hope you'll be on your way soon.
We got our court date yesterday - January 22. Two other families from our "EP group" got their dates last week - January 21. So for those of you keeping track, that's 3-4 weeks from court paper submission to summons, and another 6-7 weeks to the court appearance. We're excited to finally be travelling!ReplyDelete
Congratulations! Thanks for the information as well. Thats' close to what I heard from others, that is, about 10 weeks from the time you get summons to court appearance. Have a safe travel.Delete
Thanks for the information everyone! It's nice to see how the timeline is playing out!ReplyDelete
Hopefully this momentum can continue into 2014. It is great to hear that these children are coming home with their families.ReplyDelete
Steve and friends,ReplyDelete
We met our little guy today. A great day indeed. We had lunch with our agency director at Eastern. She said that even under the new law, things are picking up speed. They are very happy with the new crew in charge of EP submissions. Though the new law has been frustrating, she anticipates that the process will continue to accelerate. Great news for everyone. We walked through the nursery at our agency to view the babies. Frankly, I was aghast. Over 50 babies under one year. All needing homes. Say a prayer for them and that the new system will be improved to their benefit in 2014.
LF27, thanks for the information. Have a great time in Korea, and pray that all those babies in care would go home quickly. Under the old law those babies would all be growing up in families.Delete
Do you anticipate the 2014 EP process to be more routine? For example, do you expect them to continue working on the EP process throughout the year (with the understanding of the domestic adoption impact on international adoption) as opposed to taking many months off at the beginning of 2014?
I think so. 2013 was a challenging year for all - MOHW, the judges, the agencies, and the adopting parents, but most damaging to all the children. I am hoping that the rythm has now been set, and should move the EP process quicker.Delete
Thank you for all your updates it seems like it is the only information we are able to hold on to while waiting. We accepted the referral for our little boy in Aug.2012 and got our EP submitted in Aug 2013 we were approved Oct 31st and are still waiting to be submitted to the courts for a court date. Our agency has no information on why we are still waiting to be submitted to the court. I am very sad about the way our process has went I can only hope that we will get submitted to court soon so we can move forward.
I am just hearing that those EPs that were approved in Aug 2013 are now having court dates. So if you were approved for Oct 31st, then two more months of waiting might happen. So hang in there and hopefully you will be asked to travel by end of Jan or Feb 2014.Delete
This comment has been removed by the author.Delete
Nous sommes un couple français et nous attendons aussi pour aller notre petit garçon. Notre EP a été présenté le 14 aout et a été accordé le 31 Octobre. Nous attendons maintenant une date pour l audience et le temps nous parait très long aussi!
I wish I knew French. Sorry I don't understand. If there are those that know French, you are more than welcome to translate this for me. Bonjour.Delete
I can try in english but sorry i am not sure it will be ok. We live in France and we are waiting our son since april 2012. Our EPsubmitted in august 2013 and approuved 31th October. Now we're waiting....and it's long, so long. Another french couple go back home since 2 weeks.They have approuved 13th july!
I know it's very complicate since the new loy and we hope leave france to Korea in january.
Thanks a lot for your blog, it's comforting for us.
Sophie, your English is quiet good. It appears that you are very close to getting your son. Just hang in there and you should get a court date soon. Wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!ReplyDelete
I really appreciate all of the information you share with us. We received the referral for our little boy in August 2013, and the EP was submitted on October 14, 2013. We are still waiting for the EP approval. Any idea if we will have our EP approved over the next two weeks (before the end of 2013)? It will be 3 years since our application date on January 10, 2014, an extremely long time! Thank you again!
Pam, it appears you are at the cusp of being approved for your EP. If not this year, certainly early next year. Keep hoping and hang in there. Happy New Year!Delete
We are currently in the same boat as jrpaulsen, EP submitted August and approved on Oct 31st and awaiting to be submitted to court. We are still debating whether or not we'll be making one trip or two trips to Korea. We, ideally, would like to make one trip, but if our stay is longer than 5 weeks, it wouldn't be feasible. We have heard that the judges usually ask how long we are planning to stay in Korea. Does it help if the judges know we are planning to stay until all the paperwork is complete? Do you know if they expedite their process at all with that in mind?
Tom, I think it may encourage the judge to expedite knowing that you will be there, but not sure on this. Most couples make two trips as most of them cannot get away from their works for such a long time, or more importantly from their other children. But if you are able to stay for 5 weeks, I'm pretty certain that you will be able to bring your child home, barring any unforseen technicality. Best wishes.Delete
Thanks Steve. I think we'll try to do one trip and see how it goes. It is comforting to know that the French couple Sophie mentioned was able to visit their child twice a week. If we are able to visit weekly, the longer stay in korea will still be worthwhile to us in the end.Delete
Our EP was approved at the end of October and we got the information that our case was submitted to the court last week. Now we really hope to travel in February. We are also thinking to make only one trip but our agency told us that the whole process will take probably between 6 to 8 weeks. That would be difficult. Is there anyone who stayed during the whole process in Korea and who can share his experience with us?
I just had a couple, they are both lawyers, and they stayed the whole time. The husband is a Korean-American, and has relatives in Korea, so it is not a fair comparison, but at least a timeline wise they may be able to help share their experiences. I believe they are on their way back to the States, and I'll ask them. Happy New Year.Delete
Thank you. We really want to stay during the process in Korea and it would be nice to get a timeline or all other information which will help us during that time.
Happy New Year
The swedish families all makes just one trip. So far almost all are able to go through the process in 4 weeks. They are all able to meet their child several times during those weeks.ReplyDelete
Thank you for sharing, that is interesting to know.Delete
I live in France and we have EP since October 31th, we are waiting for a date. Another french couple have adopted a little boy in november and they have stayed in Séoul during 6 weeks. It's difficult staying so long...but it's also difficult to pay two trips..In france the association advise only one trip!
You can stay and have a little appartement or a room in "stay Korea". You can consult the site.My english is not perfect! but i can try to help you if you have some questions about the trip.
Thank you for your help. Are you planning to stay in Korea during the whole process? We got our EP the 24th October and our case was submitted to the court last week. It looks like we are close to each other. Has your case already been submitted to the court?
I can imagine that it would be difficult to stay a long time in Korea. At the other hand, it would be more difficult to meet our child and than leave thereafter.
How often did the French family meet their child during the process? When could they take their child with them?
I wish you a Happy New Year
First, happy new year! We don't know when our case was submitted because our association in France say anything....and it's difficult to understand that!. We would like to stay during all the process in Korea even if it's complicated for job and financially. The other french familly have seen their son twice a week but they asked a lot. I believe that in Korea judges don't like when we asked something a lot but it's important for parents to see their child. The trip is long and what can we do during 6 weeks, we want to be together!
The french couple arrived in Seoul 16th October, the meet with judges was 25th october and the final decision was 15th novembre (approximately) and their son was with us the 21th. they came back in france 29th November. I think it's different for USA and France and for the othesr countries but it's always song for parents.
Well, I hope that it could help you and perhaps we will meet you in Séoul!!
Do you know if the visits with the child are arranged through the agency or through the court? It looks like we have the same date for EP Approval (Oct 31st). We still have not heard anything about court submission yet, have you? It's been 9 weeks now! It's been such a difficult wait.Delete
I think that the visits with the child are arranged through the agency and not the court.I understand it's long but we must be patient now...ReplyDelete
Has anyone seen any movement with EPs or court dates for January or February, now that January is quickly coming to an end? We are hoping to have our EP submitted to the MOHW any day now.ReplyDelete
MANY Swedish families are in Seoul or on their way with resently received travel calls. Court dates spsnning from Jan 28to Feb 18 so far. All through SWS and some with referral early Sept 13ReplyDelete
Our EP was just submitted to the MOHW on 1/23 Yay! So there is movement. We received our referral way back in Dec. 2012. If anyone has recent experience about the time between EP referral and EP approval, and/or between EP approval and court date, we would love to hear!ReplyDelete
Wow, that's great!! Our assignment to Korea date is Dec 2012 as well so that's great news! Which Korean agency are you with, if I can ask? We are with Eastern. Thanks so much for the update!ReplyDelete
We are with Eastern as well. I bet you will hear soon!Delete
My EP was submitted 10/14. We were approved 11/14. Other cases were submitted and approved much more quickly than that though. One turn around time for EP approval was 14 days.ReplyDelete
We are waiting to be submitted to court...not sure why that's taken so long.
For anyone wondering, we were submitted to court yesterday.Delete
That's fantastic!! Congrats!!Delete
Thanks! I will be sure to update this thread when I hear news of a court date. I don't expect that for awhile though.ReplyDelete
We got our court date on 11th of March. It took almost 4 weeks after being submitted to court.
Good luck and I hope everybody will get good news very soon.
This comment has been removed by the author.Delete
Hi, sorry.. was trying to edit the previous post.Delete
We got our court date on the 21st of March. It was about 4 weeks after being submitted to court as well.
We'll be taking one trip. How about your family?
We decided last week to stay during the whole process in Korea.
So maybe we are going to meet you in Korea during this long time.....
We are sure to cross paths! Do you mind if we exchange emails?Delete
This comment has been removed by the author.Delete
I am happy for you, even if i think it's a long time before to go Seoul. I don't understand why it's so long. The separation until ours childs and theirs nurses will be more difficult. I have the impression that nobody think about that.
But it's a very good new for you and now you can prepare your trip.
We wait our date also...every day I say to myself: it's today! perhaps tomorrow???
Good luck everybody
Yes it is very long but don't loose confidence. I'm sure you will get news very soon.
Please let me know....
We've been doing a lot of research lately on timing from a match to travel, and we're getting pretty nervous on the amount of time this is taking. We were matched Sep, 2013 to our son who is now 16 months old as of Feb. What has been the average time in your experience from a match to actually receiving a court date and traveling?
Thanks so much!
I can't go by the average, but I was matched in 09/2012 and we are still waiting for our court date (submitted to court at the end of 01/2014). Our son is just over two. I do think I've been waiting a tad longer than the average family though, although I'm not sure what the hold up is. Lots of families are waiting for a court date at the moment.Delete