For many, adopting a child is the realisation of a lifelong dream. Many adoptive parents opt to adopt a child from countries such as South Korea. The process of adopting a child from South Korea can take as long as 4 years, so you must take the waiting period into consideration when deciding to adopt a child from South Korea.
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You must first hire a reputable adoption agency. The adoption agency you hire must be approved by the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs in Korea (see Resources below for a link to the South Korean embassy website).
After you’ve hired an adoption agency, you will be required to complete pre-adoption counselling in addition to having a homestudy completed.
Once you’ve completed your pre-adoption counselling, you will work with your adoption agency to prepare your dossier. The dossier will include such required documents as your completed homestudy, the birth certificates of both adoptive parents, Form I-864 (an affidavit of support) and Form I-797 (notice of petition approval).
After you’ve completed and submitted your dossier, you’ll generally have to wait approximately 5 months until your application is approved and you are assigned a child.
Upon acceptance of your adoption dossier, you will be assigned a specific child, whom you can accept or reject. You will receive information about that child, including his medical information, his background, his medical history and pertinent information about the birth mother’s pregnancy.
If you have accepted the child to whom you have been referred, you will complete the required paperwork, including a passport application and a visa application for your new child (see Resources below).
You have two options for bringing your child to the U.S.: You can travel to South Korea to pick her up and escort her home, or you can pay for an escort to bring your child to the U.S.
Tips and warnings
- Adopting from South Korea can be an extremely long process. If you’re adopting a special needs child who has been hard to place, expect the process to take approximately a year. However, if you want to adopt a healthy infant, you will likely have to wait between 3 and 4 years for the entire adoption process to take place.
- To be eligible to adopt from South Korea, you must have been married for at least 3 years and both spouses must be under the age of 45, unless that requirement is waived by South Korean officials. You must also have no more than 5 children, including the child you want to adopt.
- Single individuals are not eligible to adopt from South Korea.
- Expect to pay £5,850 to £6,500 in adoption costs.
- If you opt to have an escort bring your child home, you will have to meet your child at New York’s JFK International Airport or Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
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