Holt Korea Adoption Process
This brief summary provides a basic outline of our Korea adoption process.
Apply to Holt
Holt staff carefully reviews the information in your application to determine that you meet Holt, U.S., and Korean adoption requirements before you begin the adoption process to ensure you will be able to successfully complete it.
Approval takes 3 – 4 days
During this 2-4 month process, you will work with either a Holt branch office or a trusted Holt partner. Your social worker will help guide you in exploring issues, in-depth, related to being an adoptive family – such as your motivations, concerns and strengths as potential adoptive parents.
If you live in a state where Holt does not have a branch office, you will need to select one of our co-operating local service agency for your state.
File for USCIS pre-approval I-600A:
This takes place after homestudy approval
Approval from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is required in order to bring a child from another country into the U.S. as an immediate relative
Wait for a Referral – How matching happens
Children Eligible for international adoption will have at least some noted birth history in their medical file often referred to as, "normal neonatal conditions" which are not considered "special needs". Families who apply to adopt through the standard process will be matched with a child who has a least one noted normal neonatal condition in their birth history. Neonatal conditions include jaundice, prematurity, low birth weight, minor heart murmur, and reported minor alcohol or tobacco use during pregnancy. These children match by a social worker at Holt Children's Services in Korea, a separate but closely tied organization to Holt International Children's Services in the U.S.
Korea also releases many children who will be matched by the Holt staff here in Eugene. Generally, these children will have a combination of specials needs and/or some type of unknown condition. We are able to match the majority of these children directly with families who have an approved homestudy on file with the Korea program. Children with more involved medical needs often need extra help finding families. These children we feature on the Holt photolisting.
You will have the opportunity to review your child’s social and medical history prior to deciding if you would like to formally accept the referral. Holt strongly encourages families to consult with a pediatrician who is familiar with international adoption prior to making a decision. Upon your acceptance of the child referral, you will be provided with a few documents to make your acceptance formal.
Legal Process begins to bring your child home
The legal process to bring your child home begins once your initial acceptance paperwork is received in Korea. Overall this process takes approximately 12-18 months.
Complete a dossier
Holt Korea will request that families complete a dossier. Once this is completed the dossier will be sent to Korea to be translated and prepared to be submitted to obtain an Emigration Permit (EP) for your child.
After you are matched with a child, Holt Korea will send us your child’s legal documents and you will file for I-600 with USCIS.
Emigration Permit (EP) Approval
Once your child’s EP is approved, your case will be forwarded to the Korean Courts. You will be informed when your case has been submitted to court.
Once an appearance date has been scheduled you will be contacted to begin making arrangements for your first trip to Korea. The presence of both adoptive parents at the court is required. This trip is in average of 7 days.
Courts Issue Final Decree
After the hearing, the court in Korea will issue its final ruling on your case. Once the final decree is received, you will be contacted to begin making arrangements for your second trip to Korea. On average, the time between the 1st and 2nd trip is 4 to 5 weeks.
You will attend the Visa Interview during your second trip. Once the U.S. Embassy has issued your child’s visa, typically 48 hours after your interview, you may return to the United States with your child. This trip is an average of 5 days.
Post Placement Visits
After your child's arrival home, you will be contacted by the social worker who did your home study to set up post-placement visits. The Korean Government requires a minimum of six visits to occur during your first year home with your child — at one, two, three, six, nine and 12 months. Additional visits may be required by your state of residence.
Citizenship & Re-finalization
Because the adoption is made final by the Korean Family court, children arrive home on an IR3 Visa and they will receive automatic citizenship. Families should receive their Certificate of Citizenship (COC) directly after their arrival. We recommend families re-finalize the adoption to change the legal name of their child and have the COC re-issued or amended with the child’s new legal name.
Your direct social worker and homestudy agency will assist you in the process of re-finalization as legal requirements vary from state to state.