Five Facts About Adopting from Korea Today

We know what you’re thinking… The Korea program? Didn’t Korea just pass a law slowing the adoption process? And doesn’t Korea now require families to travel twice to complete their adoption?

So give me one good reason why I should adopt from Korea?

That’s easy.

1. Because children in Korea still need loving families to adopt them.

Here’s four more facts to consider:

2. While the process has changed, the children have not! Although slightly older, children coming home to families are still toddler-age.

3. Like most other country programs, all children referred from Korea now have at least some health issues. But their conditions are often so minor that children are actually considered healthy in the U.S. Common conditions include prematurity, low birth weight or a minor heart murmur.

4. The Korea program now accepts older applicants! You and your spouse can proceed with the Korea process as long as your home study is approved before either of you turn 45.  If both of you are of full Korean heritage, you have until either of you turns 50 to have your home study approved.

5. The care children receive in Korea is second to none. While waiting to join an adoptive family, almost all children stay in the loving care of a foster family – providing nurturing, individual attention to help your child reach critical developmental milestones, and form healthy emotional attachments. Korea’s exceptional medical care system will also help keep your child healthy and strong while waiting to come home.

Although it’s true that families now have to travel twice to adopt from Korea, as a result, all children now come home on an IR3 Visa – meaning your child’s adoption will be final upon entering the U.S.

We recognize two trips is an extra financial burden. We also understand many families’ apprehension about starting the process during a time of change. We understand the sense of uncertainty that brings.

But one thing has not changed: many children in Korea are waiting, right now, to be matched with loving families! Our Korea program currently has very few families ready to be matched with a child. It’s true that timeframes from match to travel have temporarily lengthened. However, we are in such great need of families that once you apply and complete your homestudy – the current time it takes to be matched with a child is short. So get started as soon as possible!

The Korea program is still strong, and still moving. Most importantly, children are still coming home to families. In fact, last week, the first group of Holt families traveled to Korea to appear before the courts since the changes were implemented last year. In about a month, we expect for them to travel back to Korea to escort their children home!

For 57 years, Holt has been uniting children from Korea with loving adoptive families in the U.S. Although rumors of end times in Korean adoption have ebbed and flowed over the years, children from Korea have continued to find homes overseas at a steady, uninterrupted pace. Until all children can stay in the loving care of their birth families or join adoptive families in their birth country, we will continue to seek families for them through international adoption. Every child deserves to grow up in a loving family. That is our core belief.

To learn more about Holt’s Korea program, click here.

To learn more about Holt’s history and approach to international adoption, join us on June 25th for the webinar Holt Adoption 101. To register, click here.

Ready to move forward? Click here to apply online now.

3 Replies to “Five Facts About Adopting from Korea Today”

  1. Advocating for adoption is an awesome position and your four of your five reasons are admirable and portray an accurate picture. However, number five implies that because these children are in foster homes, the adoption experience will not be full of trauma and loss for them – that they will be “ok” with the attachment process. While this might be true, it also often times is not. Agencies who insinuate that adoption is not traumatic for the child do a huge dis-service to those children as families are often unprepared for the real face of adoption.

    It is so disappointing and upsetting to me that reputable agencies are selling these adoption situations as problem free.

  2. Thank you for your comment, Karen, and we apologize if it seems we are minimizing the challenges of international adoption or the trauma and loss that children experience when adopted internationally. We do take those issues very seriously, and address them in depth with families in parenting education classes and other forums. Our purpose in this piece is to advocate for children who need adoptive families. For that reason, we chose to focus on the positives — and for a child without a family whose only immediate alternative is institutional care, foster care is a tremendous positive. In foster care, children experience the attentive, personal love and affection that is so critical to mental, emotional and physical development. It is not a panacea. But because of Korea’s well-developed foster care programs, the vast majority of children adjust very well once home. That’s what we hoped to convey here. We appreciate your feedback, and hope this helps to address your concern.

  3. We adopted a brother and sister in 1984, ages 6 and 11.
    I cannot say that everything was great but I can say that we were elated with the support we got from Holt and the other “supporting cast”. Our daughter curled up in my lap on a regular basis for 4 years and cried for Korean Ohma. Yes, it was heart breaking but also a great way to bond. After all she did seek comfort from me (USA Ohma)and finally admitted that she wanted Korean Ohma to come and live with us because she couldn’t speak Korean any more. We had many great times as a family and realized early on that we were dealing with kid issues and not adoption issues. As our son said, our children are American kids who happen to have been adopted. We always encouraged talk of their Korean heritage and family and at Thanksgiving they will go together to Korea for the first time. Just happy to be a part of OUR family!

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