Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Korea Update - The Issue on the Travel Requirements

I made a couple of calls to Korea last night to find out what the status is regarding the adoption process for those waiting families that are adopting children from Korea.  I am sorry to say that the news is not good for now.  I am somewhat reluctant in sharing this, but you have to know what is going on and be prepared for it.

It has to do with the travel requirements, which will strain and burden many adoptive families, especially those with children in their care already.  The travel is necessary for the parents to go over to pick up their children and finalize adoption in Korea before the judges of the Family Court.  They (the agencies) are predicting that adoptive parents can expect to wait 3 – 4 weeks in Korea while adoption is being finalized.  Today I spoke with a friend of mine who was adopting from Puerto Rico, and he was told that he and his wife had to be in Puerto Rico for six weeks.  So this wait is not unique to Korea apparently.
The great bulk of this waiting is due to the reconsideration period requirement of 14 days.  During this time the parents are expected to be in Korea, at least that is the latest policy, but the agencies will be meeting with the judges and lawyers to discuss the impact that this regulation would have upon the visiting parents in terms of their time and expenses, not to mention the impacts upon the other children in the families.
Once the adoptive parents stand before a judge to interview through a process of questions and answers, and if the judge finds the parents acceptable based on all the paper works submitted and reviewed, then the judge declares adoption to go forward and the 14-day waiting period begins.  This waiting period is designed to give chance to birthmothers to take back their children should they change their minds.
Birthmothers will not be present during the time when the adoptive parents stand before the judge.  However, a separate inquiry will be made by the court beforehand to confirm birthmothers’ intention of giving up their children.  Even if a birthmother confirms her intention to give up the baby, the judge will issue the 14-day waiting period when the prospective adoptive parents stand before a judge.  After the 14-day reconsideration period is over, then the judge finalizes adoption and grants the parents to take the child home. 
As of now, there are still some adoptions that have not been finalized based on 2012 quota.  In other words, the 2012 quota has not been met and it is close to March 2013.  There are about half dozen cases where EP has been granted and these cases are still being processed by the Family Court.  There are another half dozen cases that are still waiting to receive the EP approvals, and another half dozen that are waiting to be submitted to start the EP approval process.  These cases are all from the 2012 quota and they cover all three agencies.  I don’t have the breakdown on the number of cases belonging to a particular agency.
So the intercountry adoption picture gets uglier due to the Special Adoption Law, which seems to focus on giving the birthmothers as much chance as possible for them to raise their own children.  Nobody can deny the well-intentioned purpose of the law, but the reality just does not support it.  What concerns me is that some of these birthmothers may decide on a moment to raise their children, but once the reality and hardship strikes them on their everyday lives, they may give up their babies later.  There have been many in the past where the birthmothers gave up their children as they realized that raising children requires a lot of commitment and sacrifice that they were not prepared for. 
It is entirely possible that during the 14-day waiting period some birthmothers may decide to take back their babies (just got an email today from a woman where this has just recently happened to her).  Some may last longer than 14 days, but some will give up before the 14-day period is over.  In this case the patience of the waiting parents may be rewarded. 
But for now, I wish to turn to you folks who are reading this blog.  I wish to compile a list of reasons why the 3-4 weeks wait in Korea may be too hard on you.  I wish to submit a compiled list to the Family Court and see if something can be done to shorten the wait.  The judges and lawyers in the court need to hear your voice. 
Some of the hardships I have already mentioned.  You may ask, “Can just one of the parents travel while the other takes care of the family?” or “Is there a way to shorten the waiting period if a birthmother is very sure of her decision?” or “I have a limited vacation days and this travel requirement is too difficult.”  You may submit your comments along this line, and I am looking for some reasons that will really project the hearts and mind of all the waiting parents who are caught in this mess, and hopefully the powers that be in Korea will listen, and reach a favorable compromise that will work for all.

134 comments:

  1. This is so very disheartening. This is our third adoption from Korea, and while I appreciate the change in policy and moving forward to continue to be a stable country to adopt from, this is a very very hard pill to swallow now.

    One of the reasons we choose Korea and felt comfortable about returning there for a second and now a third adoption, was partly due to the travel requirements.

    This adoption we were/are not planning on taking our two sons (4 and 3) back to Korea. I think it's very unfair to make families who signed up under the idea that travel would be 3-5 days now extend that to 3-4 WEEKS. My husband CANNOT be off work that much and we will not be away from our adopted sons for that long either. I honestly do not know what we will do if this stands.

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  2. As a family who has adopted three Korean children and are waiting on our fourth this travel requirement will impact our family in the following way. We have a nonverbal, autistic seven year old who was adopted from Korea. He can only be with my husband or myself. He can not express any of his needs verbally. I have always traveled with a friend and my husband has taken care of our SN child. We both can not leave him for three to four weeks. We are an active duty military family of 22 years. My husband can not be away from his duty for that length of time. His command will not allow this - what is the govt thinking?

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  3. Many families are in a situation in which one parent cannot take off this much time. My husband would lose his job. We signed up for this program knowing in country requirements were one week, and having families switch to this new requirement will be a huge burden, especially those in process either waiting for referrals or awaiting EP submission. Families in process should be grandfathered in, as rules changing midstream really cause hardship and potentially will mean some families cannot continue in the program, which is a true disservice to the children waiting.

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  4. It comes down to financials for us... Unpaid leave from work and additional exorbitant travel expense. Plus a child I can not leave behind here for a month as she is to young.

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  5. I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around traveling to Korea and spending an excruciating 14 days waiting to see if my child will actually get to come home with me. Can't BMs be afforded a 14 day grace period prior to families spending the thousands of dollars to get to Korea? Haven't BMs already had months, or in most of our cases, years, to change their minds?

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  6. Here are some of our personal reasons why this would be a huge burden for our family:

    - We cannot leave our other children home that long
    - Yet, we cannot afford to bring other children along.
    - Raising the additional funds in this short of a time frame is logistically not possible. The expense of living overseas 4 weeks is exponentially greater than 1 week.
    - For those who own their own business (like we do), being away that long is also not logistically possible and will impact income.

    Some other thoughts:
    - This will cause unnecessary strain on currently adopted Korean children who may suffer attachment issues from one (or both) parents being absent that long.
    - The 14 day period could easily be fulfilled prior to travel. Why must it go into effect after adoptive parents go to court?
    - A court appearance doesn't seem necessary based on the immigration process. We have an I600, so it ultimately requires finalization in a local court. Won't this requirement mean we need to change to an I800?
    - How will they locate and contact all the birth mothers?

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    1. An I800 means a Hague country and I600 means non-Hague. You can finalize in-country with an I600. It is just that the child travels home with a different visa and is a citizen as soon as the child enters the US.

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    2. At what point does the visa class have to be determined? Is there different paperwork for an IR3 than and IR4 to be filed with USCIS, or can the US Consul make that determination at the time of visa issuance?

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  7. Having to travel to meet a child only to wait to be told the birth mother changed her mind after we traveled seems a completely unecessary hardship on everyone involved!


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  8. Here are some issues related to having prospective adoptive families stay 3-4 weeks in Korea:

    * Travel cost, particularly as they relate to lodging & food, will add a substantial financial burden to adoptive families. If families need to bring their other children with them, this further increases costs.

    * Jobs - Many families have limited vacation time. Even if the parents can take FLMA, this is unpaid. It is not always possible for both parents to be away from work for this long due to the nature of their jobs (e.g. military, self employed, etc). Even if an employer does permit this amount of time away, this will likely eat up a good portion of one or both parents parental leave, leaving very little time for them to be at home with the child prior to returning to work once they return to the US.

    * Families - Many families have other children in the home. If the parents are needed in Korea for 3-4 weeks, where do the other children go? If they are school age, it may not be possible to bring them to Korea for this entire time. Some families have children who for other reasons such as medical issues cannot travel or be left with others easily. Others have children that are too young to be left for that amount of time. Even if families are able to bring their other children to Korea, this will add to the cost. If they must stay home, this creates a burden on adoptive families for child care. It is one thing to leave children with a trusted friend or family member for a week; it is another thing to leave them for 3-4 weeks.

    * Waiting Period - This is very late in the process for a 14 day waiting period. Is there any way for this to be moved up in the process? We recognize the need for the birth mother (family) to be very sure this is what she/they want to do, but why doesn't this happen much earlier in the process such as during the 5 month period before referral? If it cannot happen pre-referral, can't it be moved to pre-travel? The timing of this waiting period is particularly burdensome as it not only lengthens the time in country but having this happen once the family is already in Korea and the birth mother changes her mind at this late point in the process, it will be a financial impact to the prospective adoptive family as the prospective adoptive family has already incurred the high cost of extended travel. The long duration of this waiting period greatly extends travel requirements.

    * Age of children - Children are typically now in care for an extended period of time. They are toddlers. If a birth mother chooses to parent and then changes their mind, the child is even older when they re-enter the process, making it that much harder to family find for the child and that much harder for the transition. One also wonders about whether or not they would be able to remain in foster care if this were to occur or if they would then be transferred due to their ages to institutional care.

    * If the waiting period happens after the long/extended wait from referral to travel (1+ years) and the birth mother then chooses to parent, some parents who close to aging out of the Korea program will have become ineligible to adopt from Korea by the time they are re-matched and begin the wait to placement again. Moving the waiting period up in the process seems much more compassionate and would still have the same outcome (i.e. giving the birth mother the opportunity to change her mind).

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  9. Steve, as always, thanks for the update. I just can't seem to make sense of any of this. The Korean legislatures discussed the implementation of the new law for months before it was implemented last August. The family court was on notice that they will be conducting review of international adoption cases since August. They had 6 months to prepare for how they would process international adoptions. They have been sitting on cases from 2012 for about 2-3 months now. And, just now, they are proposing to implement a completely new travel requirement. Logically, speaking, they need to consider giving people notice before making such drastic changes. Many of us, including me, who have been waiting to pick up our child for over a year now, were never on notice that such a change would even be a possibility. Why are they springing on this change when they have had months to consider options. This is very poor management and process of law. They should at least exempt those of us who have been waiting under the old system.

    As far as our hardship - we simply cannot afford to be on leave for the for 2 weeks or more. I may be able to swing it, but my husband recently took a new job and he is unable to take many days off.

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  10. Thank you so much for the information - as depressing and frustrating as it is. We have a 3 year old son who was adopted from Korea and a referral for a little girl who turns one in a few days.
    Here are the issues we see for our family:
    1. Extended time away from our son or not having time to devote 100% of our attention to our daughter. We had planned on leaving our son in the US so that we could devote all of our attention to our daughter in those critical first few days. But I can't imagine leaving my 3 year old for nearly a month. I don't see a good solution for those with other children, especially younger ones.
    2. Less time once we are home to bond and attach before returning to work. US Law guarantees 12 weeks of FMLA, but that is the max I have available to take off before I need to return to work. My husband was planning on taking 3 or 4 weeks off. Every day we are in Korea is a day we are not at home, helping our daughter adjust to her new life and new family, before putting her into daycare. For my son, I needed every one of those 11 weeks I had at home with him before we were both ready for me to go to work, and I definitely needed my husband home for the first few weeks. I can't imagine only have 8 or 9 weeks at home before having to drop off our daughter in the morning and go to work.
    3. Financial. Obviously staying in Korea for that much longer is an enormous increase in the finances we are expected to pay. If we bring our son (and perhaps a grandparent to help with him?) that is an extra plane ticket or two, not to mention the hotel, food, etc., etc. while we are in Korea.
    4. Uncertainty. I don't think you can overstate how stressful this whole situation is for prospective families, and for the kids already at home (many adopted from Korea!) Happy and secure parents are better parents. A predictable process enables us to best prepare the kids at home for their new role as a big brother or sister. The sooner we can feel confident in the process, the better it will be for everyone.

    Finally, I just have to add a thought about the birth mother waiting period. I firmly believe birth mother's should have all the time and support they need before they relinquish their children, and absolutely support a period of time where they can change their minds - weeks or even months. But the birth mothers of kids referred for international adoption have already had months and even years between the time of relinquishment and the time of our showing up in Korea. What do they hope to gain by the added 14 days? And what possible benefit is there to having the adoptive parents in country, worrying and miserable, during those 14 days?

    Thanks again for all your work and insight.

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  11. We brought are son home last year at 20 months old, At the time of referral, 7 months, the agency reached out to locate the birthmother because of a unique situation in our case we thought that she may have the desire to stay in contact. They could not locate her. How do they plan on locating all of the birth mothers involved, some of which just want to put the pain of relinquiishment behind them.

    The economy here in the USA is suffering. How can families risk employment, clients, customer loss after paying the fees for the adoption process while still making sure they have enough financial security to provide for the children and the medical needs that some have?

    How can parents leave their children in the USA while traveling to Korea and staying for 3-4 weeks and how could they bring their other children with them and pull them out of schooling for that period of time? No solution would benefit the children already in the home.

    I am all for children remaining with their birthmothers first, within an adoptive family in Korea second and as a last option coming to America. However, children are currently coming home around two years of age. Wouldnt that be an ample amount of time to decide to parent? Why would that decision be left to the 14 days that the parents are in Korea, especially since the adoptive parents would have been matched with the child for about one year at that point?

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  13. I heard rumors of this for a few days now and I'm just so frustrated. We chose Korea because our first adoption was from Korea and it went smoothly and we were in Korea for just 3 days. At the time, my husband got 2 weeks paternity leave. He wanted to come home ASAP so we could bond with our new son.

    This process has been absolutely horrible. All the additional paperwork they've requested at random times, the additional fees we've spent due to these requests. The uncertainty and the long painful waiting. As expensive and time consuming all the requests got, we just sucked it up because we wanted to bring our baby (now toddler) home.

    We are in the final stretch in that our EP has been approved by the MHOW, we are waiting to be submitted to the family courts.

    But this, this is just too much! 3-4 weeks in Korea (even 2 weeks in Korea) is not possible for my family for several reasons:

    1. My husband gets two weeks vacation a year. He's already used up half of this. Some of the days were to take care of our son while I went to Korea to visit our child. He already asked his supervisor about the possibility of leaving for 2 weeks and he was not happy about it. If he has to leave for 3-4 week, he might as well pack up his office as he won't be welcomed back.

    2. Even if they require just one parent to be in Korea for that long, we cannot do it. We have a school aged son who cannot miss 2-4 weeks of school. My husband's work hours don't allow for him to drop off our son at school AND pick him before his after school program closes. We don't have family close by who can help with any of this.

    3. Financially we cannot afford to stay in Korea for 2-4 weeks.

    If this becomes mandatory, we don't have a choice but to drop out of the program. They made this last minute change and it's unfair. We've done everything they've asked! But this is just something my family and I cannot do.

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    1. Yes - unfortunately and depending on the circumstances this would be our decision as well. Adoption is for enhancing your family, not destroying it.

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  14. Dear Mr. Morrison,

    Can you please clarify the reconsideration period for birthmothers? Many of us are receiving referrals for children in foster care who are older than one year. In theory, wouldn't the birthmother have had one/two years to reconsider before this court date?

    A longer trip with the new process will mean:
    -delays for our children in coming home, increasing their time in foster care
    -unpaid leave from work, decreasing the available time to spend with our child once home (using up FMLA)
    -ill-feelings from employers over taking time
    -hardship on family members left at home / expenses of childcare for family during travel
    -the increased expense of the actual trip
    -the psychological hardship of placing strain on our family/job for this trip, given the possibility of a birthmother's reconsideration

    Thank-you for all of your communication and your advocacy.

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  15. As a parent of a child with major medical issues adopted through the Waiting Child program, the additional wait time prior to placement had a significant negative impact to my child's health/medical condition. Delays and waiting periods that this late point in the process also have a negative impact to the children in care, especially those with medical concerns.

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  16. I am a mother of 3 children. 2 of the 3 children are school age. My husband and I were anxiously awaiting a referral through the Korea program. I now am unsure if we will continue. We want to but when chosing to adopt we carefully selected a program that would work for our family. The reasons we may not be able to continue are all due to the New Special Adoption Law.
    -I just flat our refuse to be away from my children for more than a week. We picked the Korea program due to the short travel time.
    -Since 2 of our chlidren are in school we can not pull them out of school to travel to Korea for a week. It would be too hard for them to be with out us for a month- we do not have anyone to watch them that long of a period.
    -My husband recently took a new and only has 5 days of vacation for the 1st couple years. He would be unable to go.
    -Cost- the program price already had risen since we have waited. Now not only the cost of the increased program but the cost of each of us not working for 3-4 weeks along with a hotel/food for that long would be too hard on our family.
    -I am unsure if I can tell our 3 children that they have a little brother/sister and allow them to wait for over a year only to be told at the end that either the court does not find us acceptable as parents or that the birthmother has decided to parent. I beleive these decisions can and should be made prior to a child being put up for international adoption and before a trip is made.
    -Even if we pulled our kids from school and came up with the money to all go to Korea- who will tell my 5 year old daughter that the sibling we came to pick up may not be able to come home with us.

    Adoption is a way to create a family. Not hurt a family. There is enough hurt when the decision is made to put a child up for adoption. I don't see much happiness in this process anymore. Is it fair to my husband and children that are at home for me to have a wife/mom that has such sadness in her heart? I want a ray of sunshine in my life- to be excited to add to my family. Not a cloud of uncertainty. Life is short- I want a happy household, not sadness.

    Could they change the rules for those just starting the program? Not those waiting for their child or for a referral?

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  17. All I can say is that I am very glad we already adopted our 2 children years ago.Our next door neighbors are an amazing couple and have expressed interest in adopting from Korea, but I know for sure these changes (along with the long wait times between referral and travel) will put an immediate stop to their dreams. So sad for children. I'm all for the birthmothers having a period of time to change their minds, but it's completely unreasonable to have adoptive families turn their entire lives upside down for years, only to wait additional weeks in Korea, not even knowing if their child will come home with them.

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  18. As a family with a 4 year old from Korea and we are waiting to bring home a now 19 month old from Korea, this information is extremely upsetting. If we must stay in Korea for a month, my husband will most likely lose his job. Our 4 year old will likely miss his first month of kindergarten to be with us in Korea. The added expense is astronomical, especially considering our fees have now been increased twice over the course of this adoption. This is not what we agreed to when we chose to adopt from this country.

    Regarding the 14 day waiting period to see if the BMs change their mind... It seems extremely cruel to have families travel around the world not knowing if they will be bringing their child home with them. Didn't the BMs have all of this time (almost two years in my sons case) to change their minds?

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  19. I am self-employed (daycare). I have 2 people (who also have full-time jobs) that are willing to split the work of watching my daycare children so I can travel to pick up my son. They can split a week. They cannot cover my daycare for 3-4 weeks. My daycare parents cannot find alternative care for that long of a period either. So I will lose all my business. I will have no income and no job.

    My husband has 2 weeks of vacation a year. We had planned on one week traveling to pick up our son and then he would have one week at home for all of us to settle in. That is not very much time already. So if we are required to travel 3-4 weeks, he will either have to leave me alone in Korea with a grieving toddler or lose his job. Also, it is not in the best interest of our newly adopted son to have his adoptive father meet him in Korea, leave, and then return to a new home and not have proper time to bond.

    We already have a 2.5 year old son adopted from Korea in 2011. He struggled with anxious attachemnt for over a year. We had planned on taking him with us to pick up little brother. We will not be able to afford his plane ticket AND living expenses for a month in Korea. Also, we do not have family member or friends that would be able to watch him for a month. They all have jobs as well. Leaving him for 4 weeks and then returning with an upset toddler will most likely cause major regression and disrupt the entire family dynamic.

    We have been matched with our son for 5 months now. We have sent him Christmas gifts and birthday presents. We have watched him grow up in pictures. We have loved and prayed for him daily since first seeing his precious face. It devastates me to say this, but right now I don't see a way we will be able to continue his adoption. My husband and I can't afford to lose our jobs.

    I understand the importance of making it a priority to keep birth families together. However, by the time we are able to get our son, he will be nearly 2 years old, if not older. I fail to see why we would have to appear in court and then wait 14 days for the birth family to change their mind. To me, it makes much more sense to contact the birth family BEFORE having the adoptive family travel. Also I feel that we, as adoptive parents, should have been made aware of this travel requirement back in August when the laws took effect, or at least last year before the first cases were submitted to the court. This new travel requirement has a major financial impact on all families and it will be very difficult for those families already submitted to court to come up with the extra funds in a very short amount of time.

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  20. Giving a child up for adoption is the hardest decision a birth mom will make. I see nothing wrong if the courts want to clairify that a child was reliqished properly and that the birth mom does not want to parent. Ths should be done BEFORE a child is referred to a family.

    Where are the adoptive parents rights? Do they not desperately want to love and parent the child that they have been referred and loved from afar for a year while their prospective child is bonding with a foster family. What about respecting their feelings. I feel that this process forgetting about those sweet children who just need a family...and with out adoptive parents they would not have that. Opening your heart to a child deserves more respect.

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  21. Since it will have been 2 years (maybe more in some cases) since the birth mothers relinquished their children, what if they are unable to find/locate and make contact with the birth mothers? Then what? On a related note, what if contacting the birth mothers causes hardship for the birth mothers?

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  22. Reason 1 - We not only have a young child at home, but we also take care of my grandmother. She requires a lot of medical attention. She has a part-time care-taker now. We are not comfortable being away for 3-4 weeks and not to mention the additional expenses of a full time care taker.

    Reason 2 - We just invested most of our money into a new business. Had we known we will need to be away for more than a week, we would have waited on the business. These change should be for new families - not ones waiting for an EP submission! We will not be able to close our shop for that long.

    Reason 3 - Even if we had the time, we don't have the money - not any more anyway. taking our 3 year old and living in Korea for 3-4 weeks is not something we can afford.

    Reason 4 - My husband and I have been married 15 years. We've never spent a single night a part from each other. Our daughter is 3. We've never spent a single night without kissing and tucking her him. It's not an option for only one of us to go to Korea. We are a family. It's important we are all together. Doesn't that count for something to the Korean government?

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  23. Ultimately what this new requirement means is that the children suffer. They have to wait even longer to join their adoptive families, all the while they grow more and more attached to their foster families.

    Many adoptive families will find it difficult to meet this new travel requirement. Many parents will have to go back to work much sooner than they would like because their leave was used waiting in Korea. This means harder, and more, transitions for the children. Instead of having 3 months to settle into their new family, they will be just getting over jet lag when their routine is changed yet again by one or both parents returning to work. I fear many more children will have difficutly attaching to their new families.

    This also affects other children already in the family, especially previously adopted children. Many families have very young children previously adopted from Korea. For these children to be left behind for a month can and will be damaging to their attachment as well. It may also cause resentment among the siblings, furthering the difficulty for the newly adopted child.

    I also fear that having birth mothers contacted again by the court, nearly 2 years after relinquishing their children, will frighten birth mothers. This may even cause an increase in babies abandoned instead of relinquished properly. I whole-heartedly support doing everything possible to keep birth families intact. However, I am not sure contacting them so late in the process will result in positive outcomes.

    Yes, this will cause financial difficulties for adoptive families, but the biggest burden is places on those children waiting for their forever families to be united with them.

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  24. We specifically chose Korea because we are not able to travel for longer than a week to pick up our child. For the same reasons mentioned above. We have a young child at home, we don't have that kind of flexibility at our jobs - if we can get time off, we would rather spend it with our new son, not waiting around in Korea to see if we can even bring him home.

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  25. Thanks as always for your advocacy. We appreciate your information and working for the children.

    I think more clarification could be had on a few things if you can please share:
    1. You say, "The great bulk of this waiting is due to the reconsideration period requirement of 14 days. During this time the parents are expected to be in Korea, at least that is the latest policy, but the agencies will be meeting with the judges and lawyers to discuss the impact that this regulation would have upon the visiting parents in terms of their time and expenses, not to mention the impacts upon the other children in the families.'- What is this 14 day reconsiderment period? Is this part of the new law? This new law will apply even before the law was implemented to older cases/children? Also when does this reconsiderment period start? What if a Birthparent waiting 14 days or longer prior to relinquishment initially? Is that considered at all? What if they can't find the BM or they don't want to show? What then? And parents will have to come to Korea and then possibly lose referral of their child because the Birthmother decided to come back? Why does the court want to do that this way?

    2. You say " a separate inquiry will be made by the court beforehand to confirm birthmothers’ intention of giving up their children."- what does this look like for Birthmothers? Don't you think this will end up leading in more abandonment? Why would a Birthmother want to come to court to do this?

    3. Why would the courts care about the adoptive parents at all? I think if we are formulating responses, we need to discuss the impact this has had on the children, will have on these children and their own societies resources (foster care system, etc). It is really sickening how parents who have been in this process to love and bring a child a family are being treated like outcasts.

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  26. This would have such a devastating impact on so many lives.We have been in process for 3 years. We have fallen in love with our little boy in Korea. We send him care packages every month. We are so excited to get any photos of him they can send every few months. All we want to do is love him forever, provide for him, and make sure he is happy and healthy.We are so grateful to his foster family who cares for him while we can't. These changes may make it impossible for us to fulfill our dreams of becoming his forever family.
    1.) We have a school age son. We cannot take him out of school for this lengthy period of time. Our family members all work and take care of my elderly Grandmother. It is a possibility they can take him for a week, but not for this length of time. We have been praying for a travel call over the summer so we could take him with us. We do not really have the finances to do that, but we would find a way to make it work.
    2.) My husband cannot take this amount of time off of work. If he does, he will not have a job to return to. Then how are we giving to our sons all that we promised to do?
    3.) My husband and I are so excited to travel to our son's birth country and learn more about his culture. My husband planned on a week to travel and then would be able to have a week at home with him to bond. This could happen bc we put aside the money for him to do that. If he is forced to travel so long, we will not have the money for him to be home with him at all to bond.
    4.) We cannot leave our older son for this amount of time. He would be devastated and it would surely affect the way he would view his new and younger brother. We are trying to do everything in our power to make this an amazing experience for him and in return this will affect the way our younger son bonds with his new, older brother.
    5.) The program we signed on for has changed so drastically. We understand and agree that the birth mother should be sure she has made the right decision. But she has had 6 months to do so, and by the time of travel, almost a year, if not more. It would make sense that if the birth mother is contacted it is before the family travels. If we were to travel, and use all of our savings, arrive, wait, and then she changed her mind, it would destroy our dream of having a second child. We could not afford to ever pursue another adoption. We would have no savings left. It is fair to her to make sure she has made the right decision for herself and her child. But it should be fair to the adoptive family as well. Having an adoptive family drain their savings and be put through the emotional turmoil of not really knowing if they will leave with the child they have been loving and waiting for so long, is too painful to even contemplate.
    The adoptive families have been waiting, praying, educating themselves about toddler adoption for many months if not years. All we want to do is grow our families and provide for these children and experience the joy of raising them. Adoptive families want this to be under the best circumstance for the birth families as well. There is a way to make that happen for all the families and children involved. We will pray that if the Court finds it necessary to seek out the birth mother, it is in advance of the adoptive families arrival. I cannot imagine much that would be more painful than to arrive with your family to pick up your child, and be told two weeks into you stay, the child would not be leaving with you.

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  27. As an adoptive mom who completed the inter-country adoption of two Korean children under the new law, but without the agency involvement... I can shed extra light on this.

    So it sounds like the Korea Family Courts will require a hearing/appearance for all adoptive parents. My husband and I did go through that. It usually takes a week, 2 weeks at the most, for the court to reach a decision (adoption approval or disapproval) - as far as I know almost exactly a week for the vast majority of cases. After a decision is made, all related parties will be given a 14-day "reconsideration" period, which allow them to raise any objection to the court decision. After the 14 days, the court decision will become final if no objection is filed. It's not just for adoption, it's mandatory in the Korean judicial system, so it's unlikely we could ask for a waiver to that.

    However, I'm wondering if it's possible for the agencies and the MOHW to change some timelines for paperwork, etc., so that just one parent can stay in the country for adoption finalization after the court appearance. My understanding is the adoption law does not require both parents to remain in Korea while waiting until the finalization of the case (during the 14 days "reconsideration" period). I think the agency and the ministry can change the process so that the parents can take care of anything that needs both parents' presence in the country shortly after the court approval.

    So my suggestion is, after both parents appear for the court hearing, and the court grants approval on the adoption, the agencies take care of everything both parents must be present for on the same day or the day after the court approval. One parent gets to stay in the country with a Power of Attorney until after 14 days pass. Once the court decision finalizes, that one parent obtains the confirmation of the court decision and then leaves the country with the child as done before the new law. Or, the ministry removes the travel requirement to bring the child home (by enabling the escort program) - since both parents will be in Korea for the court hearing anyway, the agencies and ministry officials will still have a chance to do whatever they need to do in person with the adoptive parents.


    In the meantime, if it's the rule that isn't likely to change anytime soon, I think MPAK Korea and other American churches here in Korea can probably recruit volunteer families in Korea who can provide a place to stay and help out these adoptive parents traveling from the US. I will volunteer in a heart beat as long as I'm in Korea. Just a thought.

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    1. Thanks for the info! Do you know of any family that didn't get approved?

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    2. Thank you for that information. The additional 1 - 2 weeks in country could be explained by the wait to obtain the child's US visa.

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    4. I have to clarify something in my post above. It takes about 4-8 weeks for the court to actually review a case. The 1 week decision making time I mentioned above is AFTER the 4-6 weeks of the reviewing time. So the timeline just for the court in general would be:

      1. Submission of the paperwork to the court - same day acknowledgement of the submitted petition for adoption. Also upon the submission, a case number will be given and status of the case can be viewed online through the Korea family court website.

      2. 4-6 weeks for the court to review the case. In some cases, the review period is longer - but according to Steve's information above, it looks like it would be about 4-6 weeks for inter-country adoptions through agencies. Mine took about 6 weeks. Could be longer, but very unlikely shorter.

      3. Notice/call for hearing/appearnace after about 3-4 weeks after the initial submission of the paperwork. All involved parties will be required to be there.

      The hearing/appearance is for the court to clarify open items before the final decision.

      4. Court reaches a decision about 1-2 weeks after the hearing/appearance.

      5. 14-day period for the confirmation of the decision. This is to give involved parties a chance to raise objection to the decision.

      6. Court decision becomes final and confirmation certificate can be issued after the 14 days. The confirmation for an adoption case is actually called "delivery confirmation." This is obtained only from the court - one would have to visit the court in person.

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  28. Where do I start after reading this blog. This court process has been nothing but a headache / circus for us and other waiting families. What I don’t understand, they’ve had all this time to figure this out and what do they do? Nothing. I feel they continue to make more barriers to forever families to jump through. I also feel they make up rules or requests (credentials – workers/agency, etc.), along the way for no apparent reasons and we as adoptive parents have to say yes (we are handcuffed). What I don’t understand; how there’s not a time limit for parental relinquishment? Why can’t they do the parental relinquishment prior to the agency making the referrals to adoptive parents? We have already created a bond and watched our daughter grow up through pictures. Is there another alternative decision that could be what's best for children? What are your thoughts on this Steve?

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  29. My heart breaks for the Birth Moms with all these new rules. It is like a bad version of The Scarlet Letter. Instead of a country of grace they are turning into a country of disgrace. Those poor women who come looking for help - now have to register, hold onto a child for 7 days, and then let their baby go. Then they must show up a year later, appear in court...just to ache for another 14 days to confirm what they already know they must do. In the best situation, with a Birth Mom who is willing to give up her child, this waiting would be torture for her. I worry about those women, and those children, as well as all of the adoptive families who may not be able to help now or love those children too. It is all too tragic. I know and truly believe that the new laws are designed to give Birth Parents a chance to know and raise their own child, but unfortunately I think these laws will have the opposite effect and cause harm to all concerned.

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  30. First of all Steve, thank you for the info and for your continuing involvement.

    I am very saddened and greatly discouraged. I've been trying to see the best in this process as waiting times have lengthened and costs have gone up, but this is devastating.

    As an adoptive mom who've previously adopted and currently in process, I've dealt with the fact that instead of a 4-month old baby or even a 9-month old baby, my second child will most likely be close to two years old. Every time we see a picture or an update, it's just a reminder that we are missing these precious moments as they are growing and learning and discovering. The quota which seemingly serves no purpose other than lengthening this wait, makes it not only difficult for the adoptive parents who wait, but also for the foster parents who have to endure physically and emotionally as they care for the child for a longer period of time. But most affected are the children--a harder transition time, more impact on their minds and hearts, and precious time and memories lost with families who love them and desire to care for them.

    I've also dealt with the fact that this second adoption has also been more costly--into thousands of dollars. I can't speak for everyone, but for us, it means scrimping and saving, and fundraising money, depleting our savings, doing whatever we can to make adoption possible. We are not rich with lots of disposable income. The new travel requirements would be an unfair, last minute demand that would put tremendous financial stress as already expressed by many. As another commenter had mentioned, why can't these new requirements be grandfathered in, so that people who have yet to start the process can be aware of the requirements?

    As difficult as the finances have been and can be, somehow we would try to overcome that hurdle if we were pushed against the wall. But what I cannot fathom, is for anyone to not only ask you to spend tens of thousands of dollars, be investigated and scrutinized over every aspect of your life, prove to them that you are financially, emotionally, physically, worthy parents in every sense, and then at the last minute, pull all that out from under you and deny or tell them that the child they have loved and prayed for cannot come home with them. That is what is most disheartening to me.

    Even if one parent can stay for 4 weeks and the other parent can go, what if the adoption falls through...the one spouse would have to live through that grief and horror alone in a foreign country. What about the child? If the courts deny, does the child get placed back into the system and have to wait another year or so for EP with another family? What if they turn three years old, do they then have to enter the orphanages? And for the birth parents, haven't they had time to consider and reconsider their decision? Where is the best interest of the children? Why is this step being implemented so late in an already lengthened timeline?

    These laws are suppose to help these children, but honestly all I see is inefficiency. The only hope I have is that the God I serve is still in control and somehow I need to trust in Him through this very difficult news.

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  31. Thanks for this update,
    It is better to be prepared in advance to anticipate the next steps
    BTW, do you know the reason why some EP are not yet approved, 3 months after its submission? (our case)

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  32. I believe Korean American families could have an important voice in this discussion. Korea has expressed a strong desire for heritage families to have priority when adopting, and I believe rightfully so. Should these new laws go into effect I would only imagine that this would deter Korean Americans adopting from Korea. While Korean American families may make up a small percentage of the international adoptions in the US, I believe that they may have THE most powerful voice in this discussion as there is a shared culture and history.

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  33. My husband and I have been married for 18 years. We do not have any children. Last year, we were matched with a beautiful little boy who will soon celebrate his first birthday. We will not be able to celebrate it with him as we did not get to see his first steps or hear his first words. We cherish every update and photo we receive. We've sent him Christmas gifts, birthday gifts - picked out little shoes for him and stuffed animals. We recorded a book so he can hear our voices reading to him each night and sent a photo book so he'll know our faces. Our living room is filled with pictures of him. I wear a heart shaped locket around my neck each day that contains his small photo. We have have fallen in love with him and looking at his pictures is bitter sweet, knowing that we are missing precious moments of his life. The program has changed drastically since we began the process. We were told that this may be a somewhat lengthy, but smooth process. Legally, we met all of the requirements (as they were listed at the time) and Korea, we were told, will accept the home study that was completed here. We never would have anticipated that we would be required to travel to Korea for further interviews and legal hoops to jump through. If we do find a way to accommodate these new and unexpected requirements, we will not have the money to pursue another adoption. This has been, and continues to be an extremely stressful and demanding process. My fear is that we may end up heartbroken and childless. And if we are not approved by the powers that be in Korea, I will carry the burden every day of my life. The little boy we have come to love so dearly will be much older by that time. I'll never know if he was able to be adopted or if he has had to grow up without loving parents. I weep just thinking of that possibility.

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  34. I hope Korea gets what they want at the end of all this: no more foreign adoptions and thousands of children in orphanages.

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  35. I am a Mom who has 4 children, 3 adopted from Korea....love them all so dearly. I am very concerned with these new changes. I just don't understand...why? Praying for all involved.

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  36. My husband and I are waiting to bring home our second Korean born son. We are truly devastated by these new requirements. I am not going to speak about the new financial burdens that everyone will be feeling. These problems can be solved with credit cards, loans, fundraising, etc. However, these new requirements create problems that cannot be solved for my family. My husband and I both only have a finite amount of time that we can take off from work. This means that as soon as we return home my husband will have to return to work. He will have no time with our new son to bond and get to know each other. I also will have to return to work after 8 weeks with the baby instead of 11 weeks. This is so soon to be adding a day care transition into our son's life, but we have to have jobs to care for our children so we have no choice. Our oldest son, who is now 3, has serious speech delays. He receives speech therapy and it will be detrimental to his progress if he were unable to receive that therapy for a month. At the same time, though, it would be such a blow to the bond that we have worked so hard to form with our child if we were to leave him in the care of another family member for an entire month. I absolutely hate flying but even I would prefer a two trip travel so that we were not required to miss so much time for work and we could be with my oldest son at home so he could get the time in therapy and preschool that he needs.

    The other huge concern that I have is the 14 day reconsideration period. I don't think anyone of us would argue that the birthmothers deserve a chance to reconsider their decision. These children are incredible gifts to us, but we all know (even if we don't admit it) is that the best thing for these children would be to be raised by their birthmothers. However, it is just cruel to have the adoptive families, who love these babies so much despite having never met them, sit in Korea for two weeks while we wait to find out if we get to bring our baby home or not. Surely this period of reconsideration for the birthmother could be done prior to the court date. That is so much to ask. It will easily cost 10 thousand dollars for my entire family of 3 to fly to Korea and stay for a month. I will happily pay that amount if it means being united with my son. However, I can't imagine paying that much in travel costs only to come home without my child.

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  37. What will happen if the court is unable to locate the birth mother? Will that mean that the adoptive family will lose their baby?

    Thank you for providing us with this information even if it is not what we want to hear.

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  38. What about the birth families? Hasn't a birth mother already been through an agonizing decision at the time of relinquishment? To put her through that again--months or even years later--seems like torture! And what if she now is in a situation in which exposing a child would be detrimental to her livelihood? I don't see how this really benefits either the birth family OR the adoptive family. I certainly understand a waiting period at the initial time of relinquishment, but to wait until the child is almost ready to travel seems counterproductive and downright cruel. Also, what a logistical nightmare--who will be put to the task of tracking down the birth families after so long, especially if the birth mother doesn't desire to be found?

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  39. What happens to a child that has been matched to a family for a year only to have the court decide at time of travel that the parents are not eligible to adopt. Haven't they waited long enough for a family. Why can the court not review the documents and communicate any concerns/questions through the agency and do a 14 day wait at the time of REFERRAL. Remember these kiddos have been shown who their mommy and daddy will be via pictures, blankets with the parents scents and recordable toys and books. How confusing for a child. Not in their best interest.

    Adoptive Parents fall in love with a child from afar. The adoptive siblings buy them gifts, look at their pictures. Adoptive parents must promote healthy attachment for all family members. How do you do this when you are risking your current children to a devastating end if the adoption does not go through. As parents we also need to be responsible to our kids at home. This new system does not allow us to do so.

    Birth moms sign away rights when relinquishing the child. What an agonizing decision. It almost seems cruel to make them rehash this decision over and over again!!

    My heart is breaking as we consider backing out of the Korea program. What a shame. I do not believe this is what the new adoption laws were intended to do.

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  40. Also wanted to add something re: comparing it to other countries travel requirements. Yes, a three yo four week stay is not out of the norm in the international adoption world, however when we and many other families signed up to adopt from Korea the travel requirement was a huge factor. So why yes, it's not uncommon it is a hue difference and about a $10,000 difference in travel costs from what we were told

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  41. Steve, why couldn't the judges do the two week waiting period prior to the parents travel? That way the birth mother is given one last chance to change her mind. And if she were to change her mind then the adoptive family could be placed on notice. If she brings the child back, then the family could be called to appear. If the two week period goes by and the rights are terminated, the adoptive family then would travel and appear before the judge.
    If this new system had been in place when we adopted our four children, it's pretty safe to say we would not have been able to adopt four times. =( I can't imagine not having one or more of our wonderful kids. They are now 12, 11, 8, and 8. Two were adopted through the waiting child program. And we traveled twice, as much as we would have liked to have traveled all four times, we couldn't do it do to the travel costs, time off from work, and school commitments. My husband was working full time and going to school to get his MBA during one of our processes. So there are many valid reasons that travel is difficult for families. However, adding such a long stay will prove difficult for most American families who get little vacation time.

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  42. We are also one of the families who are waiting for to be submitted to the courts. I can't even begin to express my sadness and frustration about having to be in Korea for more than a week. I love Korea and wouldn't mind living there. We planned and saved for a year for a 10 day trip to Korea.

    My family isn't in a position to travel to Korea for more than a week on short notice when we have a child still in school and my husband and I both work full time.

    we specifically chose Korea because of the travel requirements. Now, they want to drastically change things so it will make it impossible for us to pick up our daughter.

    I cry when I think about having to give her up because we can't meet the travel requirements. What will happen to her? She recently turned two.

    what will happen to all the kids who's families can't make the travel? and for those who will scrape and scramble to get to Korea for the travel, there's a possibility the bm could want her child back? Then what?

    Can Korea please get their act together? Their choices aren't about the price of gas or plans to build buildings. They are working with human beings. Where is their compassion for the kids and the families? why do they insist on tormenting everyone involved? Even the foster families are exhausted.

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  43. We are currently waiting to be submitted for EP and would have (under the old process) have hoped to travel by this summer.

    I do not see how we will be able to stay in Korea for 3-4 weeks without significant financial hardship given that the average American only receives 2 weeks of paid vacation leave. For some of us, if we disappear for a month at short notice we may not even have a job to come back to. And now we're being told that even if we do somehow scrape things together to be able to afford to go... we may still come home again childless.

    I am completely supportive of birth parents being given an opportunity to change their mind, but why can't this happen before the adoptive parents are asked to travel? We would NEVER have chosen Korea if these had been the requirements up front as it is simply not a feasible option for us. Now it is too late as we have already paid all the fees and fallen in love with our child... it just feels like the Korean court is out to punish adoptive parents and ruin our lives.

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  44. I am so sad and frustratet, havent`t they get a heart those who make theese rules? It is not rigtht that we (who have been loved our son for over 9 mounths now) can risk to travel to Korea and mayby have to travel home again wihtout our child - it can not bee true :-( They have to understand that it is our lives and our childrens lives they play with - and not anything money can bay :-( If they know have must we suffer every dag - I think they will think it through again. Havent we any rights at all???

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  45. We have recently been matched with a waiting child, who is 13 months old. He is with the agency that has the longest wait for EP submittal, and even in the best case scenario before all of these changes, he would be 2.5 years old at homecoming. That is 2.5 years without a permanent family, maybe even longer considering that this new step may lengthen the process by weeks or months.
    We will move heaven and earth to make it possible for us to meet the travel requirements to Korea, even though for a typical American family this is a great hardship taking into account both the time requirements and the cost, and many times it is simply impossible. I understand that the Korean government cannot cater to whatever is convenient for Americans, however I would sincerely hope that they can help those children who were placed for adoption literally years ago come home to their families, before implementing such drastic changes. What would happen to children whose families simply cannot meet the requirements? Some of these kids are already 2 years and older, and if they would have to be matched with another family, they would be 4 years old at homecoming.
    We have a son born in Korea already at home, and I am very concerned about the effects that this could have on him. We would have to bring him to Korea with us and I simply cannot fathom having to tell him in Korea that his brother’s birth mother decided to parent. By all means verify that the birth mothers relinquished their children of their own free will, but do so when that child is referred to a family.
    I want my son to have nothing but good impressions of his birth country and we are trying hard to make him feel proud of his heritage, but already he is asking why Korea is not letting his brother come home.
    The Korean government doesn’t owe me anything, and I have no right to this child we have been matched with. However, this child has a right to a permanent loving family. I sincerely hope that Korea can be a model for other governments, and while they work on helping single mothers parent their own children, also help those children who have been placed for adoption join families as soon as possible.

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  46. While I completely understand what the Family Courts are trying to do by giving the birthmothers every chance to parent their children, I think making this type of abrupt change to the process only hurts the children that are currently in the system and waiting for their forever families. The vast majority of these birthmothers will not change their minds about keeping their children, and forcing arbitrary waiting periods on everyone only serves to keep babies and their apart for much longer than necessary. It may even force some families to abandon the adoption process due to the difficulties of complying with the new travel requirements, which is completely devastating to all involved.

    We adopted our daughter from Korea three years ago and are now in process to adopt her biological sister. It would be detrimental to our first daughter for us to be apart from her for four weeks while my husband and I travel to Korea, and it is detrimental to the baby we are in process for to keep her from her family for such a long period of time.

    I truly believe Korea ultimately has the children's best interests in mind, but I hope they remember there are real children waiting to go home that are caught in the middle of all these regulatory changes. Changing the adoption requirements mid-stream, hurts everyone involved in the adoption process. The sooner these kids come home, the easier their transition will be.

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  47. This is out third adoption from Korea. We cannot afford to travel for 3-4 weeks. On top of that, we cannot afford to have my husband not working for 3-4 weeks. Our children cannot miss 3-4 weeks of school, nor do we have someone who can just move in and care for them for 3-4 weeks. This would be very hard on our children combined with the fact that when we return home, with our third child, our other two children will have even more change to adjust to on top of the fact that we have just moved away from them for 3 weeks. I am not sure that we can risk the well being of our two children at home for this. I am shocked that the United States Government has done nothing to help this situation.

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    1. I agree. Does the US Government know of what is going on? What about the Korean government agencies here in the US? Can they help in any way? Should we call our local senator? I feel like Korea is making all these changes without any consideration for the families in the US. What we've done and are doing to bring home our babies. The longer the kids are in foster care, the harder the transition for the kids. And this long trip to Korea so we can just wait? Do we at least get to live w/ with child?

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    2. I just need to say that we are other nations than the US, who is suffering from this. I think it will be very fair if we are standing together all of us, as one. We are all in the same bouth. And we are all suffering so must.

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  48. I currently do not have a waiting adoption. Although, we did adopt twice previously from S.Korea. My thoughts are this. Many of the children open to other countries to adopt from Korea are already past four to six months of age. Since many of the babies are in the Korean foster care system, wouldn't it be safe to assume if the birth mother would have had any intentions of changing her mind that she would have by now? Many of the children are close to or over their one year mark by western standards. I would think that contacting a birth mother and presenting her with this question at this point would only add to her heartache. I would hope that the Korean officials would contact the birthmother prior to an adoptive family's trip to Korea in order to satisfy their concerns for the birthmother and child. Then, once the adoptive family has had their hearing, grant the final adoption. However, if it has been difficult to contact the birthmother, I could understand the 14 day wait period. If in the 14 days, the birthmother has not made any attempt to contact the courts, the adoption should be granted immediately.

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  49. There have already been so many reasons why this change is hard for families that I won't repeat them. The Korean Ministry has the right to make any guidelines they want, and I will respect that. However, I do believe a major change in process like that should come with a start date so families are not caught off guard. I also totally and 100% support that birthmom's have the right to parent their child. But it seems cruel to all involved to wait 2 years after a birthmom has relinquished the child to say "Just one more time, are you sure you don't want to parent this child?". That should be done prior to referral, because that is what is best for the baby. To be in a home as soon as possible, and if that will be with a birthmom- get the baby to it's birthmom as soon as possible! Don't wait 2 years. In the very least, complete the 14 day waiting period prior to asking a family to spend thousands of dollars to hope they traveled to Korea to bring home their child. I cannot imagine being in Korea, away from friends and family and finding out the baby I have longed for for 1.5 years is not coming home from me. And then making the trip home in the middle of that devestation? Please, let me feel that devestation at home where I can seek comfort from loved ones.

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  50. Placing a burden (financial) hardship on families that have saved money for the initial adoption, and the original travel plans begins to become unacceptable. My family planned,saved, begged borrowed and did most anything they could to raise the amount needed to bring our baby home. Who has the resources to rearrange their travel, to include 14 days of hotel, meals, etc.? Now with most of the children approaching the two year mark, if not over, a separate ticket has to be purchased. All of these families returned to Korea because they loved the experience, love their children, and appreciate the care and concern from the foster parents. I feel like Korea is punishing us for something we have to control over. Allowing an additional 14 days for the BM to change her mind. We just may have to terminate our process. What a shame and disgrace to the children waiting for their forever famlies. I am wiping tears off my face as I type this.

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  51. Hello
    I was told by my adoption agency here in Colorado that this website would be a great way to let me be heard. Our case manager just explained to me about this situation going on in Korea.
    My wife & I have been trying so hard for the past 8 years to have a baby. After 3 miscarriages and 2 failed IVF's we thought adoption would be the best route. We are both Korean Americans and as Korean Americans we were told adopting from Korea would be the best and quickest for us to have a baby. Originally, we wanted to adopt from China but heard that would take longer.
    So, for the past year in 2012, we went through all the process. Took the online courses, passed the two home studies, and paid all the fees. We finally chose our baby in November 2012. His name is JeeHoon Park and is in well care with a foster family. He is now about 10 months old and we are in love with him. We are patiently and anxiously awaiting his arrival and now with this new "law" we are told we might have to go to Korea in front of a court to see if we are "fit" parents.
    Well, not only will this be a financial burden having to take a month off work and using money to stay in Korea (God knows how much I spent already on this adoption) it will also be a burden on my wife because she is on regular medical prescription and would be hard for her to get her prescriptions over in Korea not having a doctor who knows her medical history and such.
    We plead that ours and others who are adopting from Korea go more smoothly and efficiently. Because it just seems ridiculous to us that this new "law" has to be a requirement for a baby to have a family.
    Our baby's mother had the last 10 months to change her mind when she gave up her baby. I still don't see another 14 days giving her that option.

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    1. I think you have such an important voice that needs to be heard. Being of Korean heritage it's amazing that you will get to share your child's history and culture, what a blessing for that baby! I feel like many couples like you will choose other countries to adopt from if these laws go through. How sad to deprive these children from wonderful parents who share with them so much because of red tape and ridiculous laws. I hope things improve and you are able to get your baby home soon.

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    2. Well, even if these laws passed, our baby JeeHoon is still in Korea and still considered to be ours. If we have to go there to get him, we'll go there to get him.
      It's just a big headache and really unnecessary in my eyes. If all these laws are about giving the birth parents a second chance to change their minds, I'm all for it if the baby was less than 3-6 months. Ours is 10+ months! The birth mother had those 10 months to change her mind. And now Korea wants her to relive having to give her baby up again and this time in front of a court? sounds communistic to me...My own country and race I'm so disappointed in.

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  52. I know it is better for my daughter to be home with us than it is for her to be foster care at this point.

    I just want my little girl home.

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  53. Well, from reading above you've already heard some heartfelt and wonderfully spoken statements about why this is not right. For me, the birthmothers made their choices when they gave the child up in the first place. Second, the time and expense would be seriously stressful as many families struggle already to meet the ever-changing requirements of this process. If the worst really did happen and we traveled and didn't bring our little one home, I would demand a reimbursement for my travel expenses so that I could attempt to adopt from another country.

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    1. That's the problem though - you can't demand anything. You have only two options, kiss the $30,000+ you've spent trying to adopt goodbye, or keep jumping through hoops and paying out more money until you are able to adopt successfully from Korea. If you look through your paperwork I think you'll find you signed a form stating you understood that all monies are non-refundable regardless of whether or not the adoption is successful. Given the emotional and financial stress of the current situation I really wish we had put our adoption on hold and refused to accept a referral until the details of the new law came out.

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    2. "Given the emotional and financial stress of the current situation I really wish we had put our adoption on hold and refused to accept a referral until the details of the new law came out."

      I agree. I wish that we had done the same. I was trusting that everything would work out fine but now I regret not waiting for the details to have been worked out since it doesn't look like it's going to be "fine"

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    3. $30,000?! Ha! Our country fee was $20,000, a $3,000 US processing fee, a $600 travel fee, and a $3,000 homestudy update. That doesn't even take into account the certified copies, fingerprinting, and all that jazz! We are close to $30k now and haven't even left the country. A month in Korea and we will be lucky to be out for less than $50 to $60,000!!!!

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  54. We are adopting a child with medical needs and instead of having the money go towards his treatment, we will now have to spend all of our savings on travel expenses.

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  55. Adoptive parents have to go through hours of training and education on attachement and parenting a toddler who has been through trauma and adjustment to new caregivers and surroundings - I can't help but wonder: if out of the blue one-two years later the birth mothers are being told "you have 14 days to decide; do you want to parent this child now or not"... are any of them going to be given education on dealing with attachment with the child (that while hers biologically, has no idea who she is any more than he/she would an adoptive parent)? Are these birth mothers going to be given the support needed to get through the agonizing months of rejection and hardship as the child grieves the loss of their previous caregiver? What is going to happen to the child if she suddenly decides to parent (sending the adoptive parents home broken hearted) then changes her mind shortly thereafter once she sees how hard it is to parent a grief stricken toddler? What will become of these children - back to square one looking for a family? :( Heartbreaking!

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  56. we are waiting for the EP for our second Korean Son. We had not planned on adopting a second from Korea because I thought I would be too old(45 last week( but our agency called US in June 2112 and asked if we were considering a second. of course we said YES yes Yes!!!We told them about my age and they said Korea fully understood that and would fast track our process.
    well....... that did not happen. We are now waiting along with all of you . I am not sure if we would be able to go for 4 weeks. one 6 day trip to get our son was a HUGE expense. We were told we could have our second son escorted to Colorado.

    I am not sure what to think or do.

    I am praying for all involved . I am going to realistic that our second may just not happen.


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  57. Steve - thank you so much being an advocate!!!!!

    These changes would be hard on adoptive parents but also so hard on ALL the children involved.

    1. The length of time from birth to home with forever family puts the adoptive babies at critical ages and the sooner the babies can be with the forever families the better for attachment and emotional well being.

    2. A month stay will mean many future siblings will have to suffer. Many of these siblings are adoptees themselves and for them to have to be separated from their parents so long is beyond hard on any child.

    In our case the siblings are biological children and this will still be so hard for us and them to have to be separated for such a long time. It also seems that when you are able to bring siblings along of the trip the transition for the baby is so much easier and the financial cost of two trips or a very long trip will really hinder families from being able to afford this.

    3. Financial hardship as stated from so many others. I own a daycare business and will already be closing the business for 6 weeks after the child is home and this travel requirement will really make this difficult. If I have to close the business for longer I could potentially loose my clients and I'm not sure adding financial stress to parents who are trying to give all they have to form attachments and bring their new child home is healthy for anyone involved.

    4. I'm sure there are so many who are not even sure if their employer will allow this long of time off work so it leave so many at a loss of what to do. Emotionally and financially we have put so much into preparing for this to be left with having to drop out. It would be like loosing a pregnancy to so many.

    If there is anyway for the courts to look at finding ways to streamline and shorten he trip to 2 weeks I think that would be so much more manageable. If it could be considered to grandfather anyone who already has their HSTK as so many choose this program for it's stability and shorter travel times for ease on our current children.

    I bet the courts to please consider these things and I do thank them for looking out for these babies.

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    1. This latest bit of news is disheartening to say the least. I think all of us in this process are devoted to our children and want so badly for our adoptions to be successful. I've always thought of adoption as one of the best ways to demonstrate God's love. We have waited 2 1/2 years and still have a long wait for even our referral. When I committed myself to adopting I made a commitment to my future child that I would be there for him through thick and thin. We have a long time to prepare financially and a long time away overseas would be a hardship for anyone. As Steve mentioned though, adoptive parents adopting through other countries have managed somehow meet the requirements, and I think our group will too.

      My complaint would be that the goals of this new law could be accomplished more efficiently. I would ask that the government reconsider the children's situation in this. Surely, there is some way to ensure that the birthparents are given ample opportunity to parent before allowing a child to be eligible for adoption. We don't want there to be any fraud, trafficking, etc. to taint the adoption process. The fact that they think there is need to question the birthparents again at the last minute brings question in my mind how thorough of a job South Korea is doing to make sure there is no fraud. Why not make certain the child is able to be legally adopted before referring them to anyone? By waiting until the adoption reaches the court system to finalize that brings question in my mind that these children are legally available for adoption. Going back and forth seems like there is no permanancy to the child's situation. Hearing from others who have already received their referrals, it seems that the bonding process on the adoptive parents' side begins at referral. By taking away the certainty that the adoptive parent will be joined with their child, disrupts the bonding process. I've always thought higher of South Korea and am disappointed in the way they are changing their adoption program. Thanks, Steve for creating a forum to allow us to speak our minds.

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  58. We do not have a referral yet but our paperwork is there. This news is devastating, as I feel very guilty having to be away from my two daughters for that long. Work is an issue, as well, but mother's guilt is the real issue. I guess whatever is meant to be will be...

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  59. I had heard that Korea wanted to shut down foreign adoptions by the end of 2012. I think they are trying to impose such awful demands in the hopes that there won't be anyone left wanting or able to adopt their kids---effectively shutting it down. I think it's their way of tryig to shut down the program without looking like the bad guys. They can say all these changes were in the interest of the birthmom and baby and those adoptive parents just didn't want to follow their rules. It's senseless. I've also heard that there is prejudice against orphans and the women who have children out-of-wedlock. This adoption law, the slowdown, and these new changes make me wonder if they really want to punish the orphans and birthmoms out of the government's prejudice against them. They claim to have their best interest in mind, but actions speak louder than words.

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  60. Just found this site - thank you to Steve Morrison for his update, and thanks to all of you for your stories. We got a referral last April, and we were hoping to bring our daughter home this summer. I'd like to echo all the concerns of the other parents on this forum. We *might* have the flexibility to make a long trip over the summer work. But once school starts in the fall? We have two other kids, 8 and 3. This news is discouraging to say the least.

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  61. I honestly don't know what to say. I'm frustrated, stressed, angry... We have been waiting 15 months to travel already. Our daughter is almost 2 years old. What about these children that have been receiving our pictures, hearing our voices, being told we are their parents. 2 years later, the birthmom can still change her mind. The 14-day waiting period is simply ridiculous. The Korea program has changed drastically from what we "signed up" for. I could go on and on about the financial hardships this will cause us, but I think most of the above posts have done a fine job of explaining this. This seems especially unfair to those of us who have been waiting so long and accepted referrals long before the new law even went into affect. How can they change things for people in mid-process? If they want to make these new requirements, then there needs to be some sort of grace period or grandfathering in. It is unfair to these kids that have been waiting for their forever family for 2+ years!!!!

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  62. Steve, thank you for sharing this difficult news. We recently finalized the adoption of our son who we adopted from Korea and brought home in 2012 (via the "old" process). We are now in the process of adoption #2 from Korea. We know our family is not complete and we know that we want a sibling for our son. This news is hard for us to process because both my husband and I are full time working parents and while we have enough PTO/vacation time to spend in Korea, the majority of our time would be exhausted in Korea and we would not have much time to bond with our new son/daughter at home before having to return back to work. I was fortunate enough to spend 10 weeks at home with my son after return from Korea last year but it still felt like I needed to be home with him longer. Financially we could not have handled it if I stayed home any longer then that. If we are required to stay in Korea for 3-4 weeks, once returning home I'll only be able to stay at home and bond with our new son/daughter for 6 weeks. I know that's just not enough time for him/her or me. Besides the concern about time away from work, the financial strain on our family for us to both be out of the country for a month and the added strain on our extended family to help us and take care of our son (keeping him at home and in school) while we are away is just too much. These new peices of inforamtion concern us greatly and while we are uncertain about what the future will hold, we will continue to move forward with the adoption process here and hope that information becomes more clear as we wait for and eventually recieve our referral for child #2.

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  63. Several people have mentined that at least Korea could grandfather in those in process or already have a referral. Even though some people don't have a referral yet they have still been waiting a very long time as well. Those who do not have a referral yet have also complied with all the requirements. The new travel requirements were not in effect for anyone who has waited for a referral since 2010 so it's not fair to those who haven't received a referrral yet either.

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  64. If Korea insists that we must stay in country for 3 - 4 weeks then my family simply cannot comply with this new requirement. Most American families including my own, are not able to be away from our home for that long of a time. We don't live in Europe, we live in America where most people are given two weeks vacation time per year and there is no flexibility. While employers might be sympathetic that we need the time off for something as well-meaning as an adoption, they have businesses to run. One of the reasons, we met Korea's requirements was because we had a good job that would allow us to raise a child. Now because of this new requirement, some of us won't be able to keep those good jobs. It's a Catch 22 and Korea is putting us in an impossible situation. If we had jobs and the money to afford an adoption that required 2 trips or lengthy trips then we might have chosen a country that had those requirements. But many of us cannot meet that requriement which is one of the reasons why we chose to adopt from Korea. We want to comply with whatever is good for our kids, but Korea is putting everyone into an impossible situation. Is this their intention?

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    1. We are in the same boat. We will simply have to forgo our adoption. We are waiting to be submitted in the next batch of EPs. We've already waited almost a year for this to happen. The idea of having to leave the program breaks my heart. However, a 3-4 week stay in Korea is just not something we can afford (days wise and money wise). My husband and I only get 3 weeks vacation. We used up one week already because we didn't know bout the possibility of having to stay longer in Korea. I planned on one week in Korea and then extending my maternity leave with the extra week.

      But all this could be moot since we don't have the money to stay in Korea for 3-4 weeks.

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  65. I am a proud adoptive parent of a Korean child. My family is also actively in the process of adopting a second child, waiting each day for a match. I am also of Korean descent, so I understand some of the cultural pressures surrounding adoption.

    If the lawmakers feel strongly that the 14 waiting period is vital to the process of adoption, perhaps they would be willing to work a compromise. Perhaps the parents could participate in the hearing in front of the Family Court via the internet--a virtual meeting with the adoptive parents. That way the judge could still meet "face-to-face" with the potential adoptive parents, ask questions, and have a record of the meeting. Korea is very high-tech and should be able to support such a condition. The potential adoptive parents could then travel after the 14-day waiting period and have the adoption finalized by the court.

    It puzzles me that the potential adoptive parents would have the physically be present at the 1st hearing and then have to stay in-county for 14+ days. If this is a major block in terms of cost and time for the adoptive parents, then perhaps this simple compromise can fix that.

    Asking the lawmakers to change the law is time-consuming and taxing. Perhaps if we work with the system, using technology to bridge this potential barrier, we can all reach our goals and find forever homes for the children in care.

    I also hope that as we work through this new process that we can make it easier for children to be adopted to homes (in Korea and abroad) as quickly as possible.

    For those of us who have adopted before, we know how difficult it is to watch a child mourn for their former caregivers.

    Families need as much time as possible with their adopted children, especially if they are older when placed. Parents need to use the days they have away from work bonding with their newly adopted children, tending to them as they transition to their new lives. It would be a shame to lose those precious days in Korea waiting for paperwork when they could be so much better spent bonding with the child at home.

    I hope that my suggestions and thoughts are helpful. Steve, thank you again for this wonderful blog and your tireless work.

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    1. My husband and I are a Korean heritage family as well; my husband was born in Seoul and lived there until he was nine years old. I entirely echo the comments above, and actually came onto this site now to make similar comments. I think we could work within the parameters of what Korea is wanting with video conferencing technology or some other creative solution. Unfortunately, we like most adoptive parents do have limited time to begin to forge an attachment with our children before we must go back into the "real world." These children, like all children, deserve as much time as possible. The situation in the US is not Korea's fault, but it is the reality. To the extent that we want to do what is best for these children -- and I do, and I hope that Korea does -- we need to take into account this important bonding time when considering how long is reasonable for a couple to stay in the country.

      My husband and I have in fact talked at various times during our process about staying in Korea for an extended time while we wait for EP approval or FC approval. We thought we might try to use the time to meet with the foster family, or to see our own family. As much as we like the idea of a "soft landing" with our son--and of spending time in-country with him and his foster family before we must take him back to the US--we have repeatedly recognized that the time we will spend there will be detrimental to his right to have us home with him in the US as he adjusts to his new home. So we had decided to stay the minimum amount of time possible, so that we could maximize our time with him at home.

      I believe that we, as a Korean American family, are in a unique position to provide a good home for our son. My husband, as well as his cousins and my in-laws--all of whom live in the US (and most within 20 minutes of our home) are fluent in Korean. We have traveled to Korea repeatedly, and had always planned to continue to do so (particularly so that our son could grow up knowing his cousins in Korea). We live in a community with a very high-Korean American population (a community we moved into specifically for the benefits it will offer our son). We observe most Korean holidays, and we do so with extended family. I know that our home is no replacement for our son's birth country, or living with his birth mother, it is a good place nonetheless. I think the children of Korea should be afforded such opportunities to the extent possible.

      We will not walk away from our son in Korea now. He is now almost two years old, and given what I believe will be a significant decrease in inter-country adoptions in light of the new law, I am not sure he would be placed in another family if we did not adopt him. But if these new laws take effect as currently contemplated, we also will not adopt from Korea again. We have been waiting 14 months since first receiving the referral for our child. We have seen the laws change, change, and change again. We are emotionally drained. If we must stay in Korea for 4 weeks, we will be financialy drained as well.

      Thank you, Steve, as always, for your tireless work for the children we all love and cherish. Oh, how I wish there were more people like you out there. Thank you also to all of the other parents who have voiced their issues and concerns. I am not normally a prayerful person, but I can say now that I am praying that those in power put the children's interests before all others in making the critical decisions that come next.

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    2. Thank you both so much for sharing your thoughts and ideas! I believe they are invaluable to this discussion.

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  66. Thanks Steve for all your help and information. My husband and I are one of the families that have EP approval and am waiting for court submission. We already have a 4 yr girl from Korea and can't wait to bring her little brother home. We chose the Korean program because I was raised in a Korean home and I knew we could provide Korean culture and values for our children. I also knew that the Korea program went seamlessly for our first adoption and did not anticipate all these changes. I had hoped maybe being a heritage family would avoid us some of this heartache, but I guess we'll have to wait and see anything changes. The financial and time burden is the same for us as it is for the rest of the group, but I hope for the best.

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  67. Steve, The Korean government needs to realize that what they continue to do,inhibits adoption of these children.For the families such as mine who are waiting for their little one to come home, did not have full disclosure of this 3-4 week travel period. Going into Korean adoption with our eyes wide open, we knew we would have to travel for one week which was feasable. But after 5 months of already loving my child, sending packages, bonding with his foster family, springing this new requirement is cruel and for many of us, it's not able to happen. We have jobs and families. Do they want us to come to Korea for 4 weeks and come home with our child and be jobless? How does that in the child's best welfare? It doesnt make sense.

    As far as the 14 day waiting period, I feel like it is a gamble....."Come to Korea for a month and if the birthmother doesnot want the child, he/she can be apart of your family." Not only does that play with our hearts, many of us cannot financially afford to take that chance. In my opinion, the birth mothers should absolutely be given a grace period to make that ever so difficult decision, but before the Referral is given and the child is loved by another! They are playing with our emotions! Also, those already in the program with an identifed child should be grandfathered in because we did not agree to this when we signed on to adopt from Korea. God Bless You Steve for all your information.

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  68. I would like to give my input as an adoptive family that started this adoption three years ago, received our referral in Oct. of 2012, finally received our EP Jan. 1, and have prayed that every time the phone rang it would be our agency telling us we could finally go. However, a week ago we were told that after being contacted by the Family Court our birthmother came back for her child and took her home. Our family is devestated. Our children (one of whom is Korean) have prayed for her every night for almost 18 months and eagerly awaited their sister. When we told them she would not ever be coming home they wept furiously. I've never seen them so sad - heartbroken. I can't imagine if we had already been in Korea and then had this happen. The heartache, time, and money already spent would be disastorous. We are rejoicing that there is one less orphan in the world and are praying that the birthmother is successful. However, there has to be a better way that does not break our hearts in the process. Please beg them to have the 14 day waiting period BEFORE exit permits are granted, before referral is given would be even better. It would have saved our children from a lot of false hopes and broken hearts. Please consider the best interests of all involved: the birthmom, the child, AND the adoptive families!

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    1. Oh Karin, my prayers and thoughts are with you for what you had to go through. I can't even imagine waiting so long, being so close, to receive that news. You are extremely gracious to be able to rejoice in the midst of your own broken-heartedness. I will pray for you and your whole family--that the Lord would envelope you in strength, and grace. thinking, of you, a fellow adoptive mom.

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    2. Oh Karin. I don't even know what to say. Please know - you and your family will be in my prayers. Thank you for sharing your story.

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    3. Karin, I am so sorry. I wish you and your family peace and love. You are gracious, and it is clear that you have nothing but the best interest of the child at heart--as much as it has pained you to lose her.

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    4. Karin, I am so very sorry. My heart goes out to you and my prayers are with you.

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    5. So sorry Karin. We were in the same position last year. Birthmother chose to come back when our child(a daughter) was 18 months, we were waiting for EP. Now we are matched with a son and just hope and pray that we wont have to go through that again. This new process is making it very agonizing.Praying for everyone involved.

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  69. Another interesting thought. This seems to affect the US disproportionately. Korea will effectively deter the majority of international adoption to the US with these changes without officially shutting the program down. Potential adoptive families from other countries where the average number of weeks of vacation per year is higher than the US, which is pretty much all of the other developed nations with rare exceptions, will be less affected by the new visit requirements. I wonder if South Korea has considered the significance of these changes with regard to international politics especially given the increased tensions between North and South Korea.

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  70. Hello, my name is Shong. I am the proud father of two Korean adopted children. They give me purpose and fill me with joy and happiness. My wife and I are in process for our third child. I am very worried and concerned about the new process and what is taking place. I want our voices to be heard by those making these important decisions. Please hear us. Like most parents, both my wife and I work full-time. The idea of leaving our kids for 4 to 5 weeks is hard to comprehend. We have invested our lives, time and finances in the adoption process. I pray everyday that we will see our child and for those who look after and protect them that they would also be bless. My heart tells me to persevere, we can't give up hope. Never give up. Thank you Steve for all that you do for us. Please intercede on our behalf and others.

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  72. I can't even begin to tell you how this new travel plan will affect our family. I'm scheduled for a surgical medical procedure (to removed a benign tumor) in two weeks that is not fully covered by my insurance. Next month, my uncle, who I take care of, has a surgical procedure. Total estimated out of pocket is $22K for both. I'm having to take money out of our 401K to help pay for the expenses. we cannot afford a trip to Korea for 4 weeks. Let a lone 2 weeks. We put away money for a 5 day trip thinking we could take a 3 day trip, but added some cushion in case they asked us to stay for 5 days.

    Please, we cannot afford a trip longer than 5 days. our finances are already maxed out. We are expected to travel sometime this year. If this is true, we will not have saved enough money to make the required number of days in Korea. If we can't make it, does this mean we lose our child? what will happen to her? She's so beautiful and sweet and we've already fallen in love with her. I don't want her to end up in an orphanage because we can't afford to make an unexpected trip out there to pick her up. Please, don't do this to the children and to the families who have gone through great struggles to bring her home.

    We are not of Korean heritage but we love our child the same. My husband and I, and even my uncle have been learning Korean. I'm practicing making Korean food and learning about how Koreans celebrate holidays. We've even practiced doing the "juhl" (bowing to your elders at New Years). We want our child to grow up knowing the Korean culture.

    I pray they will not mandate the 2 weeks or longer in Korea. We simply cannot afford it. Please think of our daughter and what will become of her if we can't adopt her. Will she really be better off in an orphanage? Please reconsider.

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  73. Wow. After starting this journey 5 years ago and having thought we had seen it all now this? It is difficult to comprehend and synthesize. It is important we don't give up on our little ones as things seem very fluid as the new process evolves. We are very fortunate to have Steve, et al advocating for all the stakeholders in this.

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  74. In our personal situation it would be easier to make two shorter trips of say 5 days - the first for the court process, and the second to (hopefully) pick up our child - than it would be to spend 3-4+ weeks sitting around waiting in Korea (it would be impossible to enjoy the time under the circumstances). Even better if we could make one short trip and then have our child escorted home when all the paperwork was done.

    Honestly I haven't seen much evidence of visa physicals and visa issuance happening speedily in the past, so would adoptive parents be expected to wait in-country indefinitely?

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  75. We are one of the 2012 quota that is not filled. We have received our EP but are waiting to be submitted to Family Court. We were matched in Nov. 2011 and have been waiting 16 months. Today we celebrated our son's second Birthday, without him.

    We have a small construction business. There is no one who can run the business in our absence. We would loose income on the business for the month we were in Korea. In addition, we would not be acquiring the needed work for when we returned home. This would not only effect our family but the families of all our employees.

    We have two school age children whom we homeschool. Although we are not effected by a school schedule, we do not have anyone we could leave our children with for two day much less 4 weeks.

    The cost of travel for a family of 4 for 4 weeks in Korea. Plus, the now added cost of our son's one way ticket home all adds up to quite a hefty sum.

    All that being said, we are blessed to do His work and will continue to put our faith and trust in Him.

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  76. I agree that the 14-day double check with the birthmother makes much more sense to occur before referral, and certainly before travel. However, even taking the additional time and cost into consideration, I'm concerned how this collection of comments could be perceived by the Korean government, as well as Korean birthmothers. This is an unexpected expense and time commitment that we are being given advance notice about. Little notice for many but still notice ahead of time. A child could and will likely require unexpected expenses and extra time commitment in his or her lifetime. Are we ready and secure enough to endure the unknowns of parenthood? If 2 extra weeks would cripple a family causing job loss and an overall lack of security, what does that say? If Americans just don't have the vacation time that Europeans have, what does that say? It's no one's fault that we are in this state, but when we ask the Korean Government to think of the children first, are we examining our own responses to these changes and thinking about the lack of confidence and preparedness we are portraying to the Korean Government and birthmothers? I know there are many other factors here, it is not fair what's happening, and I'm not sure what my husband and I are going to do yet, but we need to be careful what message we are sending and I as read these comments and shared everyone's frustration and moments of panic and hopelessness, I worried what this looks like to Korea. No offense meant to anyone.

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    1. Agreed. This discussion needs to be about the children, not the adoptive families. The Korean government doesn't owe us anything. I do believe they want to do what is best for their children, though. Let's try to objectively explain to those in power why these requirements aren't in the best interests of the children in their care.

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    2. I disagree. The discussion should definitely be centered around the children, however you cannot take out the human factor that the families have fallen in love with this child and in our hearts and minds, we've already promised to love, cherish and care for this child. Take for instance, Karin. The heart, time and money she and her family have put towards this child is gone. all for nothing. How can that not be taken into consideration.

      To the original comment, I'd say the difference is - our investment is in the process. The time and money it would take to hopefully bring our child home is a huge burden and one that we are just exhausted from. Your asking some of the families to take on an additional responsibility they originally was not asked to do. The difference between this and unexpected issues when the child arrives is...the child is home. This makes a big difference. Asking us to invest in a possibility that the child will come home vs. when the child is home, we'll do everything possible to ensure love and care.

      I love these discussions and think they are important for us to have. Thanks for your comment.

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  77. Hi Steve and everyone,

    First, Thank you Steve for all your hard work on this issue and your continued advocacy for Korea's children.

    As you are taking this input and relaying it to people in Korea, I'd only like to add one consideration which speaks to my particular circumstances.

    My husband and I are public school teachers. We share many of the financial concerns of those above. We do however have the summer months which we could spend an extended time in Korea without jeopardy to our jobs. Could you mention that having some flexibility in timing for travel might help out some parents? Even if one parent is a teacher, it might be better to be able to request summer travel so only 1 job is impacted. In addition, it would allow for less complications for those with school age children.

    Thank you again.

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  78. I am just so glad we completed our Korean adoptions in the mid-90's and early 2000's... There is no way on earth we'd be able to travel for that amount of time..financially and job-wise for my husband. Maybe one of us but both? I honestly do respect Korea's rights to make the rules they see fit-it's their country after all- but as someone who's been involved with Korean adoption in one way or another since 1995, the changes have been astronomical. All three of our children were special needs, two with serious issues. We needed waivers for two of them and I highly doubt they'd be granted these days. On the surface it just seems to me they want to shut the program down. I've been reading blogs from some older Korean adoptees who are entirely anti-adoption for whatever reasons and I'm sure they've had the ears of some in Korea.. It's all so, so sad.. It's the children who suffer...

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  79. Steve—first, thank you for your tireless work and advocacy for all. Also, thank you for giving us the most up-to-date, unvarnished information in addition to a forum to share our hopes, dreams, concerns, frustrations, worries, prayers, advice… There is comfort in knowing we are not alone in dealing with what is happening.

    While all here agree the needs of the children are paramount, it seems the issues/frustrations of the adoptive families are very relevant. As I read these posts many of us who are far into the process could potentially be forced out and will not be providing these children wonderful and loving homes—including many with other adopted Korean siblings. Additionally, potential future adoptive families will be dissuaded from adopting from Korea given these changes. The children will suffer as a result of this. This breaks all our hearts.

    Steve, along with the 3 primary agencies and other interested parties in Korea need to articulate our issues/frustrations as it seems the Family Court is really are unaware of this given their minimal experience with International Adoption. Implementation of the Law seems a work-in-progress so hopefully sensibility will prevail.

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  80. The only reason we choche Korea was that we could have our child escortet, becaurce I am suffering of a very bad fly fobia,and there is no treathment. I have several doctors word for it, and I have been sending this medical reasons to our agency for about a half year ago, and I still waiting to hear news. I think about it every day, and I cant let it go. I hope that they will let us who have acceptet our child for 9 mounth ago (and before the new law) have our child escortet.

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  81. Steve, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for your advocacy for orphans, and thank you for interceding on behalf of adoptive parents. My story is really not much different than other peoples', but the thought of not being able to complete this adoption, our third from Korea, breaks my heart.

    We brought our first son home from Korea in July 2009. He is the joy of our lives, and we decided he needed a brother so he would not grow up alone. In November 2011 we brought home our second son. Then, in January 2012, our adoption agency called to tell us that our oldest son has a biological brother in Korea who was placed for adoption. To say that we were shocked is an understatement. We had no idea how we would pay for another adoption, but after much prayer, we knew we were meant to bring this child home as well. We took a leap of faith, and God provided in miraculous ways. We also had to work more, sell things, and liquidate a retirement account, but we felt sure we would be able to complete our third and final adoption without going into debt.

    But now, with these new changes and expectations, we have a choice to make. We can walk away and know that our son may never meet his biological brother(who may very well grow up as an orphan), or, to the detriment of our family's future, we can take out loans or run up credit card debt to pay the additional costs of living in Korea for at least a month. Both of these options leave me feeling sick to my stomach. That is a choice no parent should ever, ever have to make.

    I am praying that the judges and all other involved parties can be brought to a better understanding of the unique challenges adoptive families face. My boys are 4 years and 2 years old, and since they have been home, my husband and I have only spent 1 night away from them. We have worked very hard to establish and maintain a secure attachment, and that means the presence of both parents is needed, and that routine and predicability is necessary for them. For both my husband and I to stay in Korea for 3 to 6 weeks without our boys is just not an option. To do so would have disastrous effects on their attachment. I can not imagine the difficulty of trying to repair that damage upon arriving home with a grieving toddler who also needs to adjust and develop a new attachment with us. Adoptive families need for everyone to be in the best possible emotional condition when a newly adopted sibling arrives in the home, and having Mom and Dad "disappear" for a month or more, and then come back tired, emotionally stressed and financially drained, with an upset and grieving sibling who also needs lots of attention, is a recipe for disaster.

    So that would leave us no other choice but for my husband and I to bring our 2 boys with us while we stay in Korea for the required amount of time. Just the plane tickets alone would cost more than $10,000, and then the cost of food and lodging needs to be added in. This is an expense that we did not plan for, and just can't take on without severe financial consequences that would have a long term impact on our family. We are not even sure that my husband could take that much time off from work, and if he could, most of it would be unpaid, further adding to the financial burden.

    We are honored to be the adoptive parents of our Korean born sons. We love them more than life itself, and have come to love their birth country and culture as well. We do not feel entitled to anything, and thank God daily for the priviledge of raising them as our own. We understand the need for some of the changes in the adoption laws and processes, but we are devastated by the perhaps unintended consequences it is having on both adoptive families who are waiting to bring their children home, as well as the children in Korea who are waiting to join their forever families. We hope and pray that the Korean Family Courts, lawmakers and all other involved parties will listen to the voice of reason. The future of many orphaned children may very well be at stake, and that is heart breaking.

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  82. Hi Steve, thank you so much for all you are doing to advocate for children and families. We are praying specifically that your voice will be heard. We are in the process of adopting our second Korean born son. He will turn 20 months old next month. We have been hoping to be in the first group of EPs submitted for this year. After having waited so long already to bring our son home, this news has been devastating. I am especially concerned about the requirement for birth moms to relinquish their children all over again. However, I understand why it is necessary given that there was no waiting period after relinquishment under the old law. I 100% support children remaining with their first parents, and if they can not then domestic adoption in Korea. However, if both those options fail, I do believe international adoption is appropriate to provide children a permanent loving family. I don't want our son's birth mom to experience the loss of her child, but on the other hand, I don't want to lose the child that I have dreamed of for over a year now. We have loved him, prayed for him, watched him grow up in pictures, checked our email repeatedly after we know he has been in for his monthly check-up, eaten dinner with his picture, told his big brother (also from Korea) all about him, and celebrated his first birthday. And yet I know he isn't ours in any legal sense. We have no right to him. But please do all that you can to help the Korean government officials understand how much we love and long for our children, and if at all possible the necessity of accomplishing the step of confirming relinquishment as soon as possible. Going forward, could there not be a second relinquishment just prior to a child being released for international adoption? Perhaps birth moms could be notified at the end of the 5 month waiting period to inform them that their child has not been adopted domestically and to inquire if it still their intention that their child be placed for international adoption. There could even be a 30 day waiting period after she gives her consent this second time for her to reconsider her decision.

    As far as travel, my husband is a member of the military, which gives a very generous 21 days for the purpose of adoption. However, it would be impossible for it to extend beyond that. He is a family nurse practitioner (he has a similar role to a family doctor), and is responsible for the care of over 1400 patients. These patients are relying on him for their ongoing medical care. Also, three weeks of travel would mean he has no time whatsoever to be at home bonding with our new son after he is home. There is also the issue of deployment. What happens if the military member is deployed and can't appear in court. In addition, military commanders can deny leave if it would disrupt the military mission. Being assigned a court date with no flexibility may be very difficult for military members.

    Furthermore, our first son has been home from Korea for only 18 months and is not ready to be left overnight with anyone, especially for such an extended amount of time. Doing so would seriously jeopardize the attachment we have worked very hard to build. We would have no choice but to take him to Korea with us, but we are unsure if he is emotionally ready for that either. He is also in speech therapy every week and would miss a significant amount of therapy with this new requirement.

    Financially, it will be very difficult, as this will more than double our travel expenses, but we will find a way.

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  83. Steve – thanks so much for all your work to help advocate for all our families. My Korean born son has been home for 10 months and we are now waiting to bring home his brother. My husband and I chose the Korea program because of the stability and respect that it has in the adoption community. Despite the challenges in the last few years and a 16 month wait to bring home our first son, we knew without a doubt that we wanted to adopt through this program again.

    We both have a limited amount of paid time to take for travel to Korea and for time at home to bond with our new family. Between needing to take additional time to allow for a 3-4 week stay in Korea and the substantial increase in travel costs, one or both of us may need to return to work much earlier than we would like. Like so many others, the travel requirements played a large part in knowing that we could afford to go with this program. If we need to stay in Korea for such a longer period of time, we will have an incredibly hard time making that work financially.

    In addition to that, I can’t imagine waiting for 14 days during what should be a joyous and exciting trip to find out if our adoption will even be allowed to proceed. If the birthmother is going to be contacted again and given any sort of time frame, I feel like it should be done before this point. I am very appreciative of the fact that there are steps being taken to ensure that the relinquishment of these babies happened in the correct way and to allow a birthmother time to make her decision. However, I think that it would be more beneficial if it happened at a much earlier stage in the process.

    Have the officials discussing this thought about what education and support birthmothers would need should they change their mind? What happens to the family who has waited for so many months –will a new referral be expedited for the family? Will that quota be used for a birthmother who decides to parent their child or will it be assigned to another family?

    We have one video and 4 sets of pictures of our little boy waiting for us in Korea, and we already love him so much. Our first son holds his little brother’s picture and hugs him and kisses him. I don’t want to even think about having to tell him that his brother is not coming home.

    Thank you for being our voice!

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  84. Has anyone thought that this doesn't entirely make sense. We're all up in arms about staying 4 weeks, but this is all still hearsay. What would the government care if I spent the month after my court date hanging around a hotel room in Korea watching TV? Would the know or care if I visited other countries then came back to Korea? I'm not saying it's not true. It just seems a little exaggerated. Just saying. Maybe wait until the 5th before we all cancel.

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  85. I have two adopted Korean sons (half brothers) who were adopted at different times. Our first son, we were supposed to go and receive at 8 months and went to Korea when he was 15 months, our second son, we went to Korea when he was 19 months and 3 weeks. I couldn't imagine having to wait as long with the possibility of not receiving him. What would have I told his older brother who at that time had just turned three. Outside of the incredible difficulties this leaves for the waiting families, I cannot imagine what it would be for the birth mothers. Does this mean that they would have to wait for two years until they go to court to tell them this is their wish? Somehow I find this to be a cruel and undue punishment for the gift and suffering they have already been through.

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  86. Hi Steve and Adoptive Families,
    We have two adopted boys from Korea. I counted myself very unlucky to be one of the first families not to make the cutoff after 2012 which meant that we waited an "extra" five months to get our son. I was in despair then. I have my son now and none of that wait seems to matter any more.

    My heart goes out to ALL waiting families that are hearing this news and trying to decide a course of action. I'm so sorry you are all dealing with the unknowns here and additional waits. I am hoping, fingers crossed, that you all have your wonderful babies home with you soon.

    Erin

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    1. It's great that your son is home! However, the situation now is different than your situation. Not only are we waiting and having to processes many more additional documents, we are facing the the possibility that after everything we have done and all the time we've spent waiting for our child to be home, there is a possibility that she/he won't ever come home. In addition, we are facing about an additional $15k for traveling to Korea and the stress of being in Korea for 3-4 weeks.

      If it was just a matter of waiting, yes - I'd agree that none of the waiting would seem to matter.

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  87. We are a Korean-American couple who have been waiting to hold our son since we received his referral one year ago. I am confused by this court process...why are we having to face a court judge after so much time has passed after our initial US home study has been approved, and the Korea agency has accepted our paperwork and provided us with a referral? I understand the new law went into effect in August, but why subject families to this scrutiny now so late in the process? Don't get me wrong, I support birth parent rights and wholeheartedly believe the birth parent should be given every opportunity to parent their child; however, this opportunity should not be after we travel to Korea. To suggest we come to Korea a year (and more) after we accepted our referral to be told we are 1) unfit or 2) the birth parent has taken the child back is cruel. My parents live in Korea, I go to Korea often and visit them for two weeks at a time--going there and staying there would be no issue for me (my husband; however, would not be able to stay that long--he is only allowed a certain amount of time off from work)--it's the thought of going there and leaving without our child that is really upsetting. Please reconsider this court process--I understand you have to implement it somehow because it went into effect in August, but it might be better to enact the court process with new families who have not started the process yet. I pray that all these considerations are taken into account during the meeting in March. Prayers for all involved. God Bless!

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    1. By "new families" I meant those who have not even started the paperwork process in the US--this new process would be completely unfair to those families who already submitted a homestudy. I also wanted to add that the court process should be done at the beginning, right after the US home study is sent to Korea. That way, a referral would come AFTER all involved parties have approved. The new court process should not be required for any family that already has an approved homestudy and acceptance by the Korea agency, and the four week required stay in Korea should be negated altogether for all families. If it is absolutely necessary to approach birth parents again (I understand that for some cases it is unclear if the children were properly relinquished?)--this needs to be done as soon as possible, not at the end.

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  88. We are also a Korean-American couple who have received a referral in 2012. I was born in America and my husband was born in Korea. He came to the United States when he was 2. Our case is similar to the person above. I have family in Korea so staying there is not an issue for me, but my husband is trauma surgeon and there is no way he could leave for a month. It is impossible to ask the other surgeons to cover his calls for a month, it would lead to poor patient care. I do believe that the fair way to handle this is to implement this step with the new families as well. I have children at home and it would be difficult to leave them for a month. I can't imagine going to Korea for a month only to come home alone. I pray that the family court judges try to see this from our perspective. I am grateful to Steve and MPAK and all that you do for this cause. I am praying that we get the children to their homes as soon as possible. Thank you.

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  89. I also think it is important to add that some adoption agencies require a minimum period of time off work (for at least one parent) after bringing your child home in order to facilitate bonding. For example, the agency that we are with requires one or the other of us to be off work for six weeks after our child comes home (we can also split the time between us).

    While I typically work from home, I don't see how I can take 6 weeks off plus another 3-4 weeks while in South Korea and still expect to have a job waiting for me when I only have 2 weeks of vacation. Even presuming we could afford to take unpaid leave, we really have no rights as employees and I can't imagine any employer being okay with their employee taking that much time off work at relatively short notice. It would also create an unfair burden on colleagues at work - someone has to do your work when you are not there!

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    1. Employees absolutely have rights! Most jobs (50+ person companies, must work there for at least 1,250 hrs or about half a year) are federally protected by FMLA for 12 weeks for the placement of an adopted child. Employers legally have to be "okay" with it, and provide a similar position for similar pay upon your return from leave. http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/

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    2. They don't have to pay you for this time off. And many companies still don't look favorably upon you doing so.

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  90. Thanks, Steve for your heart for these children. I concur with much of what people are saying about the length of stay in Korea being unreasonably and impractically long. For those who started the adoption process before 8/5/2012, there are many arguments for grandfathering them in to the previous process. I do see both sides of the issue on what is fair and not fair as everyone comes from different perspectives. However, what I don't think is in the best interest of the children is that future adoptive families may not consider Korea as an option due to the same unreasonable and impractical lengths of stay in Korea. This will likely decrease the number of adoptive families looking to adopt from Korea. And ultimately, if children are not placed in loving families, it is they who will suffer most.

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  91. As a Korean American adoptive parent and someone who just suffered the loss of an adoptive child (due to birth mother acquisition), I am quite terrified to re-engage in into this process again. My husband and I always had a heart for adoption from day 1 and will continue on our journey. However these new standards do not seem to align with the best interest of anyone, especially the poor children. I agree with all of aforementioned comments about initiating the verification process for relinquishment WAY early on (immediately after referral acceptance or soon after), why the 3-4 weeks time frame in Korea does not make sense financially or logistically and how these new policies will be detrimental to the overall IA program, thereby impacting the children who are innocent victims of this entire bureaucracy. All we can do is pray for radical change, stirring of the officials hearts and rapid movement for all those who are waiting. Thank you Steve for everything you do to advocate for these children!

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  92. It is heart breaking and sad with this new travel requirement. Do not get me wrong, I agree 110% that the birth mother needs to have a period of time for her to reclaim her child after relinquishing her child. But I also believe that the allowable time should expire before the adoptive parents travel to Korea for court hearing or to bring their children home. I know relinquishing a child is a dramatic experience, but if the birth mother still has the right to reclaim her child when the adoptive parents are already in Korea, this seems very cruel, especially if they have to come home empty handed because the birth mom reclaimed her child during that time.
    One might argue, why the 14 days of "cool down" matter if the birth mom has not come forward in the last 2 years? I do not want to speculate, but it will depend on what the family court is going to tell her. The court could persuade her to raise her own child with some government benefits.
    I pray that the court will look beyond their own government agenda and focus on the well being of the orphans and the hardship that this new travel requirement will impose to the families who love to be parents to this orphans.
    Steve, I'm grateful for what you and MPAK do, a voice for the voiceless.

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  93. I think that the b. mothers could have the time BEFORE refferal to us to reclaim her child. I realy thougth that when we get refferal and acceptet our child, the b. mothers could not reclaim anymore. I thouht also that it was the reason our child the most of the time is about 7 mounth when we have refferal.

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  94. Thanks Steve for being our voice in Korea. A lot of people have already expressed how I feel, but I just want to add this. I am not a Korean American, but I am an Asian American, so I understand how Koreans feel toward adoptions. In Korea, some think adoption is taboo, and others are more open minded. I don't want children there to feel ostracized because they are orphans or were adopted there. They need to feel loved and accepted regardless of their family background. We, as parents in the US can offer that, after all we are a melted pot here. My husband and I could not have any children, and after 13 long years were blessed with two beautiful boys from Korea. We have been patiently waiting for 21 months now, and might still need to wait for another year before referral. I hope the Korean government understands the sacrifices we are making every day to bring a little sister home, we don't think our family is complete yet. My boys pray for their sister every day, wanted to buy baby clothes and toys for her, getting upset that they can't see her yet. Unfortunately, I did not get any grants, donations or inheritance to help pay for the adoption costs, and I will borrow more if I have too, but I need to bring home my little boys' little sister home or they will be devasted. My heart really goes to all the children who won't be matched or can't leave the country and have to leave in an orphanage until they are 18. Let's pray all the orphans, birth moms, adopion agencies, Korean government and the adoptive parents. Thank you and be blessed.

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  95. Dear Steve - First of all, we can’t possibly thank you enough for all of the great work that you do with this website and advocating for children and families in Korea and abroad. Please keep up the phenomenal work and know that it is very much appreciated.

    We are 24 months into our Korean adoption process, and just received our referral two months ago from SWS. Looking past the financial and time-away-from-work implications of this potential change, our biggest concern by far is the fact that we may end up flying all the way to Korea to find out that the birth mother has changed her mind two years into our process. While we definitely agree that the birth mother should be given every opportunity to change her mind up to a certain point in the process, I can safely say that we all agree that these opportunities need to happen pre-referral. One of our greatest concerns with these new laws is regarding our four-year-old son (who we also adopted from South Korea) that has already started the bonding process with this child. If we would have had even the slightest clue that the entire process may be completely changed as the Korean courts are considering, we would have shielded him from the referral information and never shown him the baby’s pictures, but it’s far too late for that now. Our families have also started the bonding process, and I can’t even imagine the nightmare that it would be…….flying back home, after fourteen days of waiting for the birth mother’s decision, with no child in our arms. For that matter…..I need to ask why their government allowed our referral to be sent at all (just two months ago) if there was any hint that major changes like this were being considered? How could we even start to try to explain this situation to our four-year-old?

    With all possible due respect to those that are not as far along in the process, we are pleading with you to focus your efforts on urging them to strongly consider “grandfathering” those of us that have already received our referral information. This is the most difficult change in circumstances that we could imagine after our waiting period, and I can’t believe that a developed nation would even consider doing this to a group of extremely well-intentioned people midstream. I know that there are Eastern families that have had their referrals for 15+ months, and I can’t even imagine what they must be going through right now. It is very obvious to nearly everyone that they are trying to eventually shut down the program, but I would plead with them to extend the current laws to at least those of us that have already received our referrals, and consider implementing the new laws for people that are just entering the program. These people will have all of the new rules in front of them and will be able to make a fully informed choice as to whether they would still like to pursue a Korean adoption despite the new laws. For people like us, there is absolutely no option of turning back as we are already 1000% emotionally invested in this little guy.

    We know many families that have also gone through the Korean adoption process and, to a person, we all agree that it would be best for everyone involved if all Korean children that were orphaned annually were adopted domestically. This is just simply not the current reality, though, and will not be any time in the near future. We really are simply trying to help. To us, a child in need of a home and a loving family is just that. We fully realize that there is a faction of Korean people that are vehemently opposed to Korean children being adopted by people from outside of their country, but we just can’t see how even this faction could look at this possible plan without understanding the agony that it could potentially put all of us through…..including and most importantly, the birth mother. Please plead for common sense to prevail, and ask them to let us complete our processes before rolling out the new laws. Thank you once again.

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  96. Thank you for the update. I'm so glad I found your blog. Our agency hadn't told us any of this.

    commenters,
    I agree...the changes are difficult and inconvenient, but surely one would realize from the beginning that adoption is not an easy or predictable choice and process. All the bureaucracy, paper work, financial burden, and long months spent waiting don't even come close to what Christ had to go through in order to adopt us, so I will joyfully endure the pain of this process.

    We too were planning on a quick trip to Korea, but now that there's the possibility of the extended stay, we are seeing it as an amazing opportunity to record and document our son's culture and birth country. We have decided to bring our children on the a life changing trip to their brother's country.

    Yes, it will be costly, but before any decision is made one must count the cost. I don't make a lot of money, but I am willing to lose my job if that's what it takes to bring him home.

    I don't mean to be insensitive, and I think it's awesome that there are so many families willing to open their homes to orphans. It's just discouraging to see so many comments complaining to the only source of news I know of. Whether its positive or negative, this man is giving of his time to inform us of what's going on, and I'm grateful for that.

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    1. Dustin, Thank you. I appreciate your positive outlook and understanding.

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  97. Dustin,
    While I applaud your faith (and in some ways jealous), however, I’d just like to be clear on some points.

    I wouldn’t say we are complaining. Steve asked us for our voices because the decision the judges made is an injustice to everyone involved in the adoption process (kids, birth mothers, adopting families and the foster families). Most have stated their reasons why the new travel requirement is such a burden.

    It’s great that you are willing to lose your job and that you will do whatever it takes to bring home your child. However, unless your wife has a job, I’m not so sure I’d feel comfortable allowing a family who has just incurred a huge debt (trip to Korea) and will be returning with no job – and now has another person to take care of. Some of us are a one income family.

    A lot of us are trying to do whatever we can to bring our kids home as well as trying to make sure that when they do come home, we are financially able to take care of them without being a burden on society or others and also have as much time as we can have with them before returning to work.

    Also, some of us aren’t comfortable taking our kids out of school for 4 weeks. Leaving a child behind without his/her parents for 4 weeks isn’t ideal either. So, I wouldn’t call this complaining. It’s stating the obvious.

    We are all grateful for the site along with Steve and the MPAK team. As I mentioned, Steve asked for our voices. Doing this was the smartest and most effective way to get our voices heard. Otherwise, some of us would be contacting every government official known to man to get the word out and who knows what chaos that could potentially create.

    It’s great you’re being positive during this difficult time, however some of us are realists who are trying to stay positive during this difficult time. Rather than sitting around waiting for the next ridiculous request we get from the courts, if MPAK can be a voice for us, then I think we owe them our honesty. None of us know what the judges know about the US. Judging on the last piece of document we had to sign, stating we will respect our child’s choice of religion, show they may not know much about the US or it’s Constitution. Another example is, the courts asked for some government issued documents a few months back. They wanted it back within 14 days. Now, by the time the communication got back to us, we would have lost perhaps a day or two. I know of no immigration office in the US who will send you certified copies of documents within 14 days. However, it’s not like that in Korea. They can get certified copies the same day! All the more reason why it’s important for us to let MPAK know our thoughts and feedback.

    Rather than being discouraged, please feel encouraged that families are finally voicing their thoughts about the Korean adoption process. Many of us just sat and waited because we didn't want to ruffle any feathers. Now, there are voices. MPAK has something solid they can take to Korea to fight for everyone involved with Korean adoptions.


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    1. Yes, I did ask for parents' opinion, and I appreciate very much for the inputs. The voices of adoptive families need to be delivered. Thank you all, again.

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    2. I'm sorry for the confusion. Yesterday when I clicked on the comments I was taken to this page, but I thought these comments were for the March 4 blog post.

      I did not mean to offend or discourage anyone. If I have, please forgive me. I mistakenly thought these comments were for the march 4th post.

      my apologies,
      Dustin

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    3. Please, no apologies necessary. We are all very passionate about our kids and just want to bring them home. Every input is a voice and should be heard.

      We also want to make the process better so that other loving families can continue to adopt from Korea for as long as they will allow.

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  98. We have been waiting for a referral for over a year.my husband has an arrest record from when he was 18 and 19 years old. I am worried that the court will decide at the end of a process that we are not eligible to adopt. Why would this not be decided in the beginning my even of this procesd that we are okay to adopt. We should risk a ton of money plus our hearts could be broken for decision at the end of the process...it doesn't make sense.......

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