It is official. The adoption agencies in Korea have officially heard from the Family Court that the visiting families need not show up at the Family Court. This means that your children will most likely be issued IR-4 visas, like the old way. Although IR-3 visa would be preferrable as this will finalize the adoption and secure the citizenship, this visa can only be obtained if the parents finalize their adoptions in Korea. But apparently the Family Court has postponed this method until Korea ratifies the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption. But even if Korea adopts the Hague Convention, it doesn't mean that the travel time will then be 3-4 weeks. China has adopted Hague Convention, and I hear their adoption finalization process takes less than ten days at most. So by the time Korea ratifies the Hague, they will have figured out how to best assist the visiting parents.
Under IR-4, it is up to the parents to finalize the adoption and to apply for the citizenship. In the past some parents have been ignorant on the importance of adoption finalization and forgot to apply for the citizenship in the residing countries. The consequence of that has been that if an adult adoptee gets into trouble with the laws, they may be deported to Korea if their citizenship can't be proven. It does not matter whether one can clearly show that he/she was legally adopted or not. There are some Korean adoptees living in Korea that have been deported, and the efforts to secure their return is still being discussed at higher levels of the government.
But thankfully the adoption agencies in the US have been very proactive in recent years to make sure the families they serve will properly go through the adoption finalization and obtain citizenshp for their children. As recent as last year, the agencies in Korea were criticized by the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) for not being able to provide the proof of citizenship on all the children they have served. But for the agencies this was an impossible task as many have moved away and could not be contacted. So the agencies are now very proactive with the US agencies to make sure that this process gets completed as soon as children arrive in the US.
I hear rumors that some anti-adoption elements in Korea have been criticizing my works to speak on behalf of the children and the waiting families. The fact that your voices were delivered to the court, and that the judges heard your please, they are angry that the judges listened to us.
The anti-adoption elements in Korea are more interested in speaking ill of adoption than the unwed mothers' causes they supposedly represent. I think they should just concentrate on promoting the rights of birthmothers, and they may get results much quicker. I fully support the rights of birthmothers to raise their children if they choose to. I ask they let us do our job to promote adoption on behalf of children that have already been relinquished or abandoned by their birthmothers that could not keep them.
As for another news on EPs and the quota situation, I am told that just today the Family Court processed the last case of the quota from the year 2012. The agencies have not been told what the quota will be for this year (you can expect 10% reduction from last year).
Let us not loose the hearts to continue to speak on behalf of children who cannot speak for themselves.