After a 10-month interruption in travel permissions being issued from Korea, 6 AAC families were granted court dates in May and June of 2013. These families began to bring home their little ones at the end of June. Congratulations to all of these families for enduring the long delay and finally reaching the end of your adoption journey!
Korea’s Special Adoption Act has created many significant changes in their domestic and international placement programs, including the requirement that adoptive parents must appear before the Korean family court to finalize the adoption. With the finalization completed in-country, the U.S. Embassy is now able to issue an IR3 visa to the children coming home. This means that the adopted child becomes a U.S. citizen upon entry into the U.S. and a Certificate of Citizenship will be automatically sent to the family.
The adoption process in Korea is still undergoing modifications. In May, Korea signed up to become a partner in the Hague Convention. Hague regulations have not yet been implemented, but Korea is making progress toward becoming Hague compliant before the requirements go into effect.
Korea began processing files under the 2013 Exit Quota in May, and in July, 2 AAC families have been given court dates for late August.
At this time, there is no way to accurately predict a timeline for Korea’s processing of the children’s exit permissions (EPs). The adoption journey is a long one. Families currently planning to travel have waited more than 20 months to bring their children home. We can only hope that the process will become more streamlined and predictable as all the details are worked out.