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Korean adoption

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  1. #1
    AmyA
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    Korean adoption

    Is it too late to adopt from Korea? I know the program is closing to the US soon. Any advice appreciated!
    Amy
    Amy


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  3. #2
    delaware1
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    Have you checked Rainbow Kids?
    Korea South Adoption
    Also, are you married? Singles can't adopt from Korea.
    Good Luck!
    "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." ~ Leo Tolstoy


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    delaware1
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    Hmm. Rainbow Kids might need to update their Korea page. Here's a different link that says it will close in 2012. You should contact an agency licensed for Korean adoptions and see if they are taking new applicants at this time.
    "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." ~ Leo Tolstoy


  5. #4
    sak9645
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    In case anyone has this question today...

    Korea didn't close. The numbers of available children are lower, but the program is still open. Korea has become so prosperous that fewer children are being placed for adoption, and more single Korean women are feeling more comfortable about parenting if they become pregnant. The Korean government is also beginning to give incentives for domestic adoption, such as tax credits.

    Children listed as healthy are still being referred. However, because of changing social conditions, the characteristics of birthmothers are changing, and that is affecting health status of the children. As an example, in the past, many of the children placed for adoption were born to young single women who lived with their parents and were quite sheltered. Drinking, smoking, and drug use were uncommon, and the pregnancies sometimes occurred with the first sexual experience, which may have occurred without the use of contraception. During their pregnancies, the young women often were placed in supervised maternity homes, to avoid bringing shame to their families. They got prenatal care, and their deliveries occurred in hospitals. Good medical records were available.

    Today, while some pregnant women like these are still placing babies, many Korean young women today are much less sheltered. They live on their own, date, drink, smoke, and so on. Like American young women, they know about contraception, but may or may not use it. They also know about abortion, and may choose to end their pregnancies. And some choose to raise the babies they bear. Many of the women still get prenatal care and deliver in hospitals, but there may be a little less honesty about health habits, such as use of the national alcoholic beverage, shoju, which can be fairly strong. Unfortunately, alcohol abuse among Korean teens and young adults, including females, has reached fairly high levels. But there are also women who don't get prenatal care, don't take good care of themselves, have multiple partners, have a history of STDs, and so on. The good news is that Korean medical records are excellent, and doctors practice Western style medicine, so they ask all the right questions. However, because of the changing demographics, there may be a few more cases of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders -- which often can't be diagnosed until a child is of school age -- coming through the system undetected.

    Because fewer healthy infants are available, agencies will often ask you if you are open to some minor to moderate special needs, which may include things as minor as known tobacco exposure, as well as things like a urogenital abnormality, a missing hand, mild cerebral palsy, a correctable heart defect, or simply birth to a woman with mental illness or mental retardation, possibly (but not necessarily) genetic. If you are, you will have a quicker experience, and more choice of agencies. Some agencies may also have access to grants for adoption of children with certain special needs.

    Overall, if you meet South Korea's rigid standards for prospective adoptive parents, however, it remains one of the best countries from which to adopt. The children are generally placed with well trained and supervised foster families. They get decent medical care, immunizations, physical therapy (if needed), and so on. The program has been in place for well over 50 years, and is one of the most corruption-free in the world.

    Korea is the only country in the world that requires you to use a placement agency licensed in your state of residence and accredited by Korea, if going through a healthy infant program. (With most countries, you can use an agency located anywhere in the U.S., as long as you have a local homestudy.) You will have a wider choice of agencies if you are adopting a child with special needs. Because the Korea program has been in existence so long, some of the agencies that place children from Korea have been working with the country for 20 or 30 years or more, and are among the best in the U.S. Each U.S. agency is linked to one of four Korean social welfare agencies, each of which has its own timetable for referrals.

    As to the criteria for parents, check with agencies. However, you DO have to be married, and there are rules about length of marriage and number of divorces, as well as children in the home. Parents also have to be no older than about 42 at the time they start the process. The parents must have excellent health, and must not be considered obese. There are some rules about income. Certain rules may be liberalized for adoption of children with special needs, but singles are never accepted.
    Sharon


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