Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Update for Korea Families

Dear AAC families,

I’d like to share a quick update on recent happenings in Korea.

Last week, AAC was informed that 4 of our families’ files have been submitted to Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) for EP approval.  All of these families were matched with their children early in 2012 and are part of the first group filing for the 2013 exit quota.  After the files are approved by MOHW, they will be presented to the Korea family court for review.

On Friday May 31st, three AAC families had their hearings at the Korea family court.  Here is a copy of an email I received from one of the families describing their experience:

It (the court hearing) wasn't as bad as we expected.  There was one judge and we sat the whole time.  Christie was there as our translator and the Director of Eastern, Mrs. Kim, came into the courtroom as well.  The questions they asked us were: 
•            Why did we choose to adopt from Korea? 
•            Do we know anyone that has adopted from Korea? 
•            Did we get to meet our son? 
•            After meeting him, what was our experience and do we still want to proceed with his adoption? 
•            How long have we been waiting? 
•            Are we going to make sure he will be a US citizen? 
•            What we both did for a living?
•            Are we staying in country for the duration? 
The whole thing took about 10 minutes.  We spoke to other families and they were asked pretty much the same questions.  The judges were very surprised at how long all the families have been waiting.  We felt very positive after we came out of the courtroom and it seemed like they wanted to expedite this process.
Korea was wonderful and we had such a great time.  I can't wait until we hear word on our court approval and we can go back to get him.  We are hoping to travel in the next couple of weeks. 
Our staff will return from Korea at the end of the week.  I’m looking forward to hearing more about their trip!

Also in the news last week was the announcement that Korea has signed the Hague Adoption Convention. This is the first step for South Korea in becoming a Convention partner.  There is no set timeline for the ratification and implementation of the Convention.  You may check for updates through  We have no way of knowing what impact (if any) this may have on the overall timeline of the adoption program.
Korea has been moving toward Hague compliance for some time and we expect a relatively smooth transition.  AAC experienced the same type of Hague transition when China became a Hague partner a few years ago. 

I hope to send more updates after our staff gets back to the office and settled in a bit.  Stay tuned!

Best wishes,

PS. All the families that had their court appearance on May 31st have their court approval and are now in the 14 day waiting period!!!