How South Korea Adoption Works

Figuring out how South Korea adoption works isn't as bad as it may seem. Here are some good things to know before you start the process.

Jennifer S. Jones May 31, 2018

Considering international adoption is a big, exciting step. There are many countries to choose from, and it is important to understand how each nation works. The country of South Korea has a long history of intercountry adoptions dating back to the early 1950s. From 1999-2016, according to the U.S. Department of State, 20,318 children were placed with U.S. families from South Korea. Though the number of international adoptions has declined in recent years, South Korea is still considered to have a stable adoption program.

Though not a Hague Convention Country, South Korea adheres to much of the same rules regarding intercountry adoption. As such, the process is similar to other intercountry adoptions in that you will need to determine eligibility, find an accredited adoption services provider, complete a home study, compile a dossier, and be matched with a child who is ready for adoption. Sound daunting? Don’t worry. The steps aren’t as difficult as they sound.

Complete an Acceptance Dossier
2. Complete an Acceptance Dossier

There is no better feeling than saying “Yes!” to a match and knowing that you will soon have an addition to your family. The next step is to complete an acceptance dossier for your child’s adoption. The acceptance dossier is comprised of affidavits from the Korean government citing appropriate income and assets to care for the child, a statement of adoption, and a completed I-600—which shows the child is eligible for adoption and has met the definition of “orphan” as described per USCIS.

The time between match and travel can be hard to navigate. Most agencies reference an 8-12 month wait after completing and submitting the acceptance dossier. While they wait, children reside in foster care homes until the adoption is completed. Foster parents are full-time providers who receive training, support, and medical care from the Korean child welfare agency. For the prospective adoptive parent, a good way to survive the wait is to ready your home and hearts. Paint your new child’s room, read about adoption parenting, make time with your spouse and family, and reach out to other waiting families. Before you know it, the time to travel will come.

author image

Jennifer S. Jones

Jennifer S. Jones is a writer, performer, storyteller and arts educator. She holds an MFA (Playwriting) from NYU Tisch. She has written numerous plays including the internationally renowned, award-winning Appearance of Life. Her amazing transracial transcultural family was created through adoption from China and India. She is passionate about the adoption community and talks about the ins and outs, ups and downs, joys and "is this really us?!" whenever she can. She writes about her experiences at

Related Articles See All

The views and opinions expressed through Articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of If you would like to report any articles for us to review, we would love to hear from you.

Host: www1