Adopting from South Korea
Notice: As of July 14, 2014, all individuals and agencies facilitating international adoptions must be in compliance with the Intercountry Universal Accreditation Act.
The information contained on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed and qualified professional. While the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.
About South Korea
South Korea over the past four decades has demonstrated incredible growth and global integration to become a high-tech industrialized economy. In the 1960s, GDP per capita was comparable with levels in the poorer countries of Africa and Asia. In 2004, South Korea joined the trillion-dollar club of world economies, and is currently the world's 12th largest economy. Initially, a system of close government and business ties, including directed credit and import restrictions, made this success possible. To learn more please read About South Korea (The Country). To learn more about the national anthem please read the South Korean National Anthem page. To learn more specific facts about South Korea please read the South Korea Travel Fact Sheet page.
South Korea Adoption Alert
There have been multiple adoption alerts for South Korea over the years. To learn about these alerts please read the South Korea Adoption Alert page.
Hague Convention Information
The Republic of Korea (South Korea) is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Therefore, when the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force for the United States on April 1, 2008, intercountry adoption processing for South Korea did not change. To learn more please read about South Korea and the Hague Convention.
Who Can Adopt
To bring an adopted child to United States from South Korea, you must be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government agency responsible for making this determination is the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). To learn more please read about Who Can Adopt from South Korea.
Who Can Be Adopted
South Korea has specific requirements that a child must meet in order to be eligible for adoption. Under Korean law the "Special Law for Adoption Facilitation and Procedure" (amended in Feb. 2008) determines if a child is eligible for intercountry adoption. You cannot adopt a child in South Korea unless he or she meets specific requirements. To learn more please read about Who Can Be Adopted from South Korea.
How to Adopt
The process for adopting a child from South Korea generally includes the following steps:
- Choose an Adoption Service Provider
- Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
- Be Matched with a Child
- Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) in South Korea
- Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption
- Bring Your Child Home
To learn more about this process please read about How to Adopt from South Korea.
Applying for Your U.S. Passport
A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave South Korea. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports. Getting or renewing a passport is easy. To learn more please read about Traveling Abroad in South Korea.
What resources are available to assist families after the adoption?
Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family -- whether it's another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.
Here are some good places to start your support group search:
Child Welfare Information Gateway
North American Council on Adoptable Children
Adoption Services Support Group for Adopting Persons
U.S. Embassy in South Korea
32 Sejongno, Jongno-gu Seoul, Korea Tel: 011-82-2-397-4114 Fax: 011-82-2-738-8845 Email: http://seoul.usembassy.gov/
Mailing Address: U.S. Embassy Unit 15550 APO AP 96205-5550
South Korean Adoption Authority
The Family Support Department The Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs 6 th floor Hyundai Bldg. 75 Yulgong-ro Jongro-gu Seoul KOR Tel: 82-2-2023-8600 Fax: 82-2-2023-8611 Internet: South Korean Adoption Authority
Embassy of South Korea
Consular Section 2450 Massachusetts Ave., NW Washington, DC 20008 Tel: 202-939-5600 Internet: Embassy of South Korea
South Korea also has consulates in Agana (Guam), Anchorage, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Evanston (Illinois), Ft. Lauderdale, Honolulu, Houston, Kansas City (Kansas), Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Mobile, New Orleans, New York, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland (Oregon), San Francisco, San Juan, Seattle and St. Louis.
Office of Children's issues
U.S. Department of State CA/OCS/CI SA-17, 9th Floor Washington, DC 20522-1709 Tel: 1-888-407-4747 E-mail: AskCI@state.gov Internet: U.S. Department of State
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) For questions about immigration procedures, call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
Approved Adoption Agencies in South Korea
EASTERN SOCIAL WELFARE SOCIETY, INC.
493, Changchun-Dong, Sudaemun-Ku, Seoul Tel: 82-2-332-3941/5 Fax: 82-2-333-1588 Internet: Eastern Social Welfare Society
HOLT INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN'S SERVICES
382-14, Hapjong-Dong, Mapo-Ku, Seoul Tel: 82-2-332-7501~4, 322-8102~3 Fax: 82-2-335-6319 or 334-5440 Internet: Holt International Children's Services
KOREA SOCIAL SERVICE
533-3, Ssangmun-Dong, Dobong-Ku, Seoul Tel: 82-2-908-9191~3 Fax: 82-2-908-3344 Internet: Korea Social Service
SOCIAL WELFARE SOCIETY, INC.
718-35, Yuksam-Dong, Kangnam-Ku, Seoul Central Post Office Box 24, Seoul, Korea Tel: 82-2-552-1015~8, 552-6227 Fax: 82-2-552-1019. Internet: Social Welfare Society
Intercountry Adoption, Bureau of Consular Affairs. U.S. Department of State Country Information adoption.state.gov/country_information/country_specific_info.php?country-select=south_korea