Adoption Update

The most up-to-date adoption news

South Korea

ELIGIBILITY TO ADOPT: South Korean authorities have advised the U.S. Embassy in Seoul of the following criteria for selecting adoptive parents.  These criteria have been established by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. They are administrative policy guidelines and not legal requirements, but local adoption agencies can be expected to follow them:

  • The adoptive parents must be eligible to adopt under the laws of their country or state of residence.
  • Single parents are not eligible.
  • The couple should be married for at least three years and be between the ages of 25 and 44.  Korean authorities usually require that both adoptive parents in overseas adoptions be younger than 45 years old; however, they may make exceptions in some cases. The following three factors, while unofficial and applied differently from case to case, may be considered when making exceptions to the age limit:
  1. At least one parent is under 45
  2. The adoptive parents have previously adopted a Korean orphan
  3. The parents are willing to adopt an orphan with serious medical problems
  • The adoptive couple should have no more than five children. This number includes the child or children to be adopted
  • The couple should not have an age difference of more than 15 years
  • The income of the adoptive couple should be higher than the national average of their country and sufficient to raise the child.


RESIDECY REQUIREMENTS: Parents living in the U.S. do not need residency in Korea to adopt a child from Korea .  They only need to contact one of the U.S. adoption agencies affiliated with Korean adoption agencies authorized by Korean government. 

TIME FRAME: The period of time between when a couple first applies for a child and when the child arrives in the United States is anywhere between one and four years. One year is the norm for hard-to-place handicapped children and three years is usual for healthy infants.

(All information taken from the U.S. Department of State website)


  1. Hello I want to inquire I am Korean citizen, my husband died already and we dont have children. I want to adopt in the Philippines my niece who is 12 years old now. I’m alone living in Korea. I have my own business and has house. I’m recieving monthly pension from my husband. Im already 53 years old korean age. Am I still qualified to adopt? If so, what are the requirements. Please send in my e-mail address.

    Comment by Lilibeth Iturrios | October 16, 2011 | Reply

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