[Letters] Improving adoption procedures

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[Letters] Improving adoption procedures

I am writing to you about an issue that is very close to my heart. As you would be aware the South Korean government is keen to shut down its international adoption program and to encourage support for domestic adoption within Korea.

To assist with this it has provided incentives for Koreans to adopt domestically, increased the age to 5 months of when a child can be available for overseas adoption and is now starting to delay the issue of exit permits and passports for the babies put up for international adoption.

The practice of encouraging domestic adoption is a positive one for the children of Korea.

However, the growth of domestic adoption in South Korea is not matching the number of babies currently available for adoption and as a result babies are staying in foster or institutional care for longer than they should be.

This is not positive for the children of South Korea. The government needs to put in place some interim measures until domestic adoption is at the level required. These measures include to expedite the exit process once a child is available for international adoption as the younger the child is when they are adopted into their family the easier the transition is for the child.

I am a mother to four children, two of whom we have adopted from Korea. Our youngest child, Yoo Bhin who is six months old, is waiting for us in South Korea and we have been told that the wait is up to six months due to the delay in our adoption agency being able to get an exit permit for our son.

Whilst I am supportive of what the Korean government is trying to do in encouraging domestic adoption, I do not believe that it is fair for our son that he has to wait up to a year before he can be with us. I therefore ask your readers to help my son and other children of South Korea who are to be adopted internationally be placed with their families as soon as possible by encouraging the government to expedite the exit process once a child has been allocated overseas.

Kathryn Ker,

finance manager in Australia
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