Adopting From South Korea
Wide Horizons For Children has worked in South Korea with our partner Holt Children’s Services for 40 years and has placed more than 4,300 children with loving families. Toddler-aged boys and girls are placed through international adoption. Because families in Korea have a preference for baby girls, more boys are in need of adoptive families
South Korea is a non-Hague Convention country at present and all Wide Horizons For Children adoptions are overseen by Holt Children’s Services (HCS).
About South Korea
South Korea, officially known as the Republic of Korea, is home to nearly 49 million residents. The country is highly homogeneous. The official language is Korean, but English is often taught in junior and senior high schools. Christian religions and Buddhism are widely practiced.
The following applicants are eligible for the Wide Horizons For Children South Korea Adoption Program. Please note that eligibility requirements for adoptive parents are usually determined by adoption officials in the child’s birth country. We accept applications for this program from qualified applicants in any US state.
Married Heterosexual Couples Age 25-44
- No more than a 10-year age difference between spouses
- Married three years or more
- No more than two divorces each
- No more than four children already in the home
- Commitment to fostering long term ties to local Korean-American community
- The approved Home Study Report must be completed before the applicants' 45th birthday
Age exception allowed for married couples age 45-49 only if they meet at least one of the following additional criteria:
- Both spouses are Korean-American
- At least one spouse is a Korean adoptee
- The family has already adopted from South Korea
- The approved Home Study Report must be completed before the applicants’ 50th birthday
Please note that the above criteria are not all-inclusive; all international programs require proof of financial stability and have additional restrictions with respect to criminal history, physical and mental health.
Children Who Need Families
Toddler-aged boys and girls are placed through international adoption. Because families in Korea who adopt often have a preference for baby girls, more boys are in need of international adoptive families. Families must be open to adopting a child of either gender. Children are cared for by Holt-approved foster parents or in the Holt Reception Center, a small, modern, well-equipped facility with a high caretaker-to-child ratio. Children receive excellent medical care.
Children placed through international adoption are voluntarily relinquished by their birth parent(s), who have made an adoption plan for them. Most children are 8-10 months of age at time of referral and 18-24 months old at time of arrival.
Although we do not expect to be assigned waiting children from South Korea, adopting a waiting child can be a wonderful option for some families! If you are open to a school-aged child, a sibling group with a school-aged child or a child with an identified medical need, you could request a match with a waiting child and arrive home in under a year. Eligibility requirements are generally more flexible, and photos and medical information can be reviewed prior to match. Subsidies are often available.
Information You Can Expect to Receive
You will receive photos, detailed medical information and a family history report on your child. Families receive medical updates and photos on a regular basis during the period between referral and travel.
Estimated Wait Times for a Referral
Most applicants receive their child’s referral in less than six months after their dossier is submitted.
Travel Requirements and Experience
Two trips of approximately one week each are required to bring your child home. You will most likely travel 9-15 months after receiving your child’s referral. Both parents are required to travel for the first trip, and at least one parent, a U.S. citizen, is required to travel for the second trip. Accommodations in Seoul are modern and comfortable, and English is widely spoken.
Please download our Adoption Information Guide for a comprehensive list of fees and other important information on all Wide Horizons For Children adoption programs.
Wide Horizons For Children South Korea Program Staff
Our expert program staff will guide you throughout your adoption journey in both the US and South Korea. We have extensive knowledge of the country and its child welfare and adoption system. We have maintained strong relationships with both adoption authorities and our in-country partners, Holt Children’s Services in Seoul, for more than 40 years.
We offer free consultations with an adoption specialist who can explain the process and start you on your adoption journey.
We look forward to working with you.
- Steps in the international adoption process
- Wide Horizons For Children Korea Adoption Program Fees
- Korea adoption resources
- Financing your adoption
- Family stories