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Korean Adoption-How to find a US agency

Korean international adoptions are sponsored through four independent Korean adoption agencies, rather than the Korean government. (This is one reason why Korea is not a member of the Hague Treaty on Intercountry Adoption.) Each of these Korean agencies works with specific agencies in the US. They only allow their US partner agencies to place in specific states. There is actually a logical reason for this since Korean children are placed with families under a guardianship arrangement with the US agency. The adoption is finalized in the US under the law of the state where the family is living, rather than in Korea.

  • EASTERN SOCIAL WELFARE SOCIETY, INC. Eastern has a map on their website with links to the US agency they place with. Click on the button that says Counterpart Agencies. Unfortunately, the map is incomplete. It shows the location of the home agency, but does not list all the states that agency is able to place in. For example, Dillon International is shown as placing in Oklahoma, their home state, but they also place in Texas, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and southern California, which are not shown on the Eastern SWS map. Another example is Children's Home Society and Family Service. The map shows them as placing in Minnesota, but they also place children in Iowa, western Wisconsin, Washington D.C., Maryland and counties in Northern Virginia and Richmond. If your state does not have an agency listed on the map, I would suggest contacting the listed agency in the state closest to you.
  • HOLT INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S SERVICES places with the following US agencies:
  • KOREA SOCIAL SERVICE KSS partners with the following US agencies and you will need to contact the agencies to ask what states they can place in:
  • SOCIAL WELFARE SOCIETY, INC. . SWS does not list which US agencies they work with, but you can email them to ask about your state. (Do not use the link from the State Department website. It is bogus and looks pretty skethcy to me.)

There is a list of agencies by US state at the Adopting from Korea website but I’m not sure how up to date it is.

Unfortunately, it is little bit more complicated. The US agency may have a contract with another agency to place children in that state. For example, Catholic Charities in Maryland might work with another Catholic Charities to place children, so it is best to contact the main office of the US agency and ask what states they can place in.

In addition, many agencies can place children with special needs in all states, so if you are open to a child with special needs, contact several of the US agencies listed above and ask what SN children they are currently trying to find homes for.

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