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South Korea is not currently a Hague Adoption Convention Country, meaning it does not abide by regulations and guidelines that have been agreed upon by all countries within the Hague Convention. Even so, South Korea is a popular choice for potential adoptive parents looking to add to their families through international adoption.

Eligibility for Adoptive Parents

1. Before adopting, applicants must be approved by South Korea and the United States.

2. No residency requirements are listed, meaning potential adoptive parents do not have to reside in South Korea in order to gain eligibility for adoption.

3. In order to adopt from South Korea, applicants must be between the ages of twenty-five and forty-four. Unlike some other countries, both applicants must meet the age requirement and limitation. However, a special waiver can be requested if one applicant meets age requirements.

4. Married applicants can't be more than fifteen years apart in age.

5. Married applicants have to be married for a minimum of three years.

6. South Korea only allows married couples to apply for adoption. No singles are eligible at this time.

7. Prospective adoptive parents must have an income above the U.S. national average to be eligible to adopt.

8. Anyone wanting to adopt from South Korea cannot have more than five children, and that includes the children that are currently being placed and adopted.

Eligibility for Adoptable Children

South Korea only has a few requirements that determine whether or not a child is eligible for intercountry placement.

1. The child must be defined as an orphan under the laws in the United States.

2. There is a five-month waiting period before an adoptable child is placed through intercountry adoption. This is to make sure the child can't be placed domestically first. Only then is international placement legally allowed.

Adoption Process Details

Adoption process details differ depending on which international country applicants choose. Here are a few of the details for those hoping to adopt from South Korea.

1. Applicants must work with a U.S. licensed agency and one that is approved by the government in South Korea. The best bet is to find an agency that fits both requirements.

2. Once applicants are approved for adoption, South Korea will match them with an eligible child.

3. The average time frame for an adoption finalization when adopting from South Korea is anywhere from one year to four years. If prospective adoptive parents are looking for a healthy infant, it usually takes about three years to finalize, whereas children with special needs can be placed usually within a year.

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