Government to Implement State-Led Adoption System in South Korea

Seoul - South Korea's government has announced plans to introduce a state-led adoption system aimed at ensuring the well-being of adoptees and reducing the number of children adopted overseas. Health ministry officials shared the details on Friday as part of a broader strategy to overhaul the nation's adoption process.

According to Yonhap News Agency, this reform is set to be implemented in conjunction with new laws on overseas and domestic adoption scheduled for July next year. The new system will shift the responsibility for managing the adoption process from private agencies to central and regional government bodies. This change is intended to better facilitate the placement of children and provide enhanced support to adoptive families.

Local governments will now have the authority to permit adoptions only when they serve the best interest of the child. Additionally, regional municipal leaders will act as official guardians for adoptees until the adoption is finalized. The health ministry will take on the role of selecting candidates for overseas adoption and verifying the suitability of prospective adoptive parents.

As part of the measures to promote domestic over international adoptions, the health ministry reported that 79 South Korean children were adopted abroad last year, a decrease from previous years. The new policies will also include the establishment of consulting services and processing of adoption applications by the health ministry and its affiliate agency.

Furthermore, the government plans to offer pre-parenting courses to prospective adoptive parents and will facilitate an expedited adoption process for those willing to adopt older children or those with medical issues. The qualification verification for prospective parents will also be enhanced to ensure a thorough assessment of financial and other critical factors.

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