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The republic of South Korea is located on a peninsula extending from the continent of Asia into the Sea of Japan. Korea has a colorful history spanning 5,000 years and has been described as the “land of the morning calm.” Dillon International also has a long history with South Korea.
The agency began working with Eastern Social Welfare Society (formerly The David Livingston Foundation) in 1972 to place Korean children with U.S. families. Working together, Dillon International and Eastern Social Welfare Society (ESWS) established a system of foster care for children waiting to be adopted. This system has become a model in other countries for developing their own child welfare systems.
Children are received at Eastern’s Babies Home and then placed in foster care while they await adoption. ESWS provides counseling services for birth parents considering the relinquishment of their child for adoption. Most birth parents are young, single, and not prepared to provide a nurturing environment for their children because of economic disadvantages and the social stigma of single parenthood.
ESWS maintains two maternity homes — Esther’s Home and Sharon’s Home — where single women receive housing, medical care, and counseling during their pregnancy. Some children available for adoption had birth mothers who stayed at the maternity home until their child’s birth.
Children Eligible for Adoption from this Program
- Children with minor to moderate special needs
Length of Marriage
- Heterosexual married couples married at least 3 years for both first and/or second marriages.
- No more than one previous marriage per spouse.
- 25–42 years of age for non-Heritage family at time of application
- 25-49.5 years of age for families with both spouses of Korean Heritage
- Up to 49.5 years of age for any family who has previously adopted a child from Korea
- Up to 49.5 years of age for any Korean adult adoptee, either adopted from Korea or in the US
- 25-44.5 years of age for families with one Korean spouse
- No more than 10 years age difference between spouses.
Very minor arrest history could be considered case by case.
Children in Family Prior to Adoption
- No more than 4 children in the home
- Dillon is authorized to work with families in AR, KS, MO, OK and TX.
- If families reside in AL, CA, CT, DE, GA, ID, IN, KY, LA, MA, ME, MI, MS, MT, ND, NE, NH, OH, OR, RI, SC, SD, TN, VT, WA or WY, we can work to obtain special permission from Korea.
- People of Korean Heritage who reside in all 50 states considered on a case-by-case basis.
- Or U.S. residents of all 50 states who desire to adopt through the Waiting Child Program.
- No recent history or current use of anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medications.
- Applicants are required to be within the stated weight limits prior to accepting a referral.
- View weight chart here.
- Minimum annual income of $30,000
- Must meet 125% of the U.S. poverty income guidelines for a family of their size, including the child to be adopted.
- Families must be open to a child of either gender.
- Both parents must travel
- Two trips of 7-10 days each
- 4 post-placement reports due at 1, 3, 6 and 12 months
- Application: 2-3 months
- Home study: 2-3 months
- Referral: 3-5 months or 2-4 months for Korean Heritage family
- Child’s arrival: 16-22 months
- Total timeframe: 22-29 months or 21-28 for Korean Heritage family
Want to see how this compares to other countries’ requirements? Look at our country comparison chart.
Learn even more in the Adoption Guide.