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The Barker Adoption Foundation has helped hundreds of children in South Korea to experience the permanency and love of an adoptive family.

Barker’s partnership with the Social Welfare Society (SWS) Inc. began in 2003, and today SWS remains one of Barker’s strongest and most predictable international programs. Founded in 1954, SWS was the first agency authorized by the Korean government to place children internationally. Both Barker and SWS are known for high ethical standards and integrity and are committed to lifelong post-adoption services and support for adopted children and their “forever families.” 

Adoptive Parent Eligibility Guidelines of SWS

  • Heterosexual couples must have been married three years or more. There can have been no more than one divorce for each adoptive parent, and there can be no more than a 10-year age gap between spouses.
  • All adoptive parents must be at least age 25 to apply, and both must be age 45 or younger at the time of paperwork submission to Korea . An age waiver may be requested when the adoptive parents are younger than age 50 and meet one of the following criteria: at least one of the adoptive parents is of Korean descent or is an adoptee, or the couple has already adopted a child from Korea.
  • All adoptive parents must be in good health physically, mentally, and emotionally, with a maximum permissible body mass index not to exceed 30. Medical situations are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Adoptive parents may have no more than four children already living in their home.  

Circumstances of Children in Need of Adoptive Families

  • Infants are 6 months old to 15 months old at referral. When a child has medical needs, excellent information is provided.
  • All children are in foster care homes.
  • Most children are placed for adoption by unmarried mothers concerned about the stigma that children born out of wedlock may experience.
  • The referrals of children typically are accompanied by a significant amount of social and medical information about the birth mother, and often about the birth father.
  • SWS offers and strongly encourages the use of their post-placement support services for both birth mothers and adopted children. This includes, but is not limited to, exchanges of photos and letters and sometimes reunions. 

Process & Timeline

  1. Submit an adoption application to Barker.Complete the pre-adoption group, the on-line training, and the home study.
  2. Complete and submit an adoption dossier for South Korea.
  3. Receive a referral within six months after the dossier is submitted to South Korea.
  4. Approximately seven to ten months after acceptance of the referral travel to South Korea for the first trip to visit the child and to appear for the required adoption court hearing, arranged by SWS.
  5. Approximately one month later, travel to South Korea for the second trip to obtain a visa for the child and to bring the child home.
  6. Welcome the child to their new permanent home, and begin the required 12-month post-placement supervision period.