Are you exploring adopting from South Korea? If you have questions about the children waiting in Korea or the adoption process, speak to an adoption specialist today. We are eager to talk to you! 

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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 Korea Welfare Services (KWS), formally known as Social Welfare Society (SWS) Inc. began in 2003, and today KWS remains one of Barker’s strongest and most predictable international programs. Both Barker and KWS 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."

Explore More About Barker's South Korea Adoption Program, Children Waiting and Eligibility:

CITIZENSHIP: At least one parent must be a United States citizen.

MARRIAGE: Heterosexual married couples who have been married 3 years or longer. Each parent cannot have more than one divorce. 

AGE: Parents must be at least 25 years old and under the age of 41.5 by the time of application to Barker. There are currently no exceptions being made to this age limit.

HEALTH: All adopting parents must be in excellent health physically, mentally, and emotionally with a maximum Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or lower. Medical and mental health situations are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. If either parent has a history of taking prescribed medication or a history of counseling or mental health treatment/support, please reach out directly to Barker staff and we will assist you in assessing eligibility for the program.

EXISTING CHILDREN: Family may not have more than 3 children already in the home.

INCOME: Minimum household income of $30,000.

HISTORY: All adopting parents must show good moral character with no criminal history. History of a single minor offense may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please reach out directly to Barker Staff.

AGE AT REFERRAL & PLACEMENT: Children's ages typically range from 6 months to 18 months old at the time of referral and then 16 - 24 months at the time of placement.  All families must be open to children 0-4 years old.

CARE IN COUNTRY: Children are in private foster homes managed by Korea Welfare Society, Barker’s partner agency. Children are very well cared for by KWS and their foster families.

BIRTH PARENTS: Most children available for adoption are placed by unmarried mothers who are concerned about the stigma against children who are born out of wedlock, or who are unable to care for children due to financial reasons, familial reasons, or reasons surrounding capacity.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Referrals presented typically have a fair amount of information about the birth mother and, many times, information about the birth father as well. Significant health history is available.

NEEDS OF THE CHILDREN:  Children come to need families largely as a result of unplanned or crisis pregnancy, which prompts their birth mother to make an adoption plan for them. Children in this program typically have minor/correctable to moderate needs identified at referral.  Barker is currently seeking families with broad openness to moderate needs. Because pregnancies are unexpected/unplanned, lack of prenatal care and minor exposure to alcohol and cigarette smoke are common in this program.

BIOLOGICAL SEX: Stated sex preference is not permitted in this program. Families must be open to parenting both male and female children.

  1. Submit an adoption application to Barker.
  2. Complete the pre-adoption group, the online training, and the home study.
  3. Complete and submit an adoption dossier for Korea. 
  4. Receive a referral of a child approximately 6-24 months after the dossier is sent to Korea (depending on the family’s openness to specialized needs – the more open families typically experience a shorter wait).
  5. Travel to Korea for the first of two one-week trips in approximately 6-12 months after referral acceptance. You will meet your child on this first trip, and attend court.
  6. Travel to Korea for the second time approximately four weeks after your first trip to attend your visa appointment and to travel home with your child.
  7. Return home to the United States with your child. Your child automatically becomes U.S. citizenship upon entering the United States.
  8. Send a copy of your child’s Certificate of Citizenship to Barker once received.

Your social worker will guide and support you through this important time. Your social worker will visit with you in the first, second, third, sixth and ninth and twelfth month after you return from Korea.

FULL SERVICE CLIENTS: Barker Fee of $12,650 + International Fee of $ 21,040

PLACEMENT ONLY CLIENTS: Barker Fee of $8,100 + International Fee of $ 21,040

TRAVEL FEES: $10,000 (estimated- Note: travel fees may be higher during quarantine)

FULL FEE AGREEMENTS:  Barker Adoption Foundation Fee Agreements by Program

Applications to the South Korea program are currently on hold.

If you wish to complete a Pre-Screen and be added to our waitlist to be alerted when applications re-open, please reach out to Emily Marshall at emarshall [at]

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