The Costs to Adopt from Korea: 2021 Complete Guide

Adopting from Korea costs about the same as adopting from China and many other countries. You will find that the adoption costs end up being roughly the same in many places you may consider adopting from. So how much does it cost to adopt from Korea?

The costs to adopt from Korea can range anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000. This may or may not include other possible fees such as the application fee, the home study, the U.S. processing fee, orphanage fees, a post-placement fee, your travel expenses and Visas, and so much more.

The international adoption agency that you choose to work with will provide you with a structured fee schedule when adopting a child, so you should know upfront the costs of your adoption.

We will cover the following topics in this article:

  • The Costs of Adopting from Korea
  • Verify the Adoption Agency is Hague-Accredited
  • Vet Your Adoption Agency Before Reaching for Your Wallet
  • Costs of International Adoption in Korea – Helpful Facts

A professional adoption agency should be very organized, and you will not be in the dark about the next fee you will be asked to pay.

Nor will you be expected to pay additional funds over and above what has already been presented to you. There should be no pressure to give donation or gift money over and above the fee structure that you were already quoted.

Visit Travel.State.Gov for up-to-date reports on adoption within each country of interest to know when travel and adoptions, if halted, will resume. 

Considering international adoption? International Adoption Pros and Cons: What You Need to Know is an article I enjoyed writing that covers so much about the pros and cons of international adoption.

The Costs of Adopting from Korea

When researching the costs to adopt a child from Korea, it was very difficult to compare apples to apples, so to speak.

Each international adoption agency has their own fee structure which can be quite confusing. This is true for other countries as well.

Travel expenses alone and range widely from $3,000 to $6,000 or more in general for any country. In most cases, both you and your spouse will be required to travel to the country you wish to adopt in.

That additional flight arrangement only adds to the cost of travel. Not to mention you may be required to make a second trip.

One international adoption agency shows an estimated total of between $30,000 – $50,000 which does include the cost of a travel package. Travel costs change constantly, so keep that in mind as well.

Another adoption agency we reviewed showed an estimated total of between $25,000 – $45,000 which does appear to include travel to and from Korea.

With respect to all adoption agencies we looked at, they all appeared to balance out to be about the same in costs.

International adoption agencies understand that prospective adoptive parents will be shopping around, so to speak, so it is in their best interest to remain comparable to their competition.

In general, your expenses include your registration, application, and home study costs. Add to that any additional document certification fees, adoption agency fees, and additional fees from the Korean government.

A couple of things to consider here. Make sure that the international adoption agency you are considering provides you with a comprehensive fee schedule so there are no surprises down the road. Go over the fees listed and ask questions.

What will apply to you and what costs listed will not? What is optional and what expenses are you required to pay?

Also, I strongly advise you to reach out to more than one agency and compare their fee structures. Are they comparable in costs? Does one agency seem to have more added fees than another?

Are the fees listed required by the United States and or Korea, or are they added expenses by the adoption agency?

With that said, adoption agencies provide a wonderful service, and there is a lot of work that is involved in organizing an international adoption.

We certainly do not expect them to provide their services for free. You just need to understand what all of the charges are for.

Verify the Adoption Agency is Hague-Accredited

Before we go much further about costs and fee structures, it is crucial that you first verify that the international adoption agencies you are considering are Hague-accredited.

Regardless of what country you may end up adopting from, when adopting internationally, you are strongly advised to verify Hague credentials above all else.

The Hague Convention is an international agreement to safeguard intercountry adoptions.

Most all reputable international adoption agencies will be Hague-accredited. If an agency is trying to convince you that the Hague credentials do not really matter, do not continue in that direction.

If you learn that the agency you are considering is Hague-accredited, get that in writing.

To learn more about the Hague Convention, visit Travel.State.Gov for more information.

Any adoption agency that is Hague-accredited will want to be the first to tell you they are and will proudly show documentation of their Hague credentials for prospective adoptive parents to see without having to be asked.

We strongly encourage you to do your homework to prevent yourself from being a victim of greedy, untrustworthy agencies claiming to want to help you, yet in reality they are a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Many adoptive parents are desperate to adopt a child and are willing to pay thousands of dollars to do so.

Vet Your Adoption Agency Before Reaching for Your Wallet

It is common knowledge that the adoption process can be very expensive, so most couples pay whatever is asked of them without even giving it a second thought.

This makes it easy to take advantage of prospective adoptive individuals wishing to adopt, as they already expect to pay out a lot of money and don’t think twice.

One story in particular comes to mind of a couple spending almost 100K to adopt their first child. They used a different adoption agency when they adopted their second child, and they paid much less than 50K that time. Please, be careful!

There are things you can do to help protect yourself from being taken advantage of. We STRONGLY encourage you to do the following with every adoption agency you consider using.

Follow these steps to protect yourself:

  • Contact the State Licensing Specialist in the state where the adoption agency is located. Is the agency in good standing? Do they have any complaints against them? How long have they held their adoption agency license?
  • Contact the State’s Attorney General’s Office located in the state capitol. Ask if any legal action has ever been taken against the agency, if there is any pending litigation against the agency, or if they have an established complaint file.
  • Request three references with names and phone numbers of clients who have adopted through the agency within the last three years.

Information provided courtesy of Child Welfare Information Gateway

Costs of International Adoption in Korea – Helpful Facts

The following is courtesy of Travel.State.Gov:

  • Minimum Residency:  Please note in order to complete a final adoption in the Republic of Korea it is necessary for prospective adoptive parents to be present in Korea at the time of adoption.

  • Age of Adopting Parents:  Prospective non-Korean adoptive parents must be between 25 and 44 years old. Some considerations in waiving the age requirements exist if at least one prospective adoptive parent was an adoptee himself/herself or is a Korean-American or the prospective adoptive parents have previously adopted a Korean child.

  • Marriage:  Korean Adoption Services often consider marital status as part of the totality of the PAP’s home study.

  • Minimum Income:  The prospective adoptive parents must have an income higher than the U.S. Federal Poverty Guidelines  and be financially able to support the adoptive child.

  • Other requirements: CRIMINAL RECORD OR DEPENDENCE ON CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE: The prospective adoptive parents must not have any conviction records concerning an offense against a minor, child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, physical assault, narcotics or other related offenses, and must not have any substance related disorders and/or dependence.
  • Staying safe when traveling is a concern we all have, especially when we are traveling abroad.

    Stay up-to-date with travel alerts and warnings here:
  • Learn about U.S. Visas, which type of Visa is right for you, country information and their Visa requirements, and so much more here:
  • Would you like to entertain the idea of adoption from other countries besides Korea?

    The following link provides valuable, in-depth government-based information on each country you may be considering adopting a child from. This amazing resource will provide you with all adoption details and requirements for the country of interest.

    Visit Traval.State.Gov – Intercountry Adoptions – Korea Country Information to get the following information on each country:
    • Hague Convention Information

    • U.S. Immigration Requirements

    • Who Can Adopt

    • Who Can Be Adopted

    • How to Adopt

    • Traveling Abroad

    • After Adoption

    • Contact Information

Important to note is that due to the global outbreak of Covid-19, travel and adoption restrictions may apply. Get news updates for travel and adoption at Travel.State.Gov.

When you visit the country you may wish to adopt in, you will see updated news articles to the right on the website pertaining to that particular country.