KOREAN-ADOPTION AGENCY BARRED, 33 FAMILIES HURT

Date: 1992-02-21

THE SEATTLE TIMES

Thirty-three Washington families on a waiting list to adopt Korean orphans will have to look elsewhere for children after their Seattle placement agency was permanently barred this week from further Korean adoptions.

With Travelers Aid Society's suspension, only two local agencies are still placing Korean children with families and they currently are not accepting any new families.

"There are just so few (Korean) children available," said Bill Harris of Catholic Community Services, one of the two adoption agencies. "I don't think it's likely they'll all find children."

Travelers Aid was suspended after Noreen Erlandson of Bothell was found guilty Monday of fatally beating her 2-year-old daughter, Kayla. She had adopted Kayla with the agency's help.

"It's not that they blame us, but they had to do something, take some action," said Travelers Executive Director Jane McKinley-Chinn of the decision by their Korean counterpart to end their association.

Families on their waiting list will face stiff competition for the small number of Korean children still available for adoption.

Catholic Community Services
already has enough families to take every child referred to them through the end of the year. The World Association of Children and Parents has a six-month waiting list but its program currently is closed.

Both agencies say they may accept families from Travelers Aid after that.

But other factors may make it difficult for the families to adopt from Korea. The country has been scaling back foreign adoptions for years.

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