Pre-Adoption Psychological Testing - South Korea


The recent facts: In February 2014, a Maryland man was charged with first-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death. The victim was his 3 year old son, Hyunsu O’Callahan, who had been adopted by the man and his wife one year earlier from South Korea. Soon thereafter, in March 2014, a family court judge in Korea decreed that prospective parents would be required to undergo psychological screening before being approved to adopt a South Korean child.

The implications: Clearly this is an attempt by South Korea to protect children from harm. The purpose of the requirement is to screen for mental health concerns that may need to be addressed before the adoption moves forward. Screening is in the best interests of the child as well as the adoptive parent.

What to expect: According to the ruling, the evaluation must be performed by a licensed clinical psychologist and must include a comprehensive interview and standardized testing (specific tests are required). The evaluation usually takes 3-4 hours. Feedback and a written report explaining the findings are part of the process.

Contact Dr. Dahlman to schedule pre-adoptive testing at 212.828.4780 or