Sunday, March 28, 2010

Adopting NORTH Korean Orphans?

Keeping in mind that international adoption from Korea means from SOUTH Korea, consider this article from the Korea Herald:
A U.S. congressman introduced a bill Friday calling on his government to help American citizens adopt stateless and orphaned North Korean children adrift in other countries, according to Yonhap News.

Rep. Edward Royce (R-California) filed the bill, urging the U.S. government to "establish pilot programs that identify and provide for the immediate care of, and assist in the international adoption of, orphaned North Korean children living within South Korea" and surrounding countries, according to Young Kim, an aide to Royce.

Most North Korean refugees, fleeing poverty in the reclusive communist state, head to South Korea via neighboring China.

South Korea has received about 18,000 North Korean defectors since the end of the 1950-1953 Korean War. The U.S. has taken in nearly 100 North Korean refugees since the North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004.
Stateless North Korean children in South Korea or other countries, even when unaccompanied by parents, are not necessarily orphans. Unaccompanied children are just that -- unaccompanied, not lacking a family. And establishing whether they are orphans or not would be extremely difficult, given lack of access to North Korea, where the children might well have parents and/or extended family. Trying to make them subjects of international adoption seems highly problematic.

And this sudden compassionate interest in North Korean orphans might come across as more sincere if we had taken in more than "nearly 100" North Korean refugees in the past 6 years. I'd bet if we brought more North Korean FAMILIES to the U.S., there would be fewer orphaned North Korean children living within South Korea. And if we "established pilot programs" to assist stateless North Korean FAMILIES in South Korea, not just North Korean orphans, there would also be fewer North Korean orphans. This bill looks more like a way to provide more children for Americans to adopt than some kind of compassionate outreach to North Korean refugees.


Von said...

Very dubious situation and ripe for exploitation by the adoption industry.Maybe more effort should be put into reuniting families.

Anonymous said...

Ugh. I agree with your assessment and hope that this bill goes nowhere.

Wendy said...

Sounds like another way to fish another country to make money or as use for explotation. I will write my Congressman today.

Margie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Margie said...

I left a comment and deleted it, but posted instead:

Jennifer said...

I am not sure if I understand what your saying in your article? Are you saying you would rather see innocent children hiding in China or in a orphanage in SK? According to Refworld in 2007 "As many as 300,000 North Koreans are believed to live in hiding in China, where they frequently suffer abuse and exploitation." What about those children? I understand if we brought the whole families from NK but that would mean we would have to fix politics and take out “The Leader”. If your watching the same news I am you know that is not going to happen anytime soon. In the mean time what about the children? What about the children that are hiding in China they need a family. My heart is for the NK kids who are China as "street kids" without homes hiding, due to parents being sent back to NK or mom being sold into sex slavery by Chinese men. I plan on perusing adopting a NK child and being a part of the solution not a part of the problem.