Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What the [Korean] government should do before promoting adoption

Via KAAN, this article translated from the original Korean into English by the Korean Unwed Mothers Support Network:

In a report published by the Ministry of Health and Welfare on the 10th May, 54% of the 2,439 children adopted last year were adopted domestically.

However, when examining the statistics more thoroughly, one might wonder whether the government policy is desirable or not, even though it has contributed a lot to promoting domestic adoption. Last year, 84.9% of domestic adoptions (1116 adoptees), and 89.3% of international adoptions (1005 adoptees) were born of unwed mothers. It demonstrates that the government does not consider supporting unwed mothers in raising their own children in its policy.

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Mee-jung Lee, a researcher for the Korean Women’s Development Institute, pointed out that “Even though the parents are still alive, and Korea is no longer poor like it was after the Korean War, every year about 2500 children are given away for adoption. This is because the Korean government is holding off on providing a welfare system for single-mother families.” Pastor Do-Hyun Kim who runs ‘Koroot’, an organization which helps adoptees to visit their homeland, said “The first principle of child welfare is not about material wealth, but letting these children live with their own families”. He added, “Adoption should be the choice of the individual, not of the government”.
The article also includes an alarming statistic about adoption disruption in its argument for supporting single women who parent their children before supporting a program of domestic adoption: "1,314 children were adopted domestically last year; however, in 866 cases adoptive parents relinquished their parental responsibilities and gave their adoptive children back into care."  Wow.


Elizabeth@Romans8:15 said...

Wow. That disruption statistic is staggering. I would love to see the Korean government step up to keep families intact.

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Rick Boas said...

To raise one's child is a matter of human rights, not just in Korea, but anywhere in the world, regardless of marital status. A capable, loving mother should be able to raise her child, without fear, discrimination or lack of support. On behalf of these unwed Korean moms and their kids, thank you for posting this important article.

Richard S. Boas, MD, President
Korean Unwed Mothers Support Network



Anonymous said...

That's a 66% disruption rate! And I always thought domestic adoptions were better than international ones; now I'm not so sure. Is the high disruption rate caused by lack of family acceptance? Is the adopted child considered a "stranger" in the home because of the lack of shared genetics? I wonder what the government/agencies are doing to solve that horrible situation. The kids must be so traumatized.

Mary Ellen said...

the numbers regarding disruption of domestic adoptions in Korea is disturbing and sad. My son is from Korea and my heart breaks for these children & their first families who thought their children would be growing up in a family and not an institution.

LisaLew said...

I've never heard of such a high disruption rate. Are we sure that stat is real?!