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.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.
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”.
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