From the AsiaSentinal, South Korea's Baby Mill:
Despite having one of the world’s lowest birthrates and the 14th-largest economy, South Korea is a major source of infants adopted internationally each year.
As the country has grown richer, its total fertility rate has fallen to the lowest level in the industrialized world, from more than six babies per mother in 1960 to 1.15 today, far below the accepted replacement level of 2.1 per mother, according to figures supplied by the World Bank. Despite that, there seems little impetus to keep its adoptable children at home.
Many factors are at work that lead to South Korean babies being adopted, both domestically and abroad.From the Korea Times, Adoption Quota Leaves Behind Disabled & Male Children:
"In domestic adoption, more than 70 percent are girls. Boys and disabled children may have to find homes abroad, or may have to be transferred to institutions if we would ever fail to send them for overseas adoptions for the reason of government policy."
Lee [Myung-woo, from Holt International] was referring to the Korean government's adoption quota system introduced in 2007, which limits and lowers the number of Korean children adopted by foreign families. In hopes of encouraging domestic adoption, the policy dictates that internationally permitted adoptions be reduced 10 percent annually with the ultimate goal of eliminating all foreign adoptions.
"But now with the quota system, this baby [a boy with Down Syndrome] has no chance of being adopted," Holt said. "We've already reached our foreign quota for this year."