Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"Falsified Adoption" from South Korea

Interesting story, though why the headline is "falsified adoption" rather than "adoption trafficking" is anybody's guess:
As Australians find it harder to adopt babies from overseas, one woman has discovered she was falsely adopted from South Korea, where her biological mother was told her baby was stillborn.

Emily Will* was pronounced dead at birth. Born in a small maternity home in the countryside of Geoje, Gyeongsandnam-do, the midwife allegedly told her biological parents the baby was “stillborn”.

“I don’t know how this could have happened to me,” she says. “Why would someone (the midwife) do that? Why would someone make a choice for someone else?”

“Her decision changed my life.”

For 23 years, Ms Will believed she was put up for adoption after her biological parents decided to part ways. Her adoption papers said her parents were in a de facto relationship, a status considered shameful in traditional Korean society, with two daughters.

It was not until she became a mother herself, Ms Will became curious about her biological roots.
“After my daughter was born, something changed. Something changed in me,” she says.

“I didn’t know my medical history. I didn’t know what I could have passed on to my kid. I didn’t know if there were any genetic heart diseases. Nothing.”

After three years of searching and waiting, Ms Will thought she was prepared to meet her biological parents.

“It’s well known that you may possibly or most probably have a false story given to you so you brace yourself,” says Ms Will, 24, a mother of two in Sydney. “But when you finally get the real story, the story you thought you had prepared yourself for… it definitely throws you.”

Her emotional reunion with her biological family was set up in a small room at her South Korean adoption agency, Eastern Social Welfare Society.

“When I saw them my mind went completely blank. I didn’t know what to think at that stage. It was a bit of a shock. I really didn’t think this day would come. It was very surreal.”

It was at this meeting Ms Will became aware of the truth of her past; she was a stolen baby and her parents had in fact been married at the time.

The experience of Ms Will is uncommon, but not unheard of. Intentional fabrication, falsification of documents and unintended adoption has been previously reported in South Korea.


Unknown said...


Anonymous said...

him buwa - what on earth does that article have to do with the fact that a mother was told her baby was stillborn and instead sent off to be adopted.

A mother and father (married) illegally separated from their daughter. A family that grieved the death of their newborn daughter for decades - only to find out that she was alive and had been sent for adoption.

A daughter illegally separted from her mother and father, then removed from her country of orgin and culture, and turned into an adoptee with a false story and no way to make up all those years.

Unknown said...

thadtopedones - i'm tired of all the slanted stuff on this blog. that's why i posted it (not in relation to the post). i didn't know of any other way to get it to her. anyway, i just thought i'd share that because it talks about the 'wild west' of domestic adoptions. i believe adoption is fantastic. (however, i certainly agree that story is super sad and horrible. but i don't believe that is the norm.). i only wanted to share something that many of the swayed readers of this blog may never see.

Anonymous said...

him buwa,

Anything posted by Andrea Poe is leaning so far to the right it is almost horizontal...

From one of those "swayed readers" who also reads all sides, and clearly understand that the "so far right it is almost horizontal" side far outnumbers the blogs who actually care enough - to point out what happens when oversight turns a blind eye.

Leah said...

him buwa -- There are more holes in the story you posted than a sieve. So the author was on the fence about having children...and one sentence later she's adopted a baby girl from Vietnam. She admits the Vietnam program was closed because of corruption...but it never crosses her mind that her daughter could have been trafficked. She declares her Vietnamese daughter will "likely never know" her first family...despite the fact that apparently no attempts have been made to hire an in-country investigator or take any other of the many possible steps to finding said first family.

Then the author (who, last we heard, wasn't even sure she wanted children?!) has decided to pursue domestic adoption. Foster care is, of course, never mentioned. The author points out, CORRECTLY, that domestic programs suffer from a serious lack of oversight...without so much as a breath of acknowledgement that the real victims of said lack of oversight are first mothers and their children.

The author says she wants to adopt a child who has already been born and is in need of a family. Awesome! I naively think. NOW she'll pursue foster care, or adopting a child with special needs whose first family cannot care for them.

Nope. Still private domestic adoption. And about half a paragraph after declaring her SHOCK, utter SHOCK at adopters offering money to first mothers...she is, without batting an eyelash, doing the exact.same.thing.

I also note that while the author was apparently super sorry that "Sally" had apparently been raped and suffered so much adversity, she does not even think to use her time, money, and vast economic and social privilege to help Sally keep her baby. The author is sorry enough to send Sally a little cash for food, but not invest in improving her life in any meaningful, sustainable way -- in any way that would empower her to parent her baby, basically.

I can't help but wonder whether if the author's involvement with Sally had been motivated not by her need to adopt, but rather a sincere desire to improve this woman's situation, she would have uncovered her duplicity months earlier.

It's also hypocrisy of the highest and most disgusting order that while the author is able to successfully prosecute Sally for adoption fraud, so many first mothers are being lied to, bullied and manipulated by corrupt adoption agencies and having their children effectively kidnapped by APs who promise openness and cut off contact the second the ink has dried on the adoption papers. Where is THEIR legal recourse? What about the legal fraud of falsified birth certificates -- a fraud adoptees must live every day of their lives? Where is that story being told?

Frankly, anyone who thinks they can adopt a healthy infant in America easily and ethically is either hopelessly naive or actively delusional. The author gets not one scrap of sympathy from me. Hopefully next time she'll actually live the values she gives lip service to and adopt a child who actually needs parents.

/end rant

Unknown said...

i completely 100% disagree with you both. that is the reason this blog has disgusted so many for so long.

Leah said...

So do you actually have a rebuttal for any of the points I brought up, or are you just going to completely dismiss the ethical issues of adoption because it "disgusts" you?

Look, I have a number of issues with this blog. (For one thing, I find it fairly reprehensible that Malinda, clearly a smart and critical woman, decided to wait until AFTER adopting to "discover" the dark side of that very practice. It's very convenient that she didn't begin criticizing adoption until she already had her daughters -- and to be honest, I find it pretty difficult to believe that ANY parent who does even a modicum of research into adoption can claim ignorance of of its many, many problems. Her self-righteousness certainly has more than a touch of hypocrisy.)

But it's Malinda's blog. She can post whatever she wants. And I agree with her posts than I disagree. It's hard to argue with much of her content: corruption IS rampant, demand for healthy infants IS greater than the supply, adoptees ARE treated like second-class citizens and first mothers ARE exploited. (These issues certainly become much more nuanced when it comes to special needs adoption, though that's not a subject Malinda has ever seemed interested in exploring -- the "money and resources will always prevent women from relinquishing their babies" argument doesn't really apply when you have middle and upper-middle class women putting their special needs children up for adoption -- but that's a whole 'nother problem for a whole 'nother comment.) If you'd rather not confront reality, there a million sunshine-and-rainbows adoption blogs out there. So why come here?