Saturday, September 15, 2007

Adoption in Korea

Whenever I can, I check out what’s happening on the Green Fertility website. Most of the time, it’s not applicable to me, but every once in awhile she sneaks in something of interest. Marie Lee is a Korean-American (not an adoptee), so I am always interested in her perspective on life in general.

Anyhow, recently she posted an article by Kim Tae-jong from the Korea Times about adoption in Korea that I thought was interesting and a link to essay that she wrote about working with Korean birth mothers.

The article interested me because it started out positive, but there was a feeling of “no change” in the rest of the article. It started like this:

“About 60 percent of all adoptions were made domestically in the first half of this year, making it the first time for them to surpass overseas adoptions.”

This is positive. While obviously I am okay with foreign adoption, I still would like to see things change in Korea. I would like to see adoption become an accepted way to grow a family and I would like to see Korea become more accepting of single mothers so that adoption is not necessary. I agree with Marie’s statement, “I still think the best, most important thing to be done is to help birthmothers who WANT to keep their children to give them the cultural and financial supports so they can raise them on their own.”

Unfortunately, the rest of the article does not maintain that up beat beginning. It goes on to say:

“A ministry spokesman said the ``increase'' is largely attributed to a new law prioritizing domestic adoption to overseas adoption _ rather than changing attitudes towards adoption _ as well as tax incentives and campaigns to encourage domestic adoptions.”

I know from the various message boards that I subscribe to that there were very few referrals the first half of the year no matter which agency people were going through. While they can boast that there were more domestic adoptions than foreign adoptions, it does not account for all the children who were waiting for the end of the mandatory five month waiting period.

“As a result, more children are now housed at childcare centers or with temporary families awaiting adoption.”

Enough said.

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