KUMSN Translation Room
Total Articles 54
The original article, 미혼모 지원, 아이입장에서 바라보자, was published in Naeil Newspaper in Feb. 26, 2009. It was translated by Kim, Ji-yeon and proofread by Elizabeth Demers, volunteers of KUMSN. If you have any question, please contact KUMSN email@example.com.
Feb. 26, 2009
Feb. 26, 2009
The Issue of Supporting Unwed Mothers should be Considered from the Perspective of Benefits for the Children.
Hee Jung, Kwon (Korean Unwed Mothers Support Network, Coordinator)
Unwed mothers have been criticized from the perspective of sexual morality or pitied as those who are victimized. Also, the society has failed in recognizing the women as mothers. As a result, it is almost impossible to improve the social welfare for both the unwed mothers and their children. This current trend of out casting single mothers has limited their choices to either abortion or adoption.
What if we see the circumstances of unwed mothers from the children’s position? It means that the child has to be aborted or be adopted simply because his/her mother did not or could not be included in the marriage system. This is depriving the children’s right to receive social support which would enable them to live with their biological parents.
No one doubts the value of human life or children’s right to live happily. However, when it comes to pregnancy without marriage in Korea, we can see that our society puts the marriage system first, before valuing the children’s life or their rights.
In 2007, we celebrated that the number of domestic adoption (1,388) surpassed international adoption (1,264) for the first time. And we are calling adoption as “Love Born from the Heart”. However, behind the scenes, there are mothers who Love their children, but have to give them up due to social stigma and the lack of financial support.
The discourse on the importance of embracing new types of family has been active for the last couple of years. In this changing social mood, adoptive families appeared as one of new types of family that should be generously accepted by the society. Furthermore, the criticism that Korea is the country which still sends their babies for international adoption was getting severe around same time. As a result, the effort has been made to promote domestic adoption rather than international adoption.
Of course, all families have a right to live happily. However, there is one thing that we are overlooking when it comes to content adoptive families; it is the pain that comes from the separation of mothers and their children
Sometimes, I can hear people asking whether it is better for an unwed mother to raise her child in a difficult situation or it is better for her to send the child to a better family. To this question, we can never have a right answer. We should change the question: Is there any support available to enable unwed mothers to live with their children? What types of discrimination should be abolished for unwed mothers and their children? If we have answers to these questions, we will never need to ask the first question above.
I am hearing good news though. That is, the new budget for supporting unwed mothers has been newly secured this year under the category of Supporting Families in Crisis. On the other hand, the budget for promoting domestic adoption has been increased as well. This shows that our society fails to perceive the two issues of supporting unwed mothers and promoting adoption are contradictory. If we want to save national finance, we should support unwed mothers first. Then the budget for adoption can be saved. It is time to realize this.