KUMSN Translation Room
The original article, 정부가 입양 권하기 전에 해야 할 일, was published in Dong-a Daily Newspaper in May 12, 2010 and translated by Jerry Yoo, and EstherBretschneider , a research associate and volunteer of KUMSN respectively. If you have any question, please contact KUMSN (firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Angle of Reporter, Kyung-im Woo : What the government should do before promoting adoption
Over the last 55 years,
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.
According to the International Korean Adoptee Whilte Paper by the Overseas Korean Foundation, unwed mothers’ children only accounted for 8.9 % of total adoptees from 1958 to 1960. However, adoptees from unwed mothers accounted for 98~99 % of all adoptions from 2001 to 2006. Mee-jung Lee, a researcher for the Korean Women’s Development Institute, pointed out that “Even though the parents are still alive, and
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. This shows that many adoptees end up being abandoned again.
Adoption related organizations such as KoRoot, Adoptee Solidarity Korea, and Korean Unwed Mothers Family Association are demanding that the special law on adoption be revised. Adoption currently requires permission from the minister of the Ministry of Health and Welfare; however, the proposed revisions would give the Family Court the responsibility for allowing adoptions. In addition, the current adoption law allows mothers to sign up for adoption before the child has even been born; the proposed revision would extend the adoption deliberation time to a month after the child’s birth. The new law would restrict the adoption process in order to promote the possibility of the children living with their birth parents. Furthermore, it would allow adoptees to look for their birth parents.
Adoptive parents who raise their adoptive children with love should be praised; however, this is an individual choice. The government should prioritize supporting the families who can’t raise their children because of economical hardship and social prejudice. The government should see the bigger picture of this issue.