KUMSN TO Media
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Thanks to Margie Perscheid for bringing this to our attention.
To The Editor:
We read with concern (385) Adoption (I) and (386) Adoption (II), Easy to Learn Korean Phrases, by Chad Meyer and Moonjung Kim, published on February 13 and 14, respectively:
Our organization was founded by an American adoptive father, who in 2006 became painfully aware of the realities of Korean unwed mothers. These mothers, much as his daughter's own mother, were giving up their children--and continue to relinquish them--due to social stigma and lack of support from their families, government and society. Their rights to raise their children have been ignored, while efforts are focused on adopting their children.
The Korean language flash cards imply that unwed mothers or unwed parents should merely give up their babies for adoption. In Korea, almost 90% of adopted babies are born to unwed mothers, and 70% of unwed mothers give up their children for adoption. Korean is a wealthy, democratic country, and it is shameful that unwed mothers are effectively forced to give up their babies due to the social stigma on unwanted pregnancy.
We believe that adoption should be promoted only after fully protecting the human right of unwed mothers to live with their babies. Presenting adoption without even mentioning the possibility that a mother might raise her own child gives your readers a very incomplete view of the painful situation these mothers face, and invalidates these mothers as capable, loving parents.
May we suggest that the Korea Times publish (387) Adoption III flash cards, to educate your readers about the realities of unwed mothers in Korea. Those who are sensitive to the rights of these mothers and adoptees would certainly appreciate this. We would note that Korea Times is already aware of the situation the mothers face:
In addition, in 2009, the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission (ACRC, 국민권익위원회) recommended that the rights of adoptees should be protected and support for unwed mothers extended.
Thank you very much for your consideration. Please give these mothers the recognition and validation they deserve.
Richard S. Boas, MD, President and Founder
Kwon Hee Jung, Executive Director