Thursday, November 12, 2009

Korean Government Taking Bold and Noble Stance on Adoption

A proposed Korean bill "starts with the idea that foreign, and even domestic, adoption is not the best option for children and that public assistance should be given to mothers to help them raise their children, a concept that follows international adoption practices. It also incorporates the notion that adoption processes need to be more strictly regulated to prevent possible abuses by adoption agencies."

Rather than pushing adoption, we should reinforce the original family to prevent further separation between mothers and their children,” said Reverend Kim Do-hyun, who is the director of KoRoot, which provides accommodation for Korean adoptees returning to the country.

Among proposed revisions, including access for adoptees, would be to give mothers a minimum of 30 days to make a decision on adoption.

Observers say women are often forced to sign an agreement on adoption almost right after giving birth. If the mothers change their mind, the agencies charge them for all expenses they’ve incurred, from child delivery to the shelters they run. They said adoption agencies tend to encourage adoption rather than telling the women that there are other options available such as raising their child on their own.

Jane Joeng Trenka, author and the president of the Truth and Reconciliation for the Adoption Community of Korea (TRACK) and one of the adoptees who filed the appeal at the commission, notes: “Adoption may be an act of love, but all adoptions are meant to separate children from their mothers.”

The full article, Korea: A Generation Fights to Reform Adoption Laws.

A related story about Korean adoptees searching for their roots, here.

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