The major difference is that domestic adoption rates are low in Korea, so most mothers who lose their children - lose them internationally.
The Christian Science Monitor reports on the current state of affairs in Korea for single moms:
In 2007, there were nearly 8,000 births out of wedlock. About 2,300 of those children were put up for international or domestic adoption, while nearly 2,500 stayed with their mother – a sharp rise from the 472 who stayed with their mother in 1991, which saw a similar number of out-of-wedlock births....The issues are universal: judgement and shame based on finances age and marital status. We need to unite with our sisters and see this - and fight this - as a GLOBAL ISSUE, because it IS!
An opinion study early this year by the state-funded Korean Women's Development Institute revealed mixed feelings. The majority of Koreans felt unwed mothers showed poor judgment. Most were also against childbirth outside wedlock, but even more were opposed to abortion. "Right now it's changing slowly," says Kwon. "[T]he social welfare structure is not friendly. There are a lot of women who want to raise their children, but because ... discrimination is so extreme, they end up giving their child away."
Reversing PAST discrimination by allowing equal access is a state by state fight - or perhaps worthy of another federal class action suit for allowing states to violate human rights by falsifying birth certificates...but the basic issues are UNIVERSAL and must be brought to light as HUMAN RIGHTS issues globally!
Mothers are mothers no matter where they live. The pain of loss is UNIVERSAL. Mothers in China, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Guatemala, or new York or Appalachia... Distancing "senders" and "receivers" in adoption helps contribute to the dehumanization and otherness of human beings being exploited for others gain. Labeling children with family "orphans" when they are not; calling expectant moms-to-be "birthmothers" - these are all manipulative coercion.
The love and connection they feel toward their children - these are universal emotions and internationally recognized fundamental rights (by all but the U.S. who as we know, has not ratified the CRC).
Mothers of the world need to unite and fight for our right to nurture our own children without pressure.
In Korea adoptive parents receive about $86 per month. Unwed mothers can receive only half that, depending on income level and only if they are not already on state welfare. Here in the U.S. foster parents receive subsidies that mothers - or their mothers - are not entitled to to keep their children with kin. Adopters also get tax credits and many employers provide help to those adopting. Churches hold fund raisers for adopters to pay the fees of baby brokers! Without equal help for single mothers these are inhumane and discriminatory practices that work to separate families where there has been no abuse or neglect and create orphans to meet a demand.
We need some big name people - like Oprah to "GET" this!
We need feminists and progressives to "get" it: FAMILY PRESERVATION not ADOPTION SEPARATION. It's the ONLY humane thing.
Mothers and those who support motherhood and family need to unite and STOP the commodification of children for the profit of flesh peddlers! All the rest - the religious hokum of abortions and sin of unwed sex - is all smoke screen. It's about the basic human right to parent one's own child!
WE need to make these issues at least as equally important and newsworthy as gay rights, torture....and all human rights violations.
We need to put these issues of mothers' rights on the agenda of the ACLU and Amensty International.
- Mothers rights are HUMAN RIGFHTS
- Children's rights are HUMAN RIGHTS
- Adoptee rights are HUMAN RIGHTS.
Advocates for each of these in every corner of the globe need to join together!
"Every child has the right to know and be cared for by his or her own parents, whenever possible. UNICEF believes that families needing support to care for their children should receive it." UNICEF
• I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. ~Edward Everett Hale
• All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ~ Edmond Burke
• I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. ~ Elie Wiesel, Nobel Price for Peace, 1986
The Uniform Adoption Act calls for the protection of “minor children against unnecessary separation from their birthparents.”
Which side are YOU on?? What will you DO? How will you help make a difference in the life of one mother and her child?