For years, South Korea has been a central contributor of adopted children for families seeking to grow and provide a loving home them. But as a result of strong domestic criticism, South Korea’s current adoption regime is going to be subject to a massive overhaul, as reported to the world by Jennifer Kwon Dobbs, a writer for Foreign Policy in Focus in this recent article .
Kim Dong-won, the overseer of adoption for South Korea’s Ministry of Health, told the world in a New York Times interview in 2008 that South Korea has become a fully modernized country, and that its own adoption policies lagged behind its economic development. It was his belief that “South Korea is the world’s 12th largest economy and is now almost an advanced country, so we would like to rid ourselves of the international stigma or disgrace of being a baby-exporting country…It’s embarrassing.”
The proposed South Korean law will place much stricter requirements on both ends of the adoption. Adoptive parents will have to pass a more stringent screening process such as criminal background checks, and the birth parents of the child to be placed for adoption (mostly unwed single mothers) will be further deterred from signing illegal consent papers for children still in the womb. The law would also add court participation in the adoption proceedings, and more formal documentation of the process as a whole. It should also be noted that this bill is the direct result of lobbying by groups such as Adoptee Solidarity Korea, and Korean Unwed Mothers and Families Association.… <Read More>