However, I have to admit that the news media has contributed to the number of abandonments at the Baby Box. But there is a significant difference in the rationale advocated by the anti-adoption organizations / MOHW/KAS and that of mine. Their motive for blaming the media is that this is the only way they can explain the rise in the number of abandonment to defend the Special Adoption Law, while I know the real reason for the increase in the abandonment is due to the Special Adoption Law that forces birthmothers to register their babies against their will. Also, there was a significant number of abandonment at the Baby Box already in existence right after the law came into being in August 2012. And the news media flocked to cover this, not the reverse.
A birthmother who recently abandoned a baby at the Baby Box left a note that said, “I was turned away from an adoption agency, and thought about going through a black market type of adoption. But for the safety of the baby I chose to come to the Baby Box. So we can learn two things from this birthmother’s note. The first is the awareness increase by the birthmothers that they have a safe place to abandon their babies. However, the second thing we can learn from the note is that many birthmothers have tried to give up their children at adoption agencies, but have been turned away (without a birth registry the agencies cannot accept the babies for adoption). Some have even considered some sort of black market type of adoption. When they had nowhere to go they turned to the Baby Box.
To simply say that the number of children being abandoned at the Baby Box is the result of media coverage, and that this media has helped to plant the idea to the other birthmothers, only give the impression that the group consisting of anti-adoption organizations and the Korean Government are trying to wash over the serious flaws in the law. They should not make further mistakes by trying to deny that there is flaw in the law. The Korean government needs to acknowledge that the law is imperfect and try to revise the law to correct it.
In that spirit the press conference held on February 19, 2013 with the Rep. Baik Jai Hyun at the National Congress with the ‘Committee for the Revision of the Special Adoption Law’ is such an important step and a good start. The committee consists of Pastor Lee, Jong Nak of the Baby Box, Mrs. Han Youn Hee of MPAK, a celebrity named Mr. Chu Young Hoon, and a few others as well. This is also supported by all the adoptive families, and over 500 churches and many organizations in Korea.
|A celebrity Mr. Chu Young Hoon speaks at a press conference at the National Congress building, flanked by other members of the Committee for the Revision of the Special Adoption Law, led by Rep. Baik Jai Hyun (left of Mr. Chu)|
If everyone could put themselves in the voiceless children’s perspective, they should do all they can to stop anything that endangers the lives of children before we begin to argue about all the issues regarding them.
I hope that MPAK will continue to do everything it can and come to the defense of all the voiceless children, as we have always been.