It is official. The adoption agencies in Korea have officially heard from the Family Court that the visiting families need not show up at the Family Court. This means that your children will most likely be issued IR-4 visas, like the old way. Although IR-3 visa would be preferrable as this will finalize the adoption and secure the citizenship, this visa can only be obtained if the parents finalize their adoptions in Korea. But apparently the Family Court has postponed this method until Korea ratifies the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption. But even if Korea adopts the Hague Convention, it doesn't mean that the travel time will then be 3-4 weeks. China has adopted Hague Convention, and I hear their adoption finalization process takes less than ten days at most. So by the time Korea ratifies the Hague, they will have figured out how to best assist the visiting parents.
Under IR-4, it is up to the parents to finalize the adoption and to apply for the citizenship. In the past some parents have been ignorant on the importance of adoption finalization and forgot to apply for the citizenship in the residing countries. The consequence of that has been that if an adult adoptee gets into trouble with the laws, they may be deported to Korea if their citizenship can't be proven. It does not matter whether one can clearly show that he/she was legally adopted or not. There are some Korean adoptees living in Korea that have been deported, and the efforts to secure their return is still being discussed at higher levels of the government.
But thankfully the adoption agencies in the US have been very proactive in recent years to make sure the families they serve will properly go through the adoption finalization and obtain citizenshp for their children. As recent as last year, the agencies in Korea were criticized by the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) for not being able to provide the proof of citizenship on all the children they have served. But for the agencies this was an impossible task as many have moved away and could not be contacted. So the agencies are now very proactive with the US agencies to make sure that this process gets completed as soon as children arrive in the US.
I hear rumors that some anti-adoption elements in Korea have been criticizing my works to speak on behalf of the children and the waiting families. The fact that your voices were delivered to the court, and that the judges heard your please, they are angry that the judges listened to us.
The anti-adoption elements in Korea are more interested in speaking ill of adoption than the unwed mothers' causes they supposedly represent. I think they should just concentrate on promoting the rights of birthmothers, and they may get results much quicker. I fully support the rights of birthmothers to raise their children if they choose to. I ask they let us do our job to promote adoption on behalf of children that have already been relinquished or abandoned by their birthmothers that could not keep them.
As for another news on EPs and the quota situation, I am told that just today the Family Court processed the last case of the quota from the year 2012. The agencies have not been told what the quota will be for this year (you can expect 10% reduction from last year).
Let us not loose the hearts to continue to speak on behalf of children who cannot speak for themselves.
Thank you for your efforts. I believe you have children, birth mothers, and adoptive families interests at heart. I am so sad that the child I feel is meant for my family is still not home after nearly 12 months. I will continue to wait & hope that the best happens no matter the outcome.ReplyDelete
Thank you Steve, Denise, & Junhyung for all your efforts in compiling our concerns and voices. I know the process is still difficult, but I believe this is a small victory for those who have been waiting so long. Ultimately, God was gracious and we can only pray that the courts consider the best interest of the children and families waiting to start their lives together.ReplyDelete
Thank you MPAK and all the families who wrote in to weigh in your voices! Steve, can you clarify what you said above? "I am told that just today the Family Court processed the last case of the quota from the year 2012." Our case hasn't been submitted to court yet, so I'm confused about this.ReplyDelete
Thanks again for all you do!
That's just what I heard from an agency representative. It could be that you were not on the quota for 2012. The quota for 2013 has not been set yet.Delete
We are part of the 2012 EP quota. Perhaps they meant the 2012 quota from the ministry and not family court?Delete
My apologies on this error. I meant to say the EP approved by MOHW, and these would still need to be processed and approved by the court. Sorry for the error.Delete
I need to ask- what about us who have fobia of flying and have a healtch rapport from my doctor saying that there are no treatment? I feel so sad and AFRAID that I mayby HAVE to fly to Korea, I have been told that they will let us have our child escorted, if we have a some health problems. I cry and I am SO afraid right now. I dont think they tried us as humens. I dont know what to do.ReplyDelete
People with phobia of flying should communicate that fear or problem with the agency. I also was told by someone at an agency in Korea that they will make on rare occasions exceptions on this by using an agency worker to escort the child. Of course there may be added costs involved.Delete
Thank you SO much for the information Steve, you are an angel :-)Delete
Someone who has a phobia of flying, of visiting another country, should reconsider the decision to adopt a child from another country. Period. That child has memories, origins, a history, and genetic stories in that other country. To deprive yourselves (and your child) from acknowledging and sharing a part of your child's history and identity is selfish and wrong for the child in need. Unwillingness to learn about your child's story is NOT love and understanding. No one is forcing you to adopt a child from a country that you refuse to visit and come to understand alongside your child. Try to help children whom you can relate to and to whom you want to relate.Delete
I agree that anyone who has a phobia of flying must also also consider how this will impact a child they intend to adopt, and what it may deprive them of in terms of being able to return to their nascent country at a young age, and what that will deprive them of culturally and identity-wise. When you adopt a child you are expected to nurture that child and nurturing a child that has been dislocated from their homeland and culture in reaffirming their ethnic identity is paramount to their wellbeing. I think if you have no intentions of returning with your prospective child on homeland tours etc, you have no business adopting from another country.Delete
Thank you Steve :-) I wonder - Is there not anything new about WHEN we can expect that they start to MOVE in Korea, so we can get our children home - how long can they continue to not give us any kind of answer - we are living in sorry and pain :-(ReplyDelete
Sorry I don't have the answer. It isn't just you, it is the whole process that is slow, but I am hopeful that things are moving again. Just hang in there.Delete
Thank you for advocating for the children, for speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves.ReplyDelete
"It was confirmed today by a trusted source that our effort by MPAK was the key in getting the judges to listen to the hearts of so many parents."ReplyDelete
I know your intentions are very good, but stating that wreaks of self promotion. It would be great to see you acknowledge the hard, professional work of the various agencies that were also advocating on behalf of everyone.
You are absolutely right. In fact I will take that portion out. But that's what I was told by someone at an agency. The agencies and MPAK have joined together to serve the needs of children and their families, and I am sorry for this slight oversight.Delete
Thank you for what you do. I know you are humble in character and was not 'self promoting'. I'm not sure who the person is above but we as parents appreciate and love your heart. You don't have to help international adoption at all as your mission is to promote adoption in and for Koreans, yet you do for all families. For that we thank you! And I say thank you MPAK for being the larger voice! The agencies also fight but they have limited abilities to do so as they are too closely involved in many cases.Delete
Dear Steve you was not self promoting. We know that you do all becaurce you have a heart of gold. We as parents is SO thankfull to you. That is becaurce of you we still have hope.Delete
We are also thankful to you, Steve and your team. This blog has given us more insight and updates than even my own agency. We believe your work has contributed to the cancellation of the court appearance. Keep up the good work. God bless.Delete
I actually read on another blog that MPAK was responsible for this change. And it was a blog criticizing MPAK for doing it. I don't think it is self-promoting. It is actually true.Delete
I see no self promotion at all. I see a man dedicated to giving his life to these children and all humanity. You deserve our deepest gratitude, not criticism of any kind. Please, please continue to keep us updated with even the slightest bits of information. It provides us with the ability to continue to "hang in there." Thank you again.ReplyDelete
When you say the 2012 EPs have been processed by family court, does that mean that those families should be getting travel calls within the next few days? That would be magnificent news! All of this back and forth and changes to the process are really abhorrent - it's time to define a process and actually start getting children home! Thanks for all you do to keep us informed.ReplyDelete
Hi Steve, I have the same question. When you said "I am told that just today the Family Court processed the last case of the quota from the year 2012" Does "processed" mean the court approved these cases? Also does the agencies need to wait 14 days before applying for the travel visa for these children or can they go ahead with the visa appointment?Delete
Yes, the agency need to wait 14 days, and other processes here and there may take a little bit longer than 14 days.Delete
So there were many cases that weren't even in court yet with multiple agencies that were 'supposedly' part of the 2012 quota. Many were never told they were even submitted for EP. Are these families then not in the 2012 quota? Or has the court expedited the cases over the past month to process all 2012 EP families? Any idea when MOHW might start submitting 2013 cases? The quota should be 10% less or since last year quota was 636 (approx), this year will be 580 ish. Also the 14 day period.. is that business days?Delete
No agency in Korea knows when this year's quota will be issued, but they are hopeful that it will be soon. Lots of questions with little answers...that has been for all the waiting families. I hear your pain.Delete
Steve, I view your blog each day, and agree with many others that it continues to give us hope. You should pat yourself and your team on the back for helping to change lives and complete families. Never for even one second let ANYONE allow you to feel badly for the manner in which you explain your efforts to us in your blog. Please keep up the great efforts on our behalf and know that we are truly grateful.ReplyDelete
Steve, can you please confirm if it was actual cases in family court that have been approved or if it was EP approval by MOWH. Our agency told us it was not court cases that have been approved, but rather EPs.ReplyDelete
I think you are right. I must have misunderstood when I thought that it was the Family Court. The EPs are approved by MOHW before they are sent over to the court. My appologies for the mix up.Delete
this is a good news. this may aid in the fast resolve of cases in family courts.ReplyDelete
To frame my comments:ReplyDelete
- I am the adoptive parent of two young adults from Korea. They entered on IR4 visas, were re-adopted in the U.S. and have citizenship.
- I respect Mr. Morrison's commitment to the children of Korea and the families who adopt them.
Please do not misconstrue my comments to be an attack of any sort. Think of them more as a desperate plea.
For prospective adoptive parents, spending four, five or six weeks away from jobs and other children will be an inconvenience at best and a hardship at worst. It may put adoption from Korea outside the reach of some - including me, had the rule been put in place when I adopted in 1989 and 1991. My husband and I may never have been able to follow through, and it would have crushed us. But our lives would have gone on, and someone with the means we didn't have would have adopted our children. We all would have survived.
I wish that Mr. Morrison, who clearly has clout with the powers that be in Korea, had looked for another way to address the travel concerns of his constituents than abandoning finalization in Korea and the IR3. We have no idea when Korea will finally sign the Hague, so it could be years before we get to IR3 following that path. Although every adoptive parent and adoption agency believes they will fulfill their readotion and naturalization responsibilities, no one has a crystal ball. Is it OK to continue a process that we know may end in deportation for even one adoptee?
I wish that you all could speak to an adoptee who has been deported, and is lost in a country unknown to them. They don't get to ask, as someone did above about the reconsideration period, if their deportation will be measured in calendar or business days: forever is forever. I also wish you could speak to the adoptive parent of a deported adoptee who is grieving for the loss of their child and utterly powerless to help him or her. I have and do.
Every day I have to face the fact that, because anti-immigrant sentiments are the current political norm, it will be virtually impossible to amend the law to make citizenship retroactive for all intercountry adoptees. Even the CCA is steering clear of this issue, and they are supposed to be our country's adoption advocates.
There are days I just want to beat my head against a wall because everywhere I turn I see prospective adoptive parents pouring time and energy into issues around the adoption process, but none into correcting the egregious injustice of adoptee deportation. Doing that will take political will and action, yet I know from personal experience that the vast majority of adoptive parents are silent. I have begun to think that this issue has been put into the "anti-adoption" category by the AP community. I can't think of anything more PRO-adoption than advocating on behalf of adult adoptees who have been victimized by a broken process.
When we adopt from Korea, we become part of a process and community that is much bigger than our immediate families. Every single adoptive parent has a responsibility to ensure that every single adoptee is protected - no matter their age, no matter the circumstances of their adoptions or the failures of their adoptive parents, no matter the crimes they may have committed that led to their deportations. Every single one of those adoptees could have been our children, and at the very least, we own them our support for the process that will ensure they have immediate and unquestionable legal protection - citizenship - when they arrive on U.S. soil.
Thank you, Margie for the comments. Your comments are very important, and I hope that all the parents be due dilligent to finalize adoption and obtain citizenship. I believe the agencies are much more sensitive on this and they are following up with more care. Once Korea ratifies the Hague Convention, which I believe in a year, the IR-3 can be issued to the visiting families. IR-3 would be much preferred way to be sure, and there needs to be some ways to allow parents to be in Korea less than a week to obtain it.Delete
Margie, you easily dismiss the fact that your two children would never have been part of your family if the 4 week travel requirement was in place during their adoptions. We would be beyond devastated if we were not able to adopt our child. We consider her a part of our family since waiting, dreaming, and planning for her over the last year and a half. We will do whatever we can to compete her adoption because we love her and long to provide her a safe, stable, permanent family. I agree that having her adoption finalized in Korea would be the best option, but why can't that be done with families traveling 1-2 weeks? Why require 3-4 week travel? Leaving jobs for 2 weeks would be possible, but leaving for 4+ weeks would not. If the travel must be 4 weeks, then why not implement that requirement for families who have not yet started the process? When we started our process, we were told that the travel requirement was 3-5 days. Our child is a toddler now. I doubt that her birthmother would be grateful that her child has waited 20+ months to join a permanent, loving family only to end up in an orphanage. I doubt our child would thank you or anyone involved in advocacy groups for pushing an agenda in which she "fell through the cracks" during it's implementation and had to grow up in an orphanage. The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 makes our children citizens at finalization in the US. Our adoption agency requires that we finalize in US Courts. We've finalized both our two children's adoptions, and obtained their Certificates of Citizenship. Why penalize us for doing everything that the Korean government, adoption agencies, and advocacy groups asked us to do?ReplyDelete
I don't understand why the US government can't grandfather citizenship under the Child Citizenship Act for adult adoptees who were deported after committing crimes. There should be a away for them to obtain citizenship. Please don't make innocent children waiting for permanent loving families pay for the mistakes of others.
Anonymous, I recognize that it angers waiting parents - particularly those who have followed the rules as you have - to have another AP suggest that the process that is making their lives miserable might be worth preserving.ReplyDelete
And you are right: amending the CCA2000 is an important part of fixing the problem. There have been efforts to do so for over a decade, but none has succeeded, for a couple of reasons: the political climate since 9/11 has been inhospitable to any change perceived as a loosening of immigration policy, and adoptive parents have been largely silent on this issue, which has in turn allowed the large adoption lobbies to also remain silent.
Sadly, Congress values immigration law above adoption permanence, including members of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption. I know because after sending letters to each and every one of them, I received a response from two: one who was in favor of change, and another who had a million reasons why adoptees deserved no special treatment, in spite of the fact that they entered the country legally and lacked citizenship because others failed them.
If for the past ten years, intercountry adoptive parents had risen up in a block and screamed for change, we might have gotten Congress’s attention. We didn’t, so it should be small wonder to us that Korean adoptees returned to Korea and lobbied for changes there that assure their citizenship without adoptive parent intervention.
I also understand that you are concerned for your waiting child, and share those concerns. It disturbs me that the current process of adoption from Korea has lengthened the wait from months to years, and that children who will never be reclaimed by their first parents may have a more difficult time attaching to their adoptive families. But knowing the terrible impact of deportation on an adoptee and his or her family, as well as the emotional distress adoptees face when they realize they do not have citizenship, I have to come down on the side of protecting their rights, which in-country finalization and the IR3 do. Although your child might not thank me for extending her wait, I believe she would understand why I believe the new process - well, the almost new process - was necessary.
Please understand that I do not easily dismiss my children’s presence in our family. I believe, however, that there is no “right to adopt,” and that an emotional attachment to a child doesn't give me the right to demand a more convenient process that puts another in jeopardy. If our adoptions had derailed because of such a requirement, there is no question that my husband and I would have been devastated. There is also no question that our children are the most important people in our lives.
Excellent post! As the mother of teenage Korean children, I can't agree more. This time of change is difficult for all.Delete
Margie, I could not agree more that both the Korean and US governments need to put in place appropriate safeguards to ensure that children adopted into US families are not deported because of some failure or negligence on the part of their adoptive parents. Until that legislation can be enacted, I believe our government has a duty to exercise discretion in seeking the deportation of adoptees, and that we as citizens (and adoptive parents) we must do whatever we can to urge the government to recognize and exercise that duty. And I agree that as adoptive parents, we must take the lead in lobbying Congress to amend the 2000 Act. Nobody can dispute the importance of ensuring citizenship for all adoptees.ReplyDelete
What is also important, however, are the 600 or more children currently matched to overseas families (in the US and elsewhere) who are waiting for Korea to approve their adoptions. Many of these children have been living in foster care for nearly two years while Korea works through the nuances of its new law. Their extended stay in foster care will cause many of them to face additional, and largely unnecessary, struggles with attachment, language and overall development. Fortunately, as it stands today, these children will eventually join their families. And the research shows that with the patience and care of these families, most will catch up developmentally over the course of two years, and will ultimately enjoy all of the opportunities that were available to your children.
This would not be the case for if Korea imposed a retroactive 4-6 week travel requirement on currently waiting families. As you recognize, many people would be unable to fulfill this travel requirement. For prospective parents, this would be painful, but as you put it, “life will go on,” and they “will survive.” But the same cannot be said for the children they were matched with. Many of these children are nearing two years old. Even in the current program (i.e., without a 4-6 week travel requirement), it is not likely that the agencies would be able to place each of these affected children—most of whom would be three years or older at the time of their placement—with permanent families. And as a result, these children would fall through the cracks. They will grow up in institutions, and will have limited opportunities available to them. As important as adoptee citizenship issues are, I doubt these children—children deprived, for a second and final time, of their fundamental right to a family—would feel that their unknowing and unwilling sacrifice was worth achieving that greater good.
This said, I believe the changes you seek can, and should, be implemented. And I believe that in time, the Korean government can formulate an efficient court approval system that will ensure adoptee citizenship without unwittingly deterring otherwise willing families from providing children with a permanent home. But formulating that process will take time, and it should not happen at the expense of children who have already been waiting two years to join their families.
Your comments and those of others on this board highlight the splinters in the Korean adoption community. I sincerely hope that all members of the adoption triad—at all stages and levels—can start working together to address the important issues we are faced with. This continued division serves no one.
Wow! That was thought out and articulated. I can't agree with you more. Thank you.Delete
For anyone interested, this agency advocates for equal citizenship rights for adoptees. http://www.equalityforadoptedchildren.org/ReplyDelete
Please let us know as soon as you hear more'nnReplyDelete
Oh my gosh.. what is going on over in Korea? Barely anyone got any news at all (maybe 2 families from 2012 EP group). We are up close to 21 months age of our little guy and he's been in Foster Care for 18-19 months! We also heard a rumor that a BM decided to parent and within 24 hours returned her child. Has the government figured out what will happen when this type of situation occurs?ReplyDelete
Are all these children just going to get stuck in this system and unknowns? Do the agency's know anything? It is clear by now that the government has no intentions of these children to get adopted outside of Korea and they are doing everything they can to do just that.ReplyDelete
It is NOT okay that the goverment continue to delay the children to come home. I do not undestand that they dont have any feelings or responsebility for theese children. They do not only punishes us, the waiting parents, but worst of all the children will suffer a lot more when they are in foster care for SO long. Cant they get it? And most important, will they ever give us an answer? I doubt it! And cant help it, more and more to loose respeckt for the goverment in Korea. And at last: What will happen if the angency`s starts to demant some answers - what is the worst case senario? I can not get suprised anymore, and I can not let the Korean goverment make the rules in my life much longer :-( Sorry my bad english, hope you understand.ReplyDelete
What is happening??? This is beyond awful. We are at an absolute breaking point. We'd love some news and some hope.ReplyDelete
Steve, are you hearing any news about what is going on in Korea? Not knowing anything is killing us. We want to bring our son home SO badly, and have absolutely no idea of when it will happen. Something has to move soon, there are so many babies in foster care. I know of several foster moms now parenting multiple children. Are the courts trying every possible way to keep the children in Korea, even if they are in foster care for years? Thank you so much for your ongoing help and support, your updates are our lifeline.ReplyDelete
For those who have been part of the movement out of Korea yesterday and today, we are thankful. For those who continue to wait, we are prayerful. For all the children, we are thankful that God is watching them as well as us. On this Easter Eve, we remember that God loved us enough to give us His Son to die on a cross. Hallelujah!ReplyDelete
What movement? Did something happenReplyDelete
I don't think S. Korean govt wants us to take our children home. I have heard that a handful of familes who were planning to travel next month have been told that birth families have elected to keep the child when recently notified by the court that the child was leaving the country:(ReplyDelete
I hate to break the obvious to you, if a child's parent wants to raise THEIR child, you have ABSOLUTELY NO CLAIM ON THIS CHILD WHATSOEVER. Most parents want to raise their children, only some find themselves in extremely difficult circumstances, many times this is a temporary situation. It's quite vulgar when people don't support families to stay together in rough times, and would prefer to cause a permanent separation. It really makes you sound like a child abducting thief to lay claim on a child with a family. If you had children (ones you produced yourselves) and fell on hard times, do you want your kids taken away from you and sent overseas because you could see no other way to support them? If you did put your children into the care of others over these hard times, would you want a second chance to get them back when you got on your feet again? I hope you would, and if so, you should extend that courtesy to others.Delete
I am a KAD, and I resent my adoptive parent's decision to adopt because of the role it played in depriving MY family of the second chance to raise me that they deserved. It caused a life time of emotional trauma for us all, which does include my adoptive parents and not just MY family and ME. If you need living evidence of what scorn you will receive (for your part in the separation) from an adoptive child who COULD and SHOULD have been raised by THEIR family, feel free to use me as an example. It disgusts me that PAPs and APs feel they make better parents than a child's ACTUAL parents.
If you want a child, either make it yourself, or just come to terms with not being able to (it's the adult thing to do). You are NOT entitled to another person's child because you paid some money to an adoption agency. If you want to help a child in need, make sure their family has the support they need to raise THEIR child.
I feel very sorry for how sad and bitter you feel about your life. I hope you come to a happy peace one day. I love my children with all my heart. I hope they never feel as embittered by life as you do. The truth for most kids is living in an orphange after they are relinquished by their parents, not a miraculous reunitement with their family after a few months of giving up their child. I really hope you come to peace about your life. It's not worth wrecking other's lives just because you regret yours.Delete
Well, I pity you if you can only hear sadness and bitterness, without hearing the fundamental human rights abuse this highlights.Delete
I do not know if you are the original poster of this thread, but I will quote them, "I have heard that a handful of familes who were planning to travel next month have been told that birth families have elected to keep the child..." And everywhere where parents are given support to raise their children the numbers of children "available" for adoption plummets (which is why westerners look abroad to adopt because single mothers were given the social support and welfare options to raise their children). Reality shows us that children do not grow up in orphanages when parents are supported to raise their children. Your theoretical "truth" is not based in any fact.
Many of the mother's who have theoretically "relinquished" their children for adoption in Korea were done under coercion, and were presented with little options. Evidence in Korea shows the majority of mothers who are given information about their options and are given support to raise their children, do so. You should research before you make sweeping unsubstantiated "truth" statements.
I guarantee you, if you show so much disrespect for "your" children's original family, they will have no reason not to be deeply hurt, which could manifest as depression, addiction, suicide, or the least of the these problems, being angry. You could and should do your research on the outcomes for adult transracial intercountry adoptees on the subjects of mental health, addiction, alcoholism, suicide, suicidal behaviour, socio-economic failure to replicate either their adoptive parents or non-adoptive siblings status.
You are the one who labouring under an illusion of a "miraculous" happy adoption experience with attitudes like yours. Good adoption outcomes come with a lot of respect for original family.
You are absolutely correct. We (as APs) have no claim over the children until they are in our care. I am also waiting to adopt a boy from Korea. While I would love the opportunity to parent him, it would be in his best interest if his birth mom/family is able to parent him. I keep that in mind as I wait to hear news. My focus is on what is best for the little boy -- not my own desire to parent -- as hard as that is to separate.
I do hope/wish that Korean government can make the process go quickly from here for everyone's sake -- foster families, children, birth families, and APs. The sooner the children can be settled in to a permanent situation, the better it will be on them. On the personal side, I know that I'd rather know sooner than later if the BM is going to parent so that I can adjust my life as well.
I hope that there would be someway to support BMs that decide to parent in Korea. Perhaps a fund that we could donate to for financial support?
Thanks Anonymous for sharing your perspective.
For support for unwed mothers / birth families look here:Delete
I don't believe that modern adoptive parents have anything but a sense of gratitude towards the women who birth the children they have the joy of raising.
I think most adoptive parents and prospective adoptive parents would agree that if the situation of a birth mother or birth family has changed so that they are able to provide a stable and permanent home to their child then they should of course have the opportunity to do so. However, I do not agree with keeping children in 'limbo' for their entire childhood on a maybe that may never come to fruition. I was myself raised by a single mother in a time when that was still very frowned upon in Western society but this was only possible because of wider family support. Sadly you cannot fix a complex societal problem simply by throwing money at it or kicking up a political stink. Until grandparents are willing to embrace their illegitimate grandchildren without prejudice or disapproval there will always be relinquishment or abandonment. Until women with existing children are able to take those children with them when they remarry this problem will remain. For married couples who fall on hard financial times and need to temporarily relinquish children, it is my understanding that there are facilities where they can do so, although I understand that in the past this may not have been the case.
Adoption, and particularly International Adoption is viewed poorly by some people because it is viewed as a 'supply and demand' situation, however, the 'supply' of children far exceeds the 'demand' in South Korea because there is a government imposed limit on the number of children who can be sent for adoption each year. This does not seem to have lowered the number of children who are relinquished, and agencies who offer adoption services have had to turn birth mothers away because they cannot take on any more children. It is sad that more children are not being adopted domestically, but this will hopefully steadily increase as attitudes change. Promotion of birth control would also be helpful.
To suggest that infertile couples should be expected to never dream of a family of their own and instead financially support other families is somewhat callous. It is also not fair or accurate to suggest that someone is capable or suitable to be a parent simply by virtue of a biological connection.
In an ideal world nobody would get accidentally pregnant, in an ideal world nobody would face such harsh financial hardship that they feel compelled to give up their child, and in an ideal world children would always be considered a blessing rather than a burden or source of shame.
One needs to be very careful in accusing others with such a strong words like 'coercion'. I looked at the definition of coercion and it states: "Coercion is the practice of forcing another party to act in an involuntary manner (whether through action or inaction) by use of threats or intimidation or some other form of pressure or force."Delete
I seriously do not believe the birthmothers were 'coerced' to give up their children. Birthmothers know when a threat is made to them, and certainly they are not so inept that they would not be able to walk away from such thing.
It may be that the agencies may have encouraged birthmothers to give up their children based on their knowledge how difficult it would be for birthmothers to raise their children.
Also there are nearly 20,000 children in institutions in Korea that are waiting for their birthmothers to come a reclaim them, but birth parents ignore them as these children were definitely abandoned by parents' choice, not coerced. Each year nearly 10,000 children become homeless with 1500 domestic adoptions and close to 900 for intercountry adoptions. The other 7,000 or so children became homeless, and they were not abandoned through coercion.
It is one thing to victimize the cause of birthparents, but it is another to degrade the good intentions of adoptive parents by your insensitive comments.
I can`t agree more, so good written here above :-)Delete
I dont think it`s fair to make us AP to "the bad" in this circus, we have suffered enough. Please have also respeckt for us, as we have respeckt for the birthparents.
KAD, you are the type of person who would be angry in any situation. Whether you were adopted, in a foster family for 2 years and then back to your birth family, or not adopted therefore put into an orphanage. Bitter any way you look at it.Delete
"Most parents want to raise their children, only some find themselves in extremely difficult circumstances, many times this is a temporary situation." Can I ask, where do you come up with statistic? Many of these women are single. They got pregnant by a boyfriend or a married man who left them once they found out they were pregnant. Please explain how many of these situations are temporary.
Where do you get our idea that adoptive parents don't respect birth families? We are the first ones who agree that Korea needs to do more/better to help single mothers so they CAN raise their kids. We adopted our son 10 years ago and I hope he will one day meet his birth mom! I want her to know that her love for "our" son and her sacrifice for the betterment of "our" son was a good decision.
You are disgusted when an AP thinks they will be a better parent than a birth parent? NO CHILD should grow up without love, parents, food, medical help, education, opportunities and the chance to be a kid. If the BP can't provide and an AP can, then YES! the child IS better off with an AP. It's a shame you feel a child's well being is less important than keeping the birth family together.
I'm sure if you can get over your bitterment about being adopted, you'll see the beauty in adoption. Adoption isn't perfect - neither is allowing birth families to keep children they cannot take care of.
To the person who said “I seriously do not believe the birthmothers were 'coerced' to give up their children.”Delete
Could you please give your opinion of what the tactics that this 60 Minutes Korea clip show are when this mother is ambushed by an agency woman just moments after the birth of her child whilst she is still under stupefying drugs from undergoing a caesarian. She has no memory of signing away her child, she asked for her child straight away when she came to, and her child was gone. She went to the agency and asked for her child back, but because she could not front up with cash to pay the agency back for paying her hospital bills and paying for the daily care her child had received whilst not in her care, she could not get her child back. Interviews with the attending doctor revealed he frequently called this agency when single women gave birth WITHOUT seeking information from the mothers if they were even considering adoption. This was common practice for him, he didn’t even consider this was placing vulnerable mothers in a position where they could not make informed consent.
A few years ago on Arirang TV, there was a story of a couple whose child was born with a medical problem, the couple was unable to pay for the operation that their child needed, but low and behold an adoption agency person was on hand to offer medical assistance for the child in exchange for the child of course. Hmmm, when your child’s life is at stake, what are your options? Keep him and hope he doesn’t die, or accept an offer for his life whereby you loose him? What a thoroughly manipulative decision! It’s the stuff the evil characters in fairy tales place on their victims. This is more rotten than Rumpelstiltskin could conceive.
Women who were in unwed mothers homes attached to adoption agencies have reported that when they changed their minds they were denied access to their child, denied the ability to breastfeed their child, and were forced to pay back in cash, not credit, for the expenses the adoption agency says they are due. Many simply can’t afford this. These are the very agencies you will be procuring your adoptive child from. Did you know that your prospective adoptive child might have been procured this way?
Recently a case came to light in Australia where a young Korean adoptee found out that her mother (she was married) was told her child died in childbirth and had assumed she was dead for all these years.
And well, in my generation, I was just stolen. And many of my contemporaries have equally dodgy stories that don’t sync up with the picture agency records painted for our adoptive parents. A long history of unethically procuring children.
If you wish to minimize these types of the behaviour in Korean adoption practice, consider this is all behaviour that agencies don’t want you to know about and so the stories that surface are only the tip of the iceberg. Most mothers are too ashamed to speak out about what has happened to them, most adoptees never understand when they hit a roadblock in search that they should dig harder because the roadblock quite possibly means that something is being hidden from them.
I consider much of this worse than coercion, because impossible demands are made that the agencies know the mothers cannot make. Terms like leveraging and holding a child hostage is more accurate. But the kind of bullying of women in unwed mothers homes attached to adoption agencies definitely is coercion.
However getting caught up in semantics hardly negates any of this as remotely good practice. Instead of getting caught up in semantics could you put your energy in making sure your prospective adoptive child was in no way procured in any of the above-mentioned ways? Do your own investigations. Agencies are obviously unreliable on self-reporting their own conduct.
I don’t expect this post to survive long on this board. It’s designed to support prospective adoptive parents, if you want real information go to the places that support adoptees and unwed mothers.
"KAD, you are the type of person who would be angry in any situation."Delete
My husband started cracking up laughing at this because of it's absurdity. He then said, "Yeah, good one, make a personal attack..."
Really, that is low behavior.
I get the idea that APs don't respect original families by the language they use of possessive ownership before any adoption process has been finalized, and the pejorative "BIRTH mother" "BIRTH family". These are mothers and families first and foremost, mothers and families of loss second if an adoption does occur. I suggest you read what mothers of loss have to say about those terms. I also get the idea that PAPs don't respect original families when they complain a lot about the family choosing to raise their kids and not handing them over to PAPs. Where do you get the idea that this anything but disrespectful???
I know from myself and talking to other KADs that situations are temporary, and the duration of some situations could have been alleviated faster if resources had been put into solving them. And to the person who said that "To suggest that infertile couples should be expected to never dream of a family of their own and instead financially support other families is somewhat callous." I do realize you are just in it for the selfish reason of being a parent and that suggesting that people who care intrinsically about children should support their parents isn't for you, but some people claim their reason for adopting is out of child welfare, which can be addressed in other ways best suited to the child's welfare.
The temporary situation when a single woman gets pregnant is the lack of support, in the short timeframe between being in denial about being pregnant to a stage of panic about the reality of the situation many women are not able to get the information they need to work out whether they actually could raise their child. They don't get the opportunity to work through the knee-jerk reactions with their own parents, or seek support from elsewhere. These a temporary situations that can't be addressed by a system that has favored getting babies as young as possible and separating them from their mother as soon as possible. 70% of unwed mothers have previously "chosen" to give up their children for adoption. That is tragically high, but given the hard work adoption agencies put into procuring children it is unsurprising. But this statistic shows there is still some 30% who don't relinquish. So some people are finding it possible to raise children as unwed mothers. Obviously more can.
I suspect that the person who posted about 20,000 children being in institutions would have you believe they ended up there. But what I've heard from people on the ground in Korea is the children that end up in institutions are generally the children of divorced couples (or special needs children), which is a differentiated category from unwed mothers (who were never married). Unfortunately, fathers get custody because the law favors them, but they often can't care for the child due to work so they end up in institutions. A lot of work needs to be done here in terms of justice for divorced mothers and supporting them, but lets not get too excited about all the children who end up in orphanages when it comes to adoption, since so many of them were not even eligible. That's a different social justice issue and one that's just as important.
I will suggest again, that perhaps some research is in order, especially the kind that isn't being directed from agencies. I have been able to find a wealth of information and yet PAPs and APs seem to do fail this. I believe it is within your capabilities to do this, in fact, it is YOUR responsibility. I encourage everyone to take responsibility for the role they play in life.
Here's a start for those too involved in supporting their own point of view to bother.
Call it what you will "Angry KAD". Or should I say "Ignorant KAD who feels she knows everything about adoption because she was adopted."Delete
Regarding the "mother of loss" - I know several Korean women who gave up babies when they were teens. I just asked them about "mother of loss" and they laughed and said they'd rather be called biological mom or birth mom. They suggested it was probably something that was lost in translation. So, for the sake of argument, we'll call them "biological" parents.
You act as if people who want to adopt are the evil ones.
"I also get the idea that PAPs don't respect original families when they complain a lot about the family choosing to raise their kids and not handing them over to PAPs. Where do you get the idea that this anything but disrespectful???"
You clearly have no idea what families do to be able to adopt a child. Some have waited over two years to bring home "their" child. They've prayed for, cared about, thought about, visited, stared for hours at their pictures, etc a child they wanted to bring home to be part of their family. So, when a biological family decides to take the child back, do you expect those families to jump for joy? Adoptive parents are people - most are very familiar with loss. So, they aren't being "disrespectful" they are heartbroken. Yet, they are happy for the child - because any PARENT who loves their child, want what's best for that child. The assumption is that if the court feels the biological family can take care of them, then the child will be in good hands.
Nothing you shared is news to most of us. I’m certainly aware of the ugly practices from the agencies. There are ugly practices everywhere, in our schools, goverments, etc. However, I also know there are some good practices. My best friend, who is a Korean Adoptee, found out later in life that she was actually “stolen”. She was very angry about it, but she is also very happy and loves her family. She doesn't go around bashing adoption because she also sees the beauty of adoption. She fights for the well-being of children and for what she calls “birth moms” to have the support they need to be able to raise their children, and she also supports adoptions done right.
“Here's a start for those too involved in supporting their own point of view to bother.” It seems very hypocritical of you to say this when you can’t seem to get past YOUR own point of view.
“I don’t expect this post to survive long on this board. It’s designed to support prospective adoptive parents, if you want real information go to the places that support adoptees and unwed mothers.” Again with your ignorance. MPAK is a promoter for the well being of children, the biological parents and the adoptive parents. You’re suggesting we turn our heads and just look at adoption from the point of view of biological mothers. No, thank you. I’ll stick with MPAK who shares information on all sides.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!Delete
You have just proved all my points about the awful attitudes of PAPs loud and clear! 5x5!
You are right, something is lost in translation. If they knew how this was used a pejorative in west and was invented and used by the western adoption industry to demote their status, perhaps they would rethink minding an English term with a lot of baggage, as opposed to the translated version.
Justifying engaging with those who engage in awful practices because there are so many other awful practices in the world? Really? You could justify anything with this lack of logic.
Using your KAD friends as evidence of a how their attitudes are better than other KADs attitudes, not really applaudable. Please feel free to ask her to speak for herself here.
You don't really know how I feel about my adoptive parents, apart from that I RESENT THE ROLE THEY PLAYED in an illegal adoption and feel scorn for that level of self involvement, you assume a lot by the fact that I've expressed little else. Really that is none of you business how I feel about them. I know if I'd said I love them dearly in spite of this, you would take too much self affirmation from it that despite unethical practices it'll all turn out well, if I had said they were inadequate parents in many respects you take the opportunity to write my opinions off as the result of a "bad adoption experience". Well, I'm not saying either of those things, and whatever you choose to speculate you do so at the risk of being entirely wrong. One thing you should be aware of, adoptees relationships with their adoptive parents are frequently very complex and hardly ever one polarity or another.
Believe me, in my so called "ignorance" which includes close relationships with adoptees who've been the the object of injustice, and those who are in loving and caring relationships with their adoptive parents, those who have been abused, those who don't know their stories, and those that do, and interactions with APs who have learnt the hard way and are doing great things for adoption justice, and APs that are far too willing to undermine, patronize, belittle, or just downright flame adoptees who speak their truth, and mothers and fathers of loss, and doing extensive reading from researchers in the field, your statement "You’re suggesting we turn our heads and just look at adoption from the point of view of biological mothers. No, thank you. I’ll stick with MPAK..." rings pretty closed minded.
I know what MPAK stands for, from a critical perspective, not a credulous one.
Typical of a close minded person to quote just the part they want to quote. You forgot " I’ll stick with MPAK who shares information on all sides."Delete
I would be interested to know how prospective adoptive parents are supposed to go about verifying information that is not made available to us. I very much doubt that anyone would knowingly become involved in child trafficking but I fail to see how we are able to go about confirming information. In some cases a child's paperwork may be quite detailed and seem very clear - but how would we know if it was truthful and accurate or not? Now that cases are being reviewed by the court and birth mothers are being interviewed (when they can be found) can we rest assured that what we are told is accurate? In which case, I'm not sure that I understand how some of the many things brought up by the Korean Adoptee who is commenting here are relevant to adoptions happening now.Delete
"You forgot " I’ll stick with MPAK who shares information on all sides.""Delete
I didn't bother with the rest of the quote, because ellipsis covers it. And actually it doesn't share all sides. You must have missed the bit where MPAK literally stands for Mission to Promote Adoption in Korea, not Mission to Promote Child and Parent Welfare in Korea. Two very different concepts. One I'm interested in promoting, the other is considered the money driven obstruction that takes focus away from the child and parent welfare reforms sorely needed.
To the poster who said they didn't understand how my comments are relevant to adoptions happening now, well I sincerely hope the unethical practices of a year or so ago are changed by the new law changes. We can but hope at this stage that the new processes are robust. Paperwork has been historically been quite detailed with misinformation and outright fictions, I personally don't know how to verify what is accurate? If you can't work out a way for you to know with certainty if the adoption you are engaged with is ethical, that's something that you'll have to resolve with your own conscience. Personally if I saw a long history of malpractice that reached up until a couple of years ago, I would consider myself morally remiss to engage with anyone associated with it. If you wish to put your faith in the new reforms, that is entirely up to you.
Feel free to continue dismissing me. MPAK is not a good place for adoptees who don't tow the adoption party line to comment (again not all sides being represented). But many in my circles do read it, and pass on comments about how appalling the attitudes are, which is how I got here, again. Many of them probably have better sense than I do in terms of choosing to comment within a supportive environment of peers rather than try to communicate with those desperate to adopt at whatever cost. I'll return to commenting amongst my peers as I consider my time here wasted.
Before you go from this blog, could you give us your thoughts on how PAPs could verify the authenticity of the documents and information they are given? How can we know for certain if the mom /family was non coerced into giving up the child? What are your suggestions for PAPs who are in the process and share your concerns? Thank you for your time.Delete
It is next to impossible to take on someone else's perspective or hear what they have to say when they call you "angry or ignorant". It is just as difficult to hear anyone's point who calls you "a child abducting thief". I respect the rights of parents to raise their child. I also respect their right to choose an adoption for their child. I don't disrespect my children's birth parents. I support them in trying to find out more about them if they choose. I find it frustrating that there are so many roadblocks to their information. I think the New Law includes many good changes that protect all parties involved in adoption. I am discouraged by the fact that so many children who were relinquished by their birth parents have to wait for years to become part of a family. Most of the birth parents who have been recontacted as part if the New Law continue in their decision of relinquishment. It is frustrating that children loose their birth parents then have to wait for years to finally be adopted into a permant family.Delete
I am aware of the questionable practices of adoption agencies. I understand the New Laws were a reaction to this, and I'm glad they are being put in place (provided it is going to be an on-going process because it is extremely new). I find peace in knowing that the BPs will be approached again--as painful as it will be for some BPs, I think it is a necessary process if relinquishment procedures in the past were questionable. What I don't quite understand is your stance...are you anti-adoption or calling for reform of questionable practices? If you are calling for reform of questionable practices, that is happening...slowly, but it is. If you are advocating for more programs to support birth mothers, I believe that is happening, as well. It is extremely unfortunately what happened in the past, I hate that there are questions on how some babies were taken from their families and placed into adoptive families. That is horrible for all involved, but it happened...all we can do it address this horrible situation going forward. In the end, I still think there is a need for adoption in Korea just as there is a need for adoption in the US. Not all birth families will want to parent and unfortunately, that is fact. What do you suggest should happen to these children?Delete
Is there anymore information? I'm sure everyone is on edgeReplyDelete
I agree in most of what is writing here above, but as I see it in a perfeck world, the agency should not bee alowed to let us AP know about a child, BEFORE they are sure that the birth parents can not take care of the child.ReplyDelete
It is a living nightmare for us AP to "have known" and loved a child in almost a year, look at their picktues 100 times a day and hope to love and care for the child. We are all just human and have all feelings, also AP.
For the comment above. I wish it was only a year that I've been waiting for my baby. The sad part is that the longer this takes the harder it will be for the babies to adapt. Even with the BM it will b a struggleReplyDelete
I'm worried that birth mothers will change their mind and then end up relinquishing the children again anyway once they are faced with the stark reality of a toddler who may well howl with grief for weeks after being separated from their foster family. I don't know about other countries or agencies but our US agency has stressed the likelihood of a difficult transition period and methods of encouraging attachment. Adoptive parents are given education and resources to help - will birth parents have access to the same resources?Delete
I was told by our agency that birth parents recieve extensive counseling by the agency if they decided to keep and raise the child.ReplyDelete
I feel sad for the adoptee who resents their AP's. I grew up with a friend who was adopted from S. Korea and they love their AP's and family. They went a few years ago looking for their birth family, but never found them. They have never once talked aboout resenting them for giving them up or the AP's for raising and providing them with a nurturing environement to grow up in.
Well, that's a convenient thing to tell PAPs, I'd like to see that in practice. New law changes, I believe are requiring this and a few other things, but these new law changes that protect expectant mother's choices seem to be that something that PAPs are railing against for slowing the process down.Delete
Don't feel sad for me, feel sad for your KAD friend who was unable to find their original family, they will never find out the truth of their own story, they will only ever see a genetic reflection of themselves in another human being if they have their own children and don't feel beholden to adopt instead. They will never be able to rejoice in hearing their own laugh coming from the mouths of their relatives. I persisted in search against the roadblock my agency put up against providing me with information, and I found my family and have the deepest sense of closure and calm I have ever experienced, knowing the truth. I have nothing to resent about my family giving me up, because they didn't, they were stolen from. Just because I rail against injustice and entitled self-serving attitudes and resent those who are party to this injustice does not mean that my life is not richer and better for having my original family in it. Believe me, you could feel sad for me if I had not found good adoptees who advised me well of how agencies withhold information and how to search without their assistance. They had good reason to withhold my information given they stole from my family.
Feel sad for all the APs who will learn in the future that their children didn't come to them honestly, but at the expense of their children's original families. Feel sad for these adoptees when they discover this injustice and become divided by their love of their adoptive families and their own losses.
Should we give up? Are you suggesting that we are wrong in feeling that we can provide an unconditional loving home to a child? Are we wrong in feeling that this is what we were made to do? Could we feel this strongly about something and be willing to die for a child we haven't yet met and be wrong?Delete
Steve, we'd be interested in hearing your comments. There is a large number of us who have families in limbo, are confused, and have an overall sentiment of discouragement. People are pretty desperate for information right now...many conflicting reports and obvious disagreement and negativity (judging from many comments on this site). Would you mind commenting or blogging?ReplyDelete
Thanks to all that visited and exchanged (or argued) on this board. Your exchanges are all valid, and at the same time we need to realize how complex adoption triad is for adoptees, birthmothers, and adoptive parents. I'll write my thoughts on a separate blog. Thanks again to all of you for making this board come alive. I believe perhaps we can through this diverse opinion, come together to put it all together and try to make some sense of it all.Delete
Hi Steve - when you said you will write your thoughts on a separate blog, what is the name on that blog? Thank you again for all your work for us.ReplyDelete
Sorry I hadn't the time to sit down and put my thoughts. I'll get to it when I get a chance. Thanks for being patient.Delete
You do not have to bee sorry Steve, we know you have a lot to do. But this silent I can not take it any more :-(ReplyDelete
We do not hear ANYTHING from our agency, and I am so affraight.... What does this missing info means??
why can they in Korea dont let us know any kind of news, so we can continue hope....
Some news from Sweden through a waiting family blog; The first Swedish family had their court appointment today. It went well and the first international adoption according to the new law was completed. Apparently all the current waiting Swedish families have court appointments.ReplyDelete
Hope this means good news across borders!
Why did they have a court appointment? I thought the families didn't have to go to court any more - unless the court requested it for their case.Delete
Do you know when they get to go home w/ their child?
Very happy for them!!
Would you mind to post a link to their blog? I'm curious if their original court date was scheduled for today. Mine was scheduled for April 5th, but my agency tells me that date is meaningless now. Was wondering if maybe they were wrong. Thanks!Delete
Completed? Or is there another 14 day waiting period. Plus you've still got Embassy Appearance, Visa Physicaks, etc? This is great news that some movement is finally happening.ReplyDelete
The blog is in Swedish and did not include any further information at this stage.ReplyDelete
All three Swedish families for which the adoption is to be decided according to the new law first had an earlier court date which was cancelled but have now received new ones. Unclear why?
The blog did not say anything about additional waiting time or other specifics abot the process steps, I will keep checking for more information
Can you verify with your contacts in Korea about the above mentioned court movement (Swedish adoptive parents)? It would be great to know that there is some movement as this would give us all some hope. Any EP quotas given to the agencies yet? Thanks.
As an adoptive parent, I cannot believe that some of the PAPs on here are seriously complaining about having to travel, or saying things like, 'We've suffered enough" - really? You've suffered? You are not helping your cause. There is no "our child" until the child is made legally yours. Just as there are laws in the US to protect birth mother, there are now laws in Korea. And yes, a family should have the right to take their child back.ReplyDelete
Parents will travel, no one is complaining about traveling to meet the precious child they've cared for & dreamt of in their hearts for over a year. Parents would be irresponsible if they left their jobs for 4+ weeks resulting in no job to return to and no way to support their child & family due to a sudden change in the length of time required in Korea. How about all parties advocate for the new process to happen with a reasonable timeframe of travel so that children are automatic citizens at Court finalization?ReplyDelete
Courts must have changed their minds as one judge is calling cases in. Court dates end of May. Also those families who have been in court from beginning and the BM has re-relinquished still are waiting for government to complete the process. The longer these kids are waiting to connect with their forever families, the harder and more difficult it will be for them to get valuable therapies and language development and attachment so they become healthy adults.ReplyDelete