I got this from April 9, 2013 issue of the Nocut News in Korea. The article is in Korean, but I translated for the readers. The Korean version is at http://www.nocutnews.co.kr/Show.asp?IDX=2457474.
It just goes to show that the baby abanonment is not unique to Seoul nor the Baby Box. I have seen many other news articles on how several orphanages have seen a sharp increase in the number of children being admitted to their facilities (they say they were in downward trend until August 2012). What's amazing is that despite the abandunce of data, there are many that still deny that the abandonment is caused by the Special Adoption Law. Not all parts of the law is bad, but a portion of it needs to be revised. Here is an article regarding the abandonment in Daejon and Chung Nam Provice areas.
there has been a sharp increase in the baby abandonment in Daejon City and the
Chung Nam Province areas. In the past
these babies would be put up for adoption, but since the enactment of the
Special Adoption Law in August 2012, there have been many cases of baby
of the key aspects of the Special Adoption Law is the requirement that
birthmothers register their babies in their family registries.
purpose of the law was to enhance birthmothers the chance to raise their own
children and also to provide a way for adoptees to search for their roots, but
the birthmothers are afraid their privacy will be violated because of the
essence the Special Adoption Law has backfired.
April 6 a baby boy who was barely a day old, was discovered in a restroom after
he was born in a hospital in Daejon. Fortunately the baby was discovered early
and was saved, but the baby who lost his mother cried continuously. The police
examined the video images from the CCTV security cameras but could not find the
February 6, there was an incident at a Chung Nam hospital where a teen
birthmother deserted her baby in the hospital and left without notice. The mother of the birthmother was contacted
by the hospital, but the baby’s grandmother did not want the baby. However, she was requested by the police to
locate the birthmother.
February 22, a birthmother in her 20’s was captured by the police and
questioned after killing and discarding her newborn baby.
like these are adding to the ever increasing number of babies being abandoned.
April 8, according to the Central Child Protection Agency, in 2011 there were a
total of 53 cases of child abandonment recorded in Korea. But by the third quarter of 2012, the
abandonment has shot up to 118 cases.
the same time the adoption in Korea has dropped sharply as well.
the Special Adoption Law was enacted, there were 6 to 7 adoptions among 10
abandoned babies, but now it is only 1 to 2 that get adopted in the areas of
Daejon and Chung Nam, clearly showing the sharp decrease in adoption.
experts in the child welfare areas are advocating that a revision is needed in
the Special Adoption Law.
representative in the Daejon branch of the Eastern Welfare Society states, “If
we compare the number of adoptions taking place before and after the law, the
law has resulted in the significant decrease in adoption by 2/3 (67%), if the
birthmothers cannot come to the agencies, the babies will most likely be placed
through illegal, black market types of adoption or abandon the babies, or
choose other harmful methods to rid of their problems.”
also stated that, “To stop the increased abandonment of children and to
discourage other unfavorable outcomes with the children, the Special Adoption
Law must be revised to allow the birthmothers 24 and under to allow their children
to be adopted through the adoption agencies.”
Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) announced yesterday (April 8, 2013) that
they will provide up to 700,000 Won (approximately to $615 as of this writing) to
all the unwed birthmothers to keep their babies for seven days after the
birth. The amount will depend on the
types of care facilities the birthmothers stay.
is definitely a step in the right direction, and hope that this will help the
birthmothers. I encourage MOHW not to
stop there. They should support the
birthmothers even after the seven days, if the birthmothers so choose to keep
their babies, by providing similar amount or more to help take care of their
I have always maintained that for the majority of birthmothers, the issue is
not the cost. The real issue for them is
the pressure and shame they feel from the society that looks down on them. This is exacerbated by the lack of support or
unwillingness to accept the children born out of wedlock by the immediate
families. For these birthmothers no
amount of financial aid would help them as they wish to hide from being disgraced.
efforts should be made by the Korean government to work on to remove negative
stigma against the unwedded birthmothers.
Rather than bashing on adoption, the people opposed to adoption or
against the revision of the law should focus more on changing this aspect of
the Korean culture and they will go much farther and quicker for the cause of
birthmothers. They should not waste time
by speaking against adoption. Why is it
that one has to be killed to make the other survive? Adoption and the rights of birthmothers need
to go hand-in-hand, not against one another.