Monday, January 22, 2018

PETITION - PLEASE SIGN: Let the Children Grow Up in Homes, Not in Institutions


Rep. Nam Insoon, a Democrat in the Korean Government, and a contingent of people and organizations that are anti-adoption, have recently held a Forum on January 16, 2018 to propose an amendments to the current Special Adoption Laws that will result in significant reduction in adoption (both domestic and intercountry) and would force more children to grow up in institutions.

The proposed law takes away the adoption services provided by the agencies such as Holt, Eastern, and SWS, and 20 other domestic adoption agencies and forcing them to turn over their adoption service duties to be managed and controlled by the Ministry of Health Welfare (a branch under the Korean government), or a designated government agency. The last thing we want is more bureaucratic process that will be so inefficient, slow and worst of all, run by the people that have no love or care for such children.  It will just be day-to-day duties for the government workers, that will not best serve the children's needs.

In order to discourage and to reduce adoption, the law also mandates that birth parents have the rights to demand information on their children from the adoptive parents, and this has caused a lot confusion and anxiety among the good adoptive parents. Imagine an adopted child, being approached later by a stranger that claims that he/she is the child's parent. This would be especially hard if the child was adopted secretly and he/she doesn't know about the adoption (as this is still the most case with the adoptive families in Korea).

All this is leading to one thing...more children growing up in institutions. This all stems from the anti-adoption individuals or organizations that accuse the presence of adoption as the cause of separation of children from their birth parents. We have always advocated that adoption is simply a response to already separated children.
The law amendment language has been drafted, and is undergoing a few public hearings before it gets elevated to discuss in the Assembly and voted.
I urge all who share in the value of protecting the orphans, and all the adoptees and adoptive parents that really care for the children's rights will not stand by as this amendments only threatens the lives of homeless children, and their rights to chances at life and opportunities, and their rights to loving families.

Therefore, we call on Rep. Nam Insoon to DROP the proposed amendments immediately and completely, and STOP threatening the lives of thousands of homeless children.  Also know that the proposed amendments to the adoption law is not in the best interest of children.

We demand the following from Rep. Nam Insoon and the Government of Korea:

1. We demand that in the future when an amendment is recommended for the adoption law, please include adoptees (both domestic and intercountry adoption), adoptive parents, adoption agencies.  Do not exclude them from an early discussion as you have at this forum.  You have only included those individuals and organizations that are opposed to adoption.

2. We demand that no effort should be made to deliberately stop the intercountry adoption.  We support all efforts to reunite a child with his/her biological family. We also support that domestic adoption should be given a priority over the intercountry adoption program.  However, if the previous options are not available to a child, he/she should be given a chance to be adopted overseas.  In fact, this is the priorities set by the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption. There should be no consideration made to slow or block the intercountry adoption simply because of the national shame.
To a child, the best option is a loving home, whether it be in Korea or abroad.

3. We demand the rights to privacy that a birth/adoption information can only be provided when the adoptive parents agree if a child is under 18.  If an adoptee is 18 or older, the decision can be made by the adoptee without the parental approval.

4. We demand that the adoption services provided by the agencies such as Holt, Eastern, and SWS not be taken away by the government.  These agencies have 60 years of serving the homeless children, and they serve the children with their hearts. If the government takes away the adoption services, more problems will arise due to lack of expertise and individual care needed. There is no insurance against greater abuse or neglect experienced if the government performs the adoption services. According to the Hague Convention, one of the functions of the government is to accredit and audit the adoption agencies periodically. But allows leaving the adoption services to the accredited agencies. Let them do what they do best and don't take away their duties.
To all the readers, please sign this petition.  Share this widely and Let the Children Grow Up in Loving Homes, not in Institutions!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

The Protest Statement to Rep. Nam Insoon of Korea

The Protest Statement by the Adoptive Families in Korea, in response to the Forum to amend the current adoption law in Korea to undermine the good adoptive families and the attempt to reduce/close adoption, thus forcing more children into institutions.

Please spread this widely to all the adoptees and adoptive families.

The Protest Statement - 

From the Members of the Emergency Adoptive Family Task Force Against the Amendments to the Special Adoption Law Initiative

The Forum Organized by the Anti-Adoption Groups is Invalid.

The forum on ‘The Policy Change and Response After the Adopted Children Abuse and Death, Centered on The Daegu-Pochun Adoptee Abuse and Death Case’ was held on Tuesday, January 16, 2018. The main panels in the forum consisted mainly by the anti-adoption advocates that have long campaigned against adoption.
The forum missed the greater perspective of adoption, which should have included a greater diversity of experiences or opinions or values, but was designed to give greater platform to the people that centered on the negative aspects of adoption based on a couple of exceptional cases.

Within the word ‘Adoption’ there is a life and rights of a person. We as adoptive families acknowledge that no matter what the reason is, for a lone child who has no one to care for, the best solution is to give the child a family through adoption. The Hague Convention of Adoption considers the institutionalized care as the last option for such a child.
However, the forum was mainly centered on the people and the organizations that totally disregarded the intent and the spirit of Hague.

By proposing a set of surprise amendments, this was not a forum but an announcement of an agenda that was already planned and decided by the organizers.
The forum should be about bringing people with diverse opinions and backgrounds, and hopefully come to an agreeable and unified conclusion for good. To do this effectively, it is a general rule that a forum organizer must provide the forum materials to the public well ahead of the meeting.

However, the forum organizers provided only a select portion of the proposed special adoption law amendments, which came to the full light on the day of the forum. The organizer was not transparent with the forum agenda nor make it public, and with the few information they provided ahead of the meeting, they surprised all of us with the other materials.

The forum went against the common sense and against the values that are typically held at such an event. And the forum was conducted in a manner that gave advantages to the individuals or organizations that were against adoption, and did not give equal footing to the others that had the different opinions, and in fact even blocked others from making comments. Thus, the forum that was supposed to be about a frank discussion on a certain topic turned out to be a one-sided affair.

The Proposed Amendments to the Special Adoption Law Goes Against the Human Rights and Life.

The forum in question was held three days ago. We did not have enough time to digest the proposed amendments to the special adoption law that was made public on the day of the Forum. However, there were some very disturbing contents in the proposed amendments that stood out.

First, it was on the Article 30 on the Rights of Adoption Information. This law would require the adoptive parents to release all adoption information when a birth parent a birth relative demands it. All the adoptive parents in attendance were alarmed at this. This law would give the rights to the people who ‘willingly’ gave up their parental rights to later approach the adoptive parents anytime and demand the information from the parents that now hold the true legal parental rights. This is a gross violation of human rights.
The amendment states that the Rights of Adoption Information will be applied to all intercountry adoptions, but our concern is that there is no clear language that this will not be applied to all the domestic adoption cases.

Second, the proposed amendments to the special adoption law is also designed to block and reduce the number of adoptions significantly, thus this is an anti-adoption bill. The proposed law is evil in that has stripped down all languages that give positive supports to adoption and proposed that it should be run by public system, and make the adoption process more difficult, and if possible discourage adoption altogether. However, it was interesting to hear that a representative from the Ministry of Health and Welfare at the forum comment that even if the adoption was run by a public system there is simply no infrastructure or capability to operate such system by the government.

Therefore, we the adoptive parent representatives from all the regions of Korea have gathered and discussed the contents of the one-sided proposed amendments to the special adoption laws on Thursday, January 18, 2018, and view the proposed amendments goes against our human rights and threatens the lives of the children and their rights to homes.

Our Demands

We have therefore established ourselves “The Emergency Adoptive Family Task Force Against the Amendments to the Special Adoption Law Initiative” on that day and have decided to provide a collective response to the Rep. Nam Insoon as follows:

1. We demand an apology for holding a forum that was centered on anti-adoption agenda on January 16, 2018.

2. We demand an apology for completely and deliberately ignoring and excluding adoptive parents during the process to develop the amendments to the special adoption law.

3. We demand the immediate stop to push the Amendments to the Special Adoption Law Initiative.

4. We demand an open forum to include the adoptive parents, domestic and intercountry adoptees, and the adoption agencies to come together to discuss and develop the amendments together, rather than a forum that excludes the other important groups.

We the adoptive parents declare that if you do not comply with our demands as stated above, the collective forces of all adoptive families from all corners of Korea will join in a unified protest on the streets to voice against the inhumane amendments proposition to the special adoption law.

From the Members of the Emergency Adoptive Family Task Force Against the Amendment to the Special Adoption Law Initiative 

Friday, January 19, 2018