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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!