Posts tagged ‘South Korea’

I Was Googling Today…

This documentary was broadcast on BBC International last Friday. I found it today on google and thought it was worth sharing. I was pleased to see the article calls out Holt International for creating a system of “mail order” babies.

I was abandoned in a public market in the beginning of winter”, claims one Korean adoptee.

Every year, around 1,000 South Korean children are given up for adoption in Western countries. The overseas adoption programme began in the 1950s as the impoverished government’s answer to the masses of mixed-race orphans from the Korean War.

All told, around 200,000 Korean children have been adopted overseas over the past 60 years. About 300 of them have since returned to live in Korea – and many are now involved in trying to change the adoption laws.

In this programme, BBC journalist Ellen Otzen meets Jane Trenka and Suki Leith, both of whom were adopted by American families, to explore the impact foreign adoption has had on them.

Successive governments have pledged to end the practice of trans-national adoption. South Korea is now one of the world’s most developed countries, and has one of the lowest birth rates globally, so why are Korean children still being sent away?

Today, 89% of Korean children sent overseas for adoption are born to unwed mothers, who say they are approached by private adoption agencies during their pregnancies and urged to give their children up for adoption.

One of the major players, Holt International Adoption Agency, has often been criticized by Korean adoptees for disregarding the rights of unwed mothers and setting up a system that made Korean “mail-order babies” possible.

Agency head, Molly Holt, argues that the organisation’s main goal is simply to give “unwanted” Korean babies “a permanent, loving family.”

The adoptees say it is time the Korean government makes laws that promote family preservation instead of international adoption.”

You can listen to the documentary here. Please share your thoughts with me!

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August 12, 2010 at 6:32 pm Leave a comment


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