Tales of Wonderlost

I'm a Korean-American adoptee living in Seoul, just finished my MA in Anthropology (yes, i took all of my classes in Korean TT). In my spare time, I volunteer at two great organizations: Korean Unwed Mothers' Families Association (KUMFA) and the Women's Global Solidarity Action Network (WGSAN) - a group that works on various issues, including with the survivors of military sexual slavery during WWII ("Comfort Women"). I also love cooking and baking and going to the noraebang ^^ To make a monthly donation to the Korean Unwed Mothers' Families Association, please click below!! (You can also make a 1-time donation)
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Posts tagged "adoption"

The Jusarang Community Church is also planning to build another facility to accommodate abandoned babies in Goyang, Gyeonggi, because it currently receives about 20 babies per month.

The new facility in Gunpo, however, has not been as warmly received by residents living nearby.

“Construction is being delayed because local residents are protesting,” said Jeong Yeong-ran, a missionary at the church. “They’re saying they don’t want unwed mothers to come here to give up their babies.”

Yet despite this growing trend, authorities have yet to take measures and say that leaving infants in the baby box may not actually be a crime.

“If babies are left in remote areas or life-threatening environments, then it is an illegal form of abandonment,” a police officer from Gwanak District said.

“But we aren’t actively cracking down on unwed mothers who abandon their babies in a baby box, because the law doesn’t clearly stipulate that leaving babies in open protection facilities, like the Jusarang Community Church, is illegal.”

Song Jun-heon, an official at the Ministry of Health and Welfare, added that it would be difficult to mandate the shutdown of those services.

“It would be hard to make them shut down all baby boxes right away given that there are so many unwed mothers who can’t afford to raise their babies,” he said.

“When prejudice against single mothers diminishes and the social support system for them is strengthened, the number of people who turn to the baby box will naturally decrease.”

Adoption organizations, on the other hand, have taken a more hardline stance on the issue.

"The baby box neglects the rights of adoptees in knowing who their parents are,” said Shannon Heit, a 33-year-old Korean woman who was adopted in 1986 by an American family. “Babies may be abandoned in the baby box without the consent of their birth parents.”

복지부는 입양기관 특별감사 엄중히 실시하라!

현수의 입양으로 홀트가 받은 입양 알선 수수료는 4,400여만원입니다 그리고 2008년도 복지부가 실시한 특졀감사에 홀트가 알선 수수료를 기부금으로 부당처리했다는 결과가 나왔는데도 현수의 죽음에 대한 지적에 해외입양 경우엔 절차가 더 복잡해서 2-3년정도 아이 양육비때문에 오히려 적자를 본다고 말도 안되는 반박 지금 하고 있습니다. 아이가 한국에 있는 동안 한국정부에게 한달에 48만원 위탁 지원을 받고 양부모에게 4,400만원 수수료를 받는다면 적자를 도데체 어떻게 보냐고???) “아이를 버릴수있는 사회에서 키울수있는 사회로” 올해 제 4회 싱글맘의 날 컨프런스 제목처럼 엄마들이 아이를 한국에서 키울수있도록 지원해야합니다!! (위에서 두번째 종이 내용을 살짝 수정하겠습니다. 현수는 2013년 10월에 입양 갔고 104일만에 2014년 2월에 양아버지에게 맞아 숨졌습니다. )

"Holt Children’s Service being inspected for its practice of sending adoptees in and outside of Korea, after a 3-year-old sent to the U.S. through the agency was allegedly beaten to death by his adoptive father.

The ministry’s inspection is reportedly focused on the agency’s commissions. After the tragedy went public, civic groups here have claimed there is a loophole in the regulation of Korea’s adoption agencies suggesting, “They sell babies to foreign countries for commissions which are higher than for domestic adoptions.”

They pointed out adoption agencies sending babies to overseas parents have been unregulated in the setting of commission fees. In Hyunsu’s case, Holt and Catholic Charities USA, a U.S.-based agency, received some $41,650.”

***just wish it would also mention how a special audit in 2008 had already found holt guilty of not sufficiently first trying to find domestic adoptive families AND misappropriating adoption fees as “donations” in order to look like they weren’t charging as much as they do.***

so as you may or may not know, currently when KAS performs a birth family search and locates who they presume to be your parent(s), they send them a registered mail informing them that their son/daughter is searching for them.

KAS says they do this, rather than attempting to contact the parent directly through phone call or personal meeting, in order to protect the parent’s privacy. however, identification is NOT needed to receive or refuse this registered mail. so, not only does this NOT protect anyone’s privacy since clearly someone other than the intended recipient can sign for or refuse it, it is unable to be verified that the intended recipient even received it. in addition, if KAS receives no response, they assume the parent is rejecting a reunion with their son/daughter. this is clearly a problem because 1) they can’t even be sure that the parent received the mail 2) contact should be carried out so that it is presumed that a reunion is wanted unless the parent actively responds that they do not want a reunion, why must inaction be presumed to be a negative response when there are so many unverifiable factors that could’ve led to inaction?

it is further infuriating because i heard today that sara yun who works at KAS told an adoptee today that she thinks her parents aren’t ready to meet her yet because the registered mail to them was refused. that is NOT something you say carelessly to an adoptee when you can’t even verify that they received the letter and were the ones that refused it. there are several scenarios that would make it possible for someone else not the parent to refuse the registered mail (new spouse, other child, grandparent - esp in cases where grandparent sent the child for adoption, which was/is often the case).

you dont fucking tell an adoptee that their parents arent ready to meet them unless you are good and damn well sure that the parent feels that way. that would involve actually CONTACTING said parent personally.

so, long story short - if any of you have heard that your birth family “rejected” a reunion, i would check on how exactly that conclusion was made.

18mr:

The murder of an adopted toddler galvanizes other Korean adoptees to speak out. - CM

CW: child abuse.

thanks to 18mr for sharing~

peaceshannon:

yes, yes, yes!!

"8일 복지부는 홀트의 해외입양 수수료 책정 근거와 수수료 사용처 등에 대해 7일부터 2주간 특별감사에 착수했다고 밝혔다. 복지부 관계자는 "홀트의 입양 업무 전반을 살펴 제도 개선이 필요한 부분을 찾으려는 목적"이라고 설명했다.

특히 복지부는 이번 감사에서 적정한 해외입양 수수료 상한액을 정하기 위해 홀트의 회계장부를 분석, 해외입양에 따른 수입 및 지출 내역을 면밀히 검토하고 있는 것으로 전해졌다. 입양특례법 시행령은 입양 수수료의 상한을 복지부장관이 정하도록 하고 있다. 그러나 복지부는 국내입양(수수료 상한 270만원)과 달리 해외입양 수수료에는 상한선을 두지 않고 있다. 때문에 해외입양 수수료는 국가별, 입양기관별로 천차만별이었고 수수료가 과도하게 높다는 지적도 많았다.

현수의 입양을 주선한 홀트와 미국 입양기관 가톨릭 채리티스의 입양 알선 수수료는 4만1,650달러(한화 4,400여만원)로 국내 수수료에 비해 16배 가량 높다. 홀트가 해외입양 수수료를 지난 4년간 30% 정도 인상한 것도 논란이 되고 있다.

2008년 복지부는 홀트 등 입양기관 두 곳에 대한 특별감사를 벌여 홀트가 국내입양 우선 추진기간 중에도 국내입양을 시도하지 않고 해외입양을 추진했고, 입양 알선비용을 회계상 사업수입금이 아닌 후원금으로 부당 처리했다며 시정과 개선을 요구했었다.”

(in english bc this is important)

ministry of health and welfare announces a special audit of holt in relation to the death of hyunsu

"the ministry of health and welfare announced on the 8th that yesterday it begun a special 2-week audit of holt’s policies regarding fees for international adoption, among other things. an official related to the ministry explained that "the purpose of the audit is to find which parts of its system needs improvement, by examining holt’s overall adoption practices."

in particular, the ministry said they will be analyzing holt’s ledgers in order to set an appropriate maximum on the amount of fees that can be charged for international adoption, as well as performing a detailed audit of the profits and expenditures from international adoption. the enforcement of the special adoption law calls for the ministry to set limits on adoption fees. however, while the ministry has set a limit on adoption fees for domestic adoption (2.7 million won, approximately $2,700 USD), the ministry has not set such a limit on international adoption fees. because of this, adoption fees vary widely based on the receiving country and the adoption agency and has received a lot of criticism for being overly expensive.

the total fees for holt korea and american adoption agency catholic charities, which worked together to broker hyunsu’s adoption, was $41,650 USD (or approximately 44 million won), roughly 16 times more than the fees for domestic adoption. the fact that holt has hiked up its fees by 30% within the past four years has also been a source of controversy.

the ministry also ran a special audit on two adoption agencies, including holt in 2008 and found that during that period even though the agency was obligated to first try to find domestic adoptive families, holt made no efforts to do so and instead pushed for international adoptions and after an inspection of its ledgers was found to have misappropriated fees as donations and was asked then to correct and improve its systems.”

yes, yes, yes!!

"8일 복지부는 홀트의 해외입양 수수료 책정 근거와 수수료 사용처 등에 대해 7일부터 2주간 특별감사에 착수했다고 밝혔다. 복지부 관계자는 "홀트의 입양 업무 전반을 살펴 제도 개선이 필요한 부분을 찾으려는 목적"이라고 설명했다.

특히 복지부는 이번 감사에서 적정한 해외입양 수수료 상한액을 정하기 위해 홀트의 회계장부를 분석, 해외입양에 따른 수입 및 지출 내역을 면밀히 검토하고 있는 것으로 전해졌다. 입양특례법 시행령은 입양 수수료의 상한을 복지부장관이 정하도록 하고 있다. 그러나 복지부는 국내입양(수수료 상한 270만원)과 달리 해외입양 수수료에는 상한선을 두지 않고 있다. 때문에 해외입양 수수료는 국가별, 입양기관별로 천차만별이었고 수수료가 과도하게 높다는 지적도 많았다.

현수의 입양을 주선한 홀트와 미국 입양기관 가톨릭 채리티스의 입양 알선 수수료는 4만1,650달러(한화 4,400여만원)로 국내 수수료에 비해 16배 가량 높다. 홀트가 해외입양 수수료를 지난 4년간 30% 정도 인상한 것도 논란이 되고 있다.

2008년 복지부는 홀트 등 입양기관 두 곳에 대한 특별감사를 벌여 홀트가 국내입양 우선 추진기간 중에도 국내입양을 시도하지 않고 해외입양을 추진했고, 입양 알선비용을 회계상 사업수입금이 아닌 후원금으로 부당 처리했다며 시정과 개선을 요구했었다.”

thanks for sharing fascinasians! for reference, a few inaccuracies in this story have since been edited (1. that photo is not kumfa moms but fellow adoptees and a birth dad 2. i never said that quote about luggage, etc)
Hi Shannon, I just want to say what an inspiration you are! I too am a SK adoptee & am searching for my birth mother. Where would you suggest I start the process? My adopted mother told me the agency reported that I was a product of teenage pregnancy - I'm not sure if this is true - my adoption has always been a sensitive subject to discuss. After researching I am sure that the chances of my birth mother being an unwed mother is much greater. Based on your experiences, what do you think? Thanks!
peaceshannon peaceshannon Said:

@hey-its-savvy thanks for the kind words~ if you were adopted in the 80’s (as i was), the chances that your mom was an unwed mom is 80% or more. if you were adopted in the 90’s, the chances that your mom was an unwed mom is 90% or more. 

as for how to search, i’ve posted on this here before (just linking since long-time followers have already seen it). hope this helps, please let me know if you have other questions! and good luck~