korean international adoption first started at the end of the korean war in order to solve the problem of both war orphans and mixed-korean children. the part about life was shit for mixed race kids is true. but frankly life was shit for everyone in korea at the time, korea was destitute. adoption started in korea because americans first started to send $10 monthly donations to help war orphans. however, those organizations started to send sponsors photos and information on the children they were sponsoring and americans started to want to adopt those children, rather than just sponsor them. adoption agencies like holt were there to meet the supply/demand (and rake in a pretty penny at the same time).
It is estimated that overseas adoption contributed between $20 and 40 million in hard currency every year in the 1970s and 80s. At that time, if any Korean company exported even $1 million in goods, they were acknowledged by the government.
korea’s services for people with disabilities is lacking, as are most of their social welfare programs. during the economic development of korea, the government (military dictatorship) essentially decided that the best way to industrialize korea was to invest heavily into a few companies (chaebol) and have them lead the way. social welfare (or protection of society’s most vulnerable) was thrown to the wayside and has still failed to catch up. the korean “miracle on the han” economic development was built on the backs of the marginalized sectors of korean society. social welfare for the disabled is also dismal and the US and other countries have used that fact in order to argue that adoption needs to continue from korea. i disagree wholeheartedly. continuing to send for adoption only allows the korean government to keep ignoring the need to create and provide social welfare services - a never ending cycle. the sick thing is that american diplomats see children with disabilities as a negotiation chip in talks about adoption. i wrote before about my personal experience meeting a high-ranking diplomat and hearing that bullshit come directly from her mouth.
ugh, i skipped tumblr today but then just out of curiosity went back and checked on the north korean adoption post. big mistake.
hey, thanks for your message. this is awesome. i feel like we’re getting some momentum going here~^^ to be honest, i’ve been living in korea for the past SIX (god, i can’t believe it’s already been that long… i am oooooold) years, i’m a bit out of touch with the stuff going on in the states, but i do know a few adoptee activists that are really involved in the states that i can put you in touch with who can give you more concrete answers about what you can do there, if you’re serious about getting involved. if you’re interested, send me another personal message with contact info and i’ll pass it along to them~^^ (also, spreading awareness is always helpful… the majority of people are just unaware of the reality of the situation! support - no matter how small it may seem - of organizations like kumfa is also always welcome!)
yes, i would say that all korean adoption agencies follow these dishonest practices, to varying degrees (like i said, i think holt is the worst). but they ALL run unwed mothers facilities and they all make TONS of money (upwards of $15million/year) sending children for international adoption. is there not something creepy about an adoption agency that runs an unwed mothers’ home when we see that 90% of the children adopted both domestically and internationally are the children of unwed mothers. that is baby farming, pure and simple. (fun fact: only 37% of moms in unwed mothers facilities run by adoption agencies choose to raise their children, compared to 82% of moms who stay in non-adoption agency-run homes who choose to raise their kids . coincidence? i think not.)
(cont.) I guess also wondering if you think adoption should happen at all. Is it a necessary evil? just a plain necessity? or something that shouldn’t happen?
i’ve stated before that i’m not 100% against adoption and i stand by that statement. if you look at the original post, i said:
i’m not against adoption 100%. but i’m against it in any case that the mom was coerced or not given a real “choice” as to whether she could raise her own child.
the word “choice” is a tricky one. it’s often used in discourse about sex-related labor, often in the case of “comfort women” with whom i also volunteer. it’s often used to excuse human rights violations, violence, discrimination, or injustice against women, poc, and oppressed classes. because they “chose” to work there, or do that, or go there, etc. we have to be critical about the word choice. choice doesn’t mean that no one had a gun to your head.
in korea, even though unwed moms go to adoption agencies and sign papers - we have to be critical about whether or not these women really have a “choice”.
when we consider that unwed mothers are pressured to get abortions (96% end up getting abortions) up until 8 months of their pregnancy. when we consider that most of them are kicked out of their homes and thereby forced to go to unwed mothers’ facilities during their pregnancy. when we consider that roughly half of the unwed mothers facilities in korea are run by adoption agencies. when we consider that the percentage of mothers who DON’T give up their children in adoption agency-run homes is 37% compared to 82% in non-agency homes. when we consider the fact thatunwed mothers who give up their children but change their minds are told that they owe money to the adoption agency for each day that their child stayed in their facility. when we consider that one mom told me that after she went back to get her child from the adoption agency, they showed her photos of the adoptive parents in the US and their house and kept telling her how much better the child’s life would be in the states AND that she would break the adoptive parents’ hearts if she took back her child and eventually made her WRITE AN APOLOGY TO THE ADOPTIVE PARENTS before they would give her back her child (psychological warfare, anyone?) when we consider that there’s no real legal way for unwed mothers to claim child support from the father of the baby. when we consider that companies practice discriminatory hiring practices and won’t hire unwed mothers.when we consider that even unwed mothers who run their own businesses suddenly lose all their customers when they find out they’re unwed mothers. when we consider that the government gives an unwed mother a measly 50,000 won per month to raise her baby but gives adoptive parents 100,000 and child welfare facilities 1 million won per month per child.
when we consider all of these things, do these women really have a “choice” at all?
so back to what i originally said - i’m not against adoption 100% but i’m against it in any case that the mom was coerced or not given a real choice as to whether she could raise her own child. when we really start to calculate what percentage of adoptions are done under these conditions… well, then i think i’d have to say then that i’m against it for the most part, right?
sorry to basically quote the entire passage but i just think it’s so important that i want it to be out there in the universe again.
so then…back to your question. is there a good way to adopt? yes, i think there is. but it requires an awful lot of due diligence on the adoptive parents part. it requires a lot of setting aside of the adoptive parents’ wants and desires over the best interest of the child and mother. it requires acknowledging the possibility that the best interest may not be adoption. it requires the in-depth background research into the adoption market, the adoption agencies involved and the circumstances of that particular child. it requires deep soul-searching that asks, "am i being given the chance to raise this child over their own parent due to my privilege or because the parent is legitimately absent and/or unable to care for them?" in the case of international and/or interracial adoption, adoptive parents need to ask themselves if they think they are legitimately equipped and able to prepare their child of a different race/culture (i personally do think this should be avoided at almost all costs). i think these are hard questions that most people brush aside because they are uncomfortable. but we are talking about changing the entire course of multiple human lives (both the child and the original parents) and it is not something to be taken lightly.