Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The GrooveCast: Single Mothers & Adoption In South Korea

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I spoke with South African journalist Deva Lee about her articles in this month's edition of Groove Magazine that highlight the stories of Korean mothers and the children they gave up for adoption. While the mass exodus of children from Korean to the United States and other countries originally began to find homes for children born to U.S. servicemen and Korean women more than 50 years ago, the current focuses on unwed Korean women who often have no options to pursue in order to raise their children on their own. Deva says half the unwed mothers’ facilities in Korea are run by adoption agencies which use their influence to coerce women into giving their children up for adoption. One woman interviewed for the articles said "The women who are giving up their children for adoption are not doing it because they don’t want to raise their kids. ‘it’s because they don’t have any other choice, especially if the child’s father will not help support, (and) if the parents will not help support ... then they really have no other choice. We need to get rid of this public atmosphere that encourages these women to send their children for adoption."

Beginning in the 1990s, children who were adopted by families mostly in America and a few locations in Europe began returning to Korea in search of their parents. Unfortunately, most are unable to get information easily, and often have to make the decision to leave empty handed or move to Korea for a year or longer to continue the search. You can find the full article online: