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Korean adoption: domestic adoptions going up?

Posted Aug 26 2008 4:31pm
There is a growing movement in Korea to encourage domestic, instead of foreign, adoption. This could be a welcome trend. I still think the best, most important hting to be done is to help birthmothers who WANT to keep their children to give them the cultural and financial supports so they can raise them on their own.



Here's an essay I wrote about my experiences working with Korean birth mothers when researching my novel, Somebody's Daughter .



-------------------



By Kim Tae-jong

Staff Reporter



About 60 percent of all adoptions were made domestically in the first

half of this year, making it the first time for them to surpass

overseas adoptions.



The Health and Welfare Ministry reported Thursday that 59.2 percent

of adoptions, or 729 of 1,223 children in the January-June period,

were by domestic couples, far higher than the 41percent to 42 percent

average over the past five years.



A ministry spokesman said the ``increase'' is largely attributed to a

new law prioritizing domestic adoption to overseas adoption _ rather

than changing attitudes towards adoption _ as well as tax incentives

and campaigns to encourage domestic adoptions.



But it may take time to assess the full impact of the new law on

adoption patterns, a ministry spokesman said.



Over 2,000 Korean children have been adopted by foreign families

every year, but a fall in these adoptions has contributed to an

overall decrease in total adoptions.



As a result, more children are now housed at childcare centers or

with temporary families awaiting adoption.



The Overseas Korean Foundation estimated a total of 157,145 Korean

children have been adopted by foreign couples over the past 50 years,

the majority being from the U.S., followed by France, Sweden and

Denmark.



In 2005, Korea was rated the fourth biggest source for overseas

adoptions, behind China, Russia and Guatemala _ 2,101 Korean children

were adopted by foreign couples in 2005.



The government has been making efforts to shake off the country's

reputation as a ``baby-exporting'

' nation but any fruitful results

have yet to be observed.



e3dward@koreatimes. co.kr



http://www.koreatim es.co.kr/ www/news/ nation/2007/ 08/113_9293. html



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