The Decline of Foreign Adoptions

The tide is turning against international adoptions. In South Korea, activists are trying to end or at least cut down on adoptions by foreigners. Up until recently, South Korea was one of the leading providers of children for American families, according to CNN, which is running a series on international adoption.

Courtesy of Flickr/t3mplar

Under a new law, birth mothers in South Korea have more time after giving birth to make a final decision whether or not to give up their baby. Mothers also can choose to revoke the adoption up to six months after filling out an application.

Not all Korean adoptees approve of the changes. Steve Choi Morrison, who was adopted by an American family at the age of 14, supports intercountry adoption. He is the founder of the Mission to Promote Adoption in Korea (MPAK).

Since 2004, the number of children adopted from South Korea and other foreign countries has been on the decline, according to CNN.

I’ve heard horror stories about foreign adoptions. I also know of children adopted from abroad who have thrived in their American homes. Like most things, international adoption is not a black-and-white issue.

I am glad South Korea is showing birth mothers greater respect. The decision to surrender a biological child should never be made in haste or under pressure. In another encouraging sign, South Korean activists are working to improve government support for single mothers.


2 thoughts on “The Decline of Foreign Adoptions

  1. I just read about about this in “The Child Catchers” by Kathryn Joyce. It is about the history of international adoption. Disturbing to read, but also gives me hope to know that in any country that oppresses women a movement towards justice can occur.

    The movement started with the voices of Korean adoptees and the first mothers speaking up and sharing their stories. They banded together and moved mountains.

    It all starts with sharing our stories, our truth. Thanks for sharing Lynne!

  2. Internationally, there seems to be a social trend in many foreign countries toward providing more support for unwed mothers and more tax breaks for families willing to adopt. Russia is a prime example. Russia’s legislature passed a law that bans adoption of Russian children by Americans, starting January 1, 2013. Children who move to the United States and other foreign countries have difficulty learning anything about their birth parents, ancestral background, and social and cultural heritage due to government bureaucracies, language barriers, the high cost of travel and privacy laws. “We must do all we can so that orphaned children find their foster families in their home country, in Russia,” Russian President Vladimir Putin stated recently. He proposed an increase of the allowances paid to people adopting a child, simplification of the adoption procedures, and tax breaks to adopters.принятие-русских-детей-judith-land/

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