Tag Archives: International adoptions

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.

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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.

When Adoptions Fail

I read a shocking report by Reuters about  adoptive parents who use the Internet to find new homes for children they no longer want.

The article is the first in a five-part series by Reuters that examines America’s underground market for adopted children. According to the report, parents are so eager to unload their kids that they hand them off to people they barely know. No screenings required. How horrible and dangerous for the children.

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Courtesy of Flickr/Colorfulexpressions

Children adopted from overseas are especially vulnerable to these unauthorized exchanges. As the article points out, Americans often don’t know what they’re getting into when they adopt children from other countries. They don’t know the child’s complete history. When problems arise at home, parents don’t have a support system in place. Bailing out seems like the best option for some desperate parents.

Adopting a child is not like purchasing a big-screen TV. You can’t take your baby back to the store if you’re unhappy. Once you adopt a child, you make it work no matter how difficult things get.

Clearly we need to do more in this country to support adoptive families and make it hard for parents to abandon their kids like unwanted possessions.