Mea Culpa #1

I'm numbering this because I have the feeling I may need to do this again, although I hope I learn to think first and comment later.

Over the past few days, I've been trying to find if there are other adoptive parents with Korean children out here on the internet. After spending some time searching, I did find a few. Most are the blogs of parents at the front end of their adoption journey, most waiting for a referral for a child.

This week's news about the dramatic changes in Korean adoption policy has obviously affected many of these families. I found several sites on which parents shared their frustration and sadness. I found myself thinking that for the mothers of these children, it was a stay of execution of sorts. And a signal that perhaps South Korea was finally taking an interest in their situation and might finally start focusing some resources on helping them to keep their children.

There's no question that there's hypocrisy in my perspective. Easy for me to tell new parents to think of their children's first families - we have children already. Commenting that South Korea's policy change might be a good thing was insensitive to those who have grown attached to Korea and who already may be well aware of the need to acknowledge and support the mothers of their children. Right thought, wrong time and place.

To those I may have offended - mea culpa. Your journeys and mine have intersected at very different points, and I should have simply kept my comments on those posts to myself. I hope, though, that you will understand my motivation was not to lecture. It was to focus attention on the forgotten women in South Korea who may see a little glimmer of hope in this new policy.

A special thanks to Kansas Family, who emailed me following my comment with an apology that I should have been extending to her, both for the email and for posting her additional thoughts here.


HeatherRainbow said…
Hi ((ThirdMom))

I'd just like to say, that maybe you should still speak out, because you are coming from a place in which you have some experience.

It's not just by chance that Korea, Russia and other countries are stopping international adoption, it is due to the fact that there have been so many abuses in the US system: murder of international adoptees; verbal, physical, sexual and emotional abuse; and internal corruption with the agencies who did these adoptions, not to mention the lack of preparation of adopting parents on the needs of the adoptees regarding racism, adoptee issues, and their needs, as well as a lack of counseling on infertility and grieving for those who can not have children.

Oh! And, Venezuela, which has a no adoption policy, actually offers a social security check for the mother at conception until the child is 6 years old. Now that is support. I think we need to create a system which supports first families in similar ways as this.

(sorry so long!)
MomSquared said…
"not to mention the lack of preparation of adopting parents on the needs of the adoptees regarding racism, adoptee issues, and their needs"

Our agency actually does focus on these things quite a bit..
Margie said…
Thanks for the comments.

Momsquared - thanks. I'm glad to hear that your agency is doing more on these issues. I would ask one thing though - are they offering you information and letting you choose how you support your child? Or are they making it crystal clear that this isn't your choice - it's your child's right? I think that's what the agencies miss, because they are trying to please prospective a-parents, and many are frankly turned off by the thought that they will have to embrace their child's culture to the degree they should, or they believe in a white-focused "racial blindness."

Heather, I think I have things to say. But many waiting and new parents are also turned off my any thought that they may have participated in something that isn't as wholesome as they were led to believe. I certainly was. So I need to remember that there's a time and a place for everything, and that rather than adding a comment, I should just post to the topic here.

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