An Unfortunate Initiative

A letter written from volunteers of a large adoption agency has been sent to a number of adopted Koreans encouraging them to tell their stories to Korean government representatives to voice opposition to efforts to end intercountry adoption from Korea.

Please take a minute and read the letter here or here.

The recipients surely have had varied reactions, which they will voice as they choose. However, I think I can fairly comment on the fact that this letter was sent at all. At a bare minimum, it's an invasion of privacy, one I hope my children never experience. Worse still, it's an example of the expectation that adopted people must feel gratitude and loyalty to adoption agencies for having been adopted. Presuming that this letter was sent with the agency's full knowledge and approval (and I'm frankly hoping it wasn't, although that would open a different can of worms), it's an abuse of power.

There is an implication in the letter that a few "angry adoptees" in Korea are influencing Korea's plans regarding intercountry adoption. This raises the notion that "adoptee happiness" and a desire for an end to intercountry adoption are mutually exclusive, which simply isn't the case. It also ignores the fact that these "angry adoptees" went to Korea, rolled up their sleeves, organized, learned the language, delved into the issues, and developed contacts in the Korean government and media - hard work in my opinion, and something that anyone with a different point of view has always had the option to do.

Adoption from Korea is going to end, sooner or later, smoothly or with difficulty. It will end because Korea is at last taking accountability for the social issues that led to the institutionalization of intercountry adoption in the first place. And it must end on Korea's terms, not ours. Rather than debating the inevitable, maybe now is a good time to start thinking about what it will be like when the last placements have occurred and Korean adoption is spoken of as a thing of the past. Because, of course, it won't be, not as long as mothers in Korea, adoptees, and adoptive parents are still experiencing it.

Comments

MomSquared said…
I don't know why people can't be comfortable with an adoptee who is happy with his life but who also feels adoptions from S. Korea should stop.

Hell, I wanted a baby from S. Korea and I think adoptions from there should stop.

Sometimes our own limited experience is not what we should base our opinions on.
Joe said…
very well said third mom.
J.D.
Anonymous said…
Thank you so much for how well you stated the issue of adoption in regards to Korea.
"Adoption from Korea is going to end, sooner or later, smoothly or with difficulty. It will end because Korea is at last taking accountability for the social issues that led to the institutionalization of intercountry adoption in the first place. And it must end on Korea's terms, not ours."
I am a Korean born American. I am a mom of Korean American bio daughter and recently adopted Korean baby girl. I am thankful for being able to expand my family through adoption but I also want intercountry adoption to decrease or end because of the fact that Korea needs to take responsibility for the country's social welfare system.
E

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