Richard Boas speaks in support of Korean mothers

A couple of years ago I met Rick Boas at the KAAN Conference in Boston. Rick is a physician and the adoptive father of a daughter from Korea. He attended the session Claudia and I did that year, which we called Universal Motherhood, Universal Loss (in which Claudia rocked, by the way). In conversation after the session, Rick shared that he had had a revelation on a trip to Korea some years ago. Edited, with thanks to Rick for the additional information, to add: On a visit to a Korean agency-sponsored home for unmarried mothers, the fact that many mothers were surrendering their children for reasons of poverty, hit him hard. Korea, after all, is the 13th largest economy in the world. That trip was on behalf of a foundation he had founded to assist adoptive families. It opened his eyes, and his focus changed from adoptive families to mothers and children.

Rick began digging, researching, and communicating, and ultimately founded the Korean Unwed Mother's Support Network, which seeks to bring people and organizations together in support of single Korean mothers and ethical adoption. Since starting this effort, Rick has worked tirelessly to raise awareness, and to encourage Koreans and Americans alike to provide support.

His work led him to Ellen Fornari and Give2Asia, which was founded by the Asia Foundation to promote philanthropy to Asia. Give2Asia supported Rick's initiative, and has also hosted the Korean Unwed Mothers Campaign fund in support of a group of Korean women's and single parents' intitiatives.

I heard Rick and Ellen speak at KAAN in Chicago this summer, and was both touched and heartened that they're doing this work. It takes them to Korea often; he is there for the fifth (not fourth as I said earlier) time in two years this week, and on August 14th spoke at the Korean Women's Development Institute. TRACK has posted a video and transcript of his speech here. Every adoptive parent of a Korean child must watch.

Rick, you have given those of us who have paid lip service to our support for Korean mothers a bar to reach. You have put your actions into words, and in doing that are helping us to do the same. Thank you.

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