The Korean War Baby takes a close look at Stephen Morrison’s recent article published in Korean Quarterly, fall, 2010. Titled “In Defense of Adoption” Stephen takes an in-depth look at the issues that are currently strongly debated in Adoption Discourse, especially by SOME of those living in the Korean motherland.
These organizations, in separate efforts, have accused the adoption agencies of profiting from child trafficking, adoption document forging, coercing birthmothers to give up their babies, and have blamed the Korean government for allowing this practice to go on for many years. They have also advocated that the Korean government should do more to create an environment for birthmothers (KWB notes that here Steve means specifically “Unwed Mothers” - a term that KWDI, NGO’s, and the Korean Government Min. of Health, Welfare, and Family Affairs, uses for unwed single women who give birth and keep their child) to raise their own children and avoid the separation of children from their birth families. Further, they blame adoption for being the main cause of the separation of children from their birthmothers. Their position is that if adoption can be stopped or discouraged, then there will be more birthmothers that will be able to keep their own children.
Some of their demands are definitely valid and ideal. Creating an environment for birthmothers (Unwed Mothers) to be able to raise their own children is a good thing. Most of the groups have proposed particular steps the society could take to achieve this, such as providing single mothers with more substantial financial assistance. They have also helped single mothers’ groups and carried out programs designed to help change the negative social stigma against single mothers so that they won’t feel negative pressure from the society that often makes difficult for them to keep their children.
While I strongly support the notion that birthmothers should be able to raise their own children, I do not agree that the adoption agencies have provided adoption services over the years because of a profit motive, and I do not agree that adoption is the cause of separation between the children and their birthmothers. Indeed, I can show that the main cause of children becoming homeless in Korea is that the majority of birth families who abandon their children simply can’t or won’t raise their children. Therefore, adoption is simply a response to so many children that have already been separated, and not the initiator of the separation…”