Stephen Morrison "In Defense of Adoption" Korean Quarterly, fall, 2010
Birthmothers’ Rights vs. Children’s Rights
“Adoptees are not the only ones voicing opposition to adoption. Korean nationals have also voiced opposition to ICA. One in particular who is heavily involved in the anti-adoption campaign publicly remarked that adoption is a form of child abuse. They do not understand why ICA continues to this day, now that Korea is experiencing the 15th largest economy in the world.”
What they fail to realize is that the size of the economy has very little to do with people’s attitudes and hearts towards homeless children. Koreans can be proud of their riches and economic progress, but that doesn’t mean their hearts are more open to orphans. So it is a baseless argument to advocate for the closure of ICA simply because the country is better off economically.”
(The KWB concurs that changing Laws does not change Hearts, and frequently those who think that Stopping ICA will somehow “solve” the problems and change the attitudes of the Korean Society to more acceptance of Unwed Mothers/Single parenthood. Actually, the increase in financial security in the middle class has led to More domestic adoptions, though again 95% of both Civil Code Law and so-called Domestic adoptions are kept SECRET because of the STIGMA and PREJUDICE of society. “Falling on Deaf Ears” the indignant, scolding, and ‘you ought to be ashamed’ cries DO NOT WORK, plain and simple.)
“Adoption Industry” Accusations
|This is from a SOUTH Korean Orphanage. These tots were Not Adopted by Korean nationals, and may grow up in other facilities until they are 18 years old, then OUT on their own.|
|Older boys that are almost impossible to adopt NOW.|
Quota system prevents older children to escape.
“I also strongly disagree with the contention that adoption agencies are all in adoption work for business purposes only. After having worked very closely with many adoption agencies in Korea as well as in the U.S. for many years, the agencies I know of are in adoption services for humanitarian purposes. They are sincerely interested in the well-being of children. They also know that of all types of social programs available for children; nothing except for adoption can enable children to have families of their own, even if that means a family in another country.
The foster care system in the U.S. has been a failure, with children moving from one home to another on an average of eight moves per child before age 18. Korea is not spared from this. However, foster care can sometimes lead to adoption, and this should be encouraged. (Increasing numbers of Foster Care children in USA are being adopted, as regulations have been eased, enabling more Parents that HAVE been willing to do so.) Group homes are even worse, because there is no commitment of a parent-child relationship in temporary care. Group homes are essentially mini-orphanages with five or six children being cared for by adults who receive funding from the government.
No one would argue that it is better for children to grow up in institutions than to be adopted. (KWB: Actually though SOME Anti-Adoption Adoptees Associates DO argue this very regretable thing. Some of them are struggling to regain their childhood and become “Korean” again. After several years of language study though, many find continuing rejection by the majority of REAL Koreans, who question their pronunciation, understanding of culture,etc. and simply DO NOT accept them. "Marry my daughter/son? OH ANIO!" REALITY CHECK, they will never find totally the Lost Years, but should just deal with it, accept what CAN be and what CAN NOT BE.) Further, in all of these childcare methods only one, adoption, can supply the child with a child’s most basic right ---- their right to their own family. When a homeless child is barred from an opportunity to have his own home, this is a greater child abuse than any alleged “abuse” that may occur because the child is adopted.
(The KWB notes: Korea has now started Foster Care, oh wonderful, by increasing FOSTER CARE in Group Homes, where 4-5 children stay with a ‘caretaker’ many times a single elderly woman, children are denied a family. So we have orphanages where children grow up because they were NOT adopted in the PRIME time-Under 12 months old. Foster Care in USA has not worked! Often children average 8 different ‘homes’ and never have the sense of being a member of a Family. THIS SUCKS! This System has only recently been started in Korea about 2005. SOME would say ‘how wonderful that the child keeps their Korean heritage and language’…OH, YEAH? To become a second or third class citizen. Oh, GEE, how awesome or rather how awful will their life be with less chance for education as Stephen has pointed out.)
The anti-adoption factions in Korea have used the cause of birthmothers’ rights to speak against ICA, as well as against domestic adoption. Because they claim that adoption causes the separation of a child from the birthmother, they use the phrases such as “Family Preservation over Adoption Promotion” to make their points known. However, in their zeal to put an end to adoption by advocating birthmothers’ rights, they have focused more on birthmothers, not on the rights of children.
I believe that, while birthmothers’ rights should be advocated, it is wrong to do so by trampling on children’s rights to their own homes and families. Birthmothers are adults who have voices, and they can make certain choices for themselves, whether good or bad. But the children have no voice. Many adoptees have spoken out to advocate for their own rights and the rights of birthmothers’, but very few have chosen to speak for the rights of children to have their own homes.”
Part 5 coming soon.
First- He does defend and promotes Family Preservation WHEN IT IS POSSIBLE or DESIRED BY THE MOTHER;
Second - It should be a priority for Ethnic Koreans in Non-Secret (to the Adopted one) adoptions both here In-Country or among the Korean Diaspora (The Child has the Right to know that they are adopted. Parents must be encouraged and given guidelines in HOW to do this, plus awareness of the possible difficulties that their child may have in Attachment Disorders. None of this is done now.);
Third - Next group would be any KAD married to another KAD or a spouse of any ethnicity for they HAVE a personal understanding of adoption;
Fourth -a Transracial/cultural adoption to a family that is throughly vetted and given support on InterCountry Adoptions. (NO Single parent adoptions, or gay/lesbian 'parent', because even though a family might go through divorce, a child has the right to have a Family first.) THAT is my Multi-tiered plan.