One quickly finds that there are two sides of This Thing of Ours-Adoption, one side is strongly Against Adoption and the other side is strongly For Adoption. The Korean War Baby has found that there are some extremists in each faction. Both sides have some of the truths but not all of it. Extremism in adoption discourse is neither accurate nor helpful. There needs to be a balance, respect towards other’s views, less all inclusive language using qualifiers most of the time.
The Anti-Adoption faction mainly consists of birth or natural mothers, Korean adoptees, and some liberal activists. In the case of birth or natural mothers, they are both Korean and foreign mothers who deeply regret giving up their children for adoption. The Korean adoptees who are Anti-Adoption are not always “angry adoptees”, however, the number of them feel that all their life’s problems were caused by adoption. Some activists, who rightly campaign for the rights of birth or natural mothers, also unfortunately seem to disregard the realities of life.
The Pro-Adoption faction mainly consists of adoptive parents (AP) and adoptees who might be labeled “happy adoptees” by some. Again, it is only the extreme group of adoptive parents and adoptees, not all, nor a majority, who sometimes attack the Anti-Adoption faction. One will find Abusive language used by a few adoptive parents/adoptees against those who are against adoption.
The Korean War Baby feels that both sides need to chill. We cannot have adoption discourse under these war-like conditions. He feels just as strongly that the both sides need to dial it down. Many times he has commented and called for restraint and understanding between all involved. This includes adoptees, adoptive parents and family, and birth or natural parents and family, but also includes all adoption professionals in adoption agencies, government officials, NGOs, even the society of both the sending and receiving countries.
The Korean War Baby has been living in South Korea for fifteen years and being deeply involved in the issues, he has studied all the various arguments. We all agree that there is a plethora or spectrum of stories, viewpoints, attitudes, emotions, etc. There are indeed many who have kept a balanced outlook. This is a very good thing and one wishes that all would follow certain guidelines of civility and prudence.
There are times when the Korean War Baby has used strong words, hyperbole, sarcasm, militaristic language, wit, incredulous outbursts, etc. He has tried to always address his comments to both extremist viewpoints when they do not respect the other side. Some may have misunderstand, some have grossly misinterpreted, his words and cartoonish satire, but they are directed at the ideas and not at all towards the individuals.
He is fervently against those who distort the truths and facts of the situation here in present day South Korea. When some use inaccurate facts and bogus arguments the KWB WILL attack the facts and arguments but is NOT attacking the individuals. When for instance, some are ignorant of current reports from KWDI and MOHWFA that shed new light on these issues related to understanding the Korean society’s attitudes currently...WELL, KWB has gotta set down a challenge for them to prove their points. Frequent requests for Open discussion have been repeatedly ignored however. Calls to KADLinK (Korean ADoptees Living in Korea) groups and individuals to work together on the issues that we agree on, have been likewise totally spurned. When such is the case, discourse cannot take place.
Instead, a very small group of Anti-Adoption activists has overwhelmingly influenced Liberal Socialist Activists and media in Korea to attack the very institution of adoption. They mislead the media to believe that they represent ALL KADs, well, they Don't represent ME! This does not sit well with the Korean War Baby, and he will continue to challenge those who want to stop adoption both domestically and internationally.
The truth is unfortunately the Korean people do indeed adopt children, though it is done secretly because of the shame of infertility or desire to have a son and daughter (Based on this female babies are 65% of the secret adoptions). Though most are never told, many DO find out in shock that they were adopted, overhearing relatives or by blood tests. Don't you think a person should be TOLD that they were adopted, because they will then have most of the thoughts/issues that Transracial International adoptees have PLUS the secrecy issue.
The myth “Koreans don’t want to adopt their own” is WRONG. NGOs and government officials have ignored and hidden the Civil Code Law Adoptions (Court records DO account for the numbers). CCLA at present neither vet the Prospective Adoptive Parents or protect the interest of the child. Hopefully, the Revisions of Adoption Laws will correct this, combining all adoptions under one code of Law. That would be progress towards Korean being able to sign the Hague Conventions.
There are changing situations in Korea and the slow acceptance by some towards Adoption, Multi-cultural marriage and their Mixed-Blood children, Globalization, prejudices against other races, etc., will help to find a balanced viewpoint in the next generation, maybe. Things must take their course, as in the case of Multicultural marriages number over 150,000 and their offspring now number 120,000 SO THE COUNTRY MUST DEAL WITH IT. Everything must be factored into the equation, yes? Until these changes come though, there must be flexible Mult-tiered solutions.
The Anti-Adoption faction frequently uses language with no qualifiers, accusing sometimes ALL adoptive parents of international adoption of ‘stealing children from their country, culture, language, and mothers’. Other arguments, such as the ‘colonial white privilege’ of adoptive parents is laughable and irrelevant to the broader issues. ‘Rich white people Adopting children of color ‘ is another accusation frequently heard, but it is far from the truth if one knows many other KADs they would dispute That one. Such All Inclusive Statements are considered by the Korean War Baby to be utter nonsense and subject to correction in his colorful and flamboyant ways.
As for the Pro-Adoption faction, he also has strong reservations against those attacking birth or natural mothers and Korean Adoptees as being simply angry. He has spoken out and called for moderation whenever he has seen a post written by an prospective adoptive parent (PAP) that is also guilty of attacking with all inclusive statements towards what they may consider "angry" natural/birth mothers or adoptees. Wanting a family is fine but don’t disparage those who are disillusioned about their own adoption or ‘losing a child to adoption’. Some of their arguments are partly valid, their feelings and emotions we must respect and acknowledge as their own.
We must continue to separate the issues from the individuals, respecting each other even as we may hotly contest the complexities of This Thing of Ours-Adoption.