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Old 02-11-2015, 07:31 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,479 posts, read 43,610,229 times
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It's something called Saving Face. Not uncommon in Asian cultures. There are many anti adoption people who think children are better off in orphanages as long as they are in their own culture instead of loving homes away from their cultures. We have three Asian daughters and the thought of any of them raised in the orphanages where they were as infants sickens me. The Vietnamese orphanages were full of friendly playful kids but still it's an institution and there are so many couples all over this world who would make wonderful parents to these kids.
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Old 02-11-2015, 08:22 AM
 
Location: Southeast Michigan
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I remember the embarrassment of the S. Korean gov't after the '88 Olympic Games (I think that was the year). There was a lot of media blather about the number of children who had been adopted internationally. The number of children available for adoption started to fall after that year. My Korean friends had no problem with international adoption, and it sounded like the government was more than happy with it back in the '80's.
I certainly hope that this will change.
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Old 02-11-2015, 09:38 AM
 
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I'm guessing South Korea initiated its pro-adoption policies right after the Korean War. The country that existed in 1953, bears little resemblance to South Korea today. South Korea has experienced enormous economic growth and a lot of that prosperity has trickled down to people even in the lower levels of society. Poverty has always been a "major driver" of women relinquishing children for adoption, I suspect as South Korea has become more prosperous there are fewer children being abandoned.

International Adoption is dropping considerably everywhere. The Hague Convention imposed standards on governments and adoption agencies that make for much more red tape and considerably greater delays. I have mixed feelings about the Hague Convention. Some reforms were needed in countries like Vietnam where children were literally being stolen from parents to be placed for adoption because of monetary incentives. However, Hague has significantly reduced international adoption--while doing nothing that would directly improve child welfare in poor countries.

I suspect South Korea has been affected by the Hague Convention just as other countries have.

Cultural attitudes about "saving face" are actually quite common. You can find them in much of the Third World. Many of the upper class in a country would be happy for the poor to starve just so as long as they did so "quietly" and did nothing to cause any international pressure or recriminations.

I would like to think this situation would turn around. Unfortunately, ts been my observation that adoption has gone exactly one direction in the last fifty years. Down. I see nothing that would cause a reversal of that.
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Old 02-11-2015, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,479 posts, read 43,610,229 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgkeith View Post
I remember the embarrassment of the S. Korean gov't after the '88 Olympic Games (I think that was the year). There was a lot of media blather about the number of children who had been adopted internationally. The number of children available for adoption started to fall after that year. My Korean friends had no problem with international adoption, and it sounded like the government was more than happy with it back in the '80's.
I certainly hope that this will change.
Actually it was even before the Olympics that Korea started halting adoptions. We adopted from Korea in 83 and wanted to do so again around the time of the Olympics but were told the government was embarrassed to be seen shipping their kids off so they drastically reduced and almost stopped international adoptions before , during and after the Olympics. Again Saving Face and we know for a fact the number of children available did not reduce....they were just warehoused in orphanages.

I'm all for transparency in adoption. I'm also well aware of fraud in international adoptions. Our Korean adoption agency lost their license as did our Vietnamese adoption agency. I was actually in country trying to finalize our second Vietnamese adoption when my facilitator was deported for adoption fraud. It was a nightmare and I was stuck there for 6 weeks with an infant with no visa during Tet where everything closes. My facilitator was deported, I was staying with a wonderful family who were trying to help, I was sick and if I had been asked for documentation for my baby I would have been jailed without it. I was basically captive. Finally I marched up the State Department office after Tet and told Rick XYZ the officer in charge if I died of a diabetic coma or any other illness because he would not give me my papers his life would be a living hell. Within 24 hours I had what I needed. Just 12 hours after we got home both baby and I were in the hospital for exhaustion and horrible stomach bug.
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Old 02-11-2015, 04:11 PM
 
Location: Liberal Coast
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Mark, most of the children being adopted from South Korea are children of single moms. There's a huge stigma attached to single moms there, and that's why the moms aren't raising them. The ridiculous rules South Korea is imposing is not helping the situation any and will only lead to more kids never getting families.
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Old 02-11-2015, 07:53 PM
 
451 posts, read 382,034 times
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I had a sister and her husband who adopted two children from Korea (two years apart). The first baby (new-born) to arrive was a girl born of an unwed 16 yr. old girl who was emabarrassed and afraid, but left a note saying she wanted the baby to go to a loving American family. The second child (a boy) came about two years later. We don't know any of the circumstances that led to this... These adoptions took place back in the 80's. My sister died when the kids were in high school but their father carried on. Both kids are now college graduates and doing great! We love them and don't even notice a difference in race.

My sister told me once that she had both kids in a double stroller at a shopping mall and took a break to use the bathroom. Another lady in the restroom had the nerve to say "these obviously aren't your kids". My sister insisted "yes they are". Then the rude woman made some remark including "...poor kids". My sister about flipped! She said "what makes my kids poor? They are with me. We're not rich or poor but these kids have family".
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