“Diplomat, now with own kids, gives up adopted girl”

Big news in Korea about the disruption of a 7 year old Korean adoptee by her Dutch adoptive family.

From Australia news:

Diplomat, now with own kids, gives up adopted girl

9th December 2007, 16:45 WST

A senior European diplomat working in Hong Kong has promoted outrage by giving up the seven-year-old Korean girl he adopted with his wife as a baby.

The unnamed diplomat handed the girl over to social workers in Hong Kong saying the adoption had not worked out, the Sunday Morning Post reported today.

The man and his wife adopted the girl as a four-month-old baby in Korea, where he was working at the time, when they thought they could not have children of their own.

The diplomat’s wife has since had two children and decided to hand the girl over to social workers in Hong Kong because the diplomat said the adoption had “gone wrong,” the newspaper reported.

Read the article here

And from the JoongAng Daily:

A high-ranking Dutch diplomat and his wife, who adopted a 4-month-old Korean girl in 2000 when he was posted in Korea, gave up the child last year, officials here said.

Now, officials here are looking for someone to take care of the school-age child.

The girl, Jade, is still a Korean citizen because the adoptive parents, whose names were not released, never applied to give her Dutch citizenship, according to an official at the Hong Kong Social Welfare Department.

She doesn’t speak any Korean. She speaks only English and Cantonese, according to people close to her. And she doesn’t have Hong Kong residency status, either. The Hong Kong Social Welfare Department, where the Dutch diplomat left Jade in September last year, has had responsibility for her ever since, the official said.

Read the rest from JoonAng Daily here

Author: JaeRan

Assistant professor at UW Tacoma, writer, and researcher.

18 thoughts

  1. Oh my God, my head is about to explode this makes me so angry!
    This reminds me of a recent story in England:
    What is with people? Frankly, I think our disposable society is partly to blame. Adopt a dog? Don’t like it? Take it back. Marry someone? Don’t like him/her? Get divorced. And now it’s adopt a kid? Don’t like him/her? Just give it back.
    Major major sigh. All I can hope for this girl, and the one in the story I linked, is that I hope they find parents who will help make the next 70 years of their lives better than the first 7. Ugh!

  2. Oh my god that is just awwwfulll! What atrocious people would do such a thing. And why doesn’t the articel name the nationality of the ppl doing this?
    Do you know if this kind of behavior is permitted by the way the laws function in the US?

  3. his name is known. It’s the Dutch Vice-Consul Raymond Poeteray and his wife.
    If you’d like to do something about it, please join our letter/email writing campaign which will be launched shortly.

  4. “”Food was one reason they gave her up. She wasn’t willing to eat their food. “”
    Wow. My adopted Korean son doesn’t eat ANY food, in fact he has a feeding tube because of that, but “giving him up” i.e RETURNING him never crossed my mind… ever.
    I hope these people go to jail, and I hope that that sweet beautiful girl gets a set of VERY loving parents who except and love her for everything she is.
    Here is a link to a dutch newspaper with a picture of her and her “parents”:

  5. It was painful when I first heard this story. How could someone do that? Under any circumstances?
    And that remains the case now, a few days later. But an odd, ironic thing popped into my head.
    How could my two sons’ birthmother have given them up? To cause herself a lifetime of pain? To send her sons into an unknown as vast as international adoption?
    Yet I would never even consider passing judgment on her. Her loss is almost beyond belief.
    I am not sure what it means, but I thought it interesting that it occurred to me.

  6. In regard to her citizenship status, I wonder what citizenship she has. If you are living abroad, it can be a lot of work to get your home country citizenship for your children.
    My husband is a Dutch-US citizen with dual citizenship. Our children are 2.5 and 1 and though they qualify for dual citizenship, since we are living abroad (not in the Netherlands), both parents must travel with both children to the embassy in Chicago. That means time off of work, the the expense and hassle of taking the whole family (young kids)…etc. It’s not like going on the internet and filling out some forms.
    It doesn’t seem unreasonable that they just never did it. I could also apply for Dutch citizenship, but unless we are living in Holland, it is a lot of work and doesn’t really do anything for me while I’m living abroad. It would be important if we were living in Holland, but we’re not. As long as everyone in the family has functioning citizenship so we can travel…it’s not important right now that we all have the same citizenship.

  7. Kohana – surely the foreign service ministries of most countries makes allowances for their staff who are posted overseas. In addition, all foreign service posts allow for at least one annual trip to the home country. No, we don’t know all the whys in this particular case but not finding the time in all those years certainly raises more questions, does it not?

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