This article just came to my attention. It's from the Seoul Journal, and published in today's New York Times (kind of a companion piece to yesterday's piece on the stigma of single mothers in Koea).
I have some critique of this article, including that the facts seem wrong.
Six thousand Korean children a year – given up for adoption by unwed mothers or abandoned by their parents – are adopted by American families alone.
6,000 adoptions to America a year is not factually correct, and hasn't been since the 1980s. The numbers for the past decade have been in the 1500-2500 a year range.
Last year, according to State Department immigration figures, 5,742 Korean children were adopted by American families.
The number according to the State Department is actually 1,065 in 2008. See here.
But those who support foreign adoptions say very few Korean families are willing to take in children who are not blood relations. In a country where most families proudly display thick volumes of genealogical charts, where the Confucian respect for ancestors remains very much alive, there is little place for children of a different bloodline.
I think this is rapidly changing. Korea now completes more domestic adoptions than international adoptions. And people don't know that Korea used to have an accepted practice of domestic adoptions, (I read a book a while ago that described the cultural acceptance of domestic adoption pre-war. I can't find the citation but when I do I'll link it). While I think Confucianism plays a role, we can't just continue to use that as an overriding factor.
Anyway I thought it was interesting to read. The language alone and use of word choice always fascinates me. In spirit I am glad Korea is critiquing its own practices, I am disheartened that some of their facts are wrong.
Full article here.