A few months ago I posted a blog (OK, let’s be honest here– it was more screed than blog) about the situation with Korean international adoptions. I won’t go through it all again here (I strongly recommend, however, that you go back and read it, although my use of the word “screed” probably wasn’t much of an inducement), but here are the highlights:
- South Korea has set an annual quota on the number of children that can be placed for international adoptions and is reducing this quota each year.
- The Korean government has focused on increasing domestic adoptions for many years, but the Korean culture, with its Confucian emphasis on familial blood lines, has historically been resistant. Since the domestic adoption incentives were instituted in 2007, domestic adoption rates have remained roughly the same.
- The Korean government is increasing support for single mothers, but the Korean society still strongly disapproves of unwed motherhood, and 80-90 percent of all babies born to unmarried women in South Korea are relinquished.
- Adoption, both domestic and international, is an option for very few children without parents in Korea. Koreans have a strong preference when adopting for healthy baby girls. International adoption is an option only for infants that are relinquished by their birth mothers to one of four adoption agencies in Korea. Government statistics show that of the 8,590 abandoned and relinquished babies and children in 2010, 1,462 were adopted domestically and 1,013 were adopted abroad. The remaining 6,115 babies and children will spend their childhoods in one of the large child welfare institutions throughout Korea, aging out at 18 to a society deeply prejudiced against them with limited job and social opportunities.
- There are currently 20,000 children in South Korea waiting to be adopted. Of these children, many have special needs, and their hopes are bleak for one day finding a forever family.
This is the sad and frustrating reality. But there is something you can do, right now, to possibly change this reality. Voice of Love (VOL) is a campaign with the sole focus of advocating for the Korean international adoption quotas to change. They support the Korean government’s efforts to promote domestic adoption, but “believe that it is impossible to advocate domestic adoption while imposing strict limitations on international adoptions. If adoption is a blessing when it takes place domestically, it is also a blessing when it happens internationally.”
This campaign is not asking for your money, all they need you to do is the following:
- ALL Korean adoptees and adoptive families please record a short (about 30 second) video describing how international adoption has blessed your life. Y0u can use a webcam, video camera, or whatever you have on hand. Then, upload this video to Youtube.com and send the link to firstname.lastname@example.org. Here’s an example of some of the videos on YouTube. Honestly, this is an extremely easy process, which is why YouTube is so popular. Here is an easy and short video explaining how to upload a video.
- Even if you aren’t a Korean adoptee or adoptive family you can still help, by sending a link to this blog (yes, the one you are reading right now and here’s the link for you to cut and paste – https://creatingafamily.org/adoption-category/calling-korean-adoptee-adoptive-families/), (or the Voice of Love website, or the Voice of Love Facebook page) to THREE people you know who have been touched by adoption in some way, and ask, plead, or cajole them to send it to three people. This is a phenomenal way to reach Korean adoptees and families who may not be involved with the adoption online community.
Please help the children of Korea who wait and without your help will continue to wait.Image credit: danielbridgeport