Korea and Adoptions
To the Editor:
Re “Korea Aims to End the Stigma of Adoption and Stop ‘Exporting’ Babies” (news article, Oct. 9):
That South Korea is working to encourage adoption within its own country is laudable. But even if South Koreans become more accepting of adoptive families, that will not address the underlying issue: the societal prejudice against unwed mothers and their children.
Too many South Korean women give up their babies because they feel social and economic pressure to do so. Unwed mothers are often shunned by society — even by their own families — and get little support from the government. Seventy percent of unmarried South Korean women give up their children for adoption.
South Korea is a wealthy democracy. Women there should have a choice whether or not to keep their babies, just as they do in other advanced nations. They need support; when they receive that support, Korean society will ultimately benefit.
If a woman chooses not to keep and raise her baby, domestic adoption should be readily available. That South Koreans have started to openly discuss the issue is a positive step, but it is only the beginning.
Richard S. Boas
Wilton, Conn., Oct. 13, 2008
The writer, an adoptive father of a daughter born to an unwed South Korean mother, is the founder of the Korean Unwed Mothers Support Network.