From Richard S. Boas, MD, Founder and Director, Korean Unwed Mothers Support Network
Two and a half years ago, on my first trip to Korea, I was suddenly and deeply moved by the plight of unwed mothers there—especially that of my own daughter’s natural mother, years before. My response was to establish the Korean Unwed Mothers Support Network. I am so gratified that, after a relatively short time, we are truly making progress toward improving the situation of these mothers and their children. There is a real commitment—from academia, policymakers, legislators, organizations directly serving the mothers, advocacy organizations—and the moms themselves, to providing a brighter future for these women and their children, so that they become equal, productive members of Korean society. What an opportunity for Korea to do well by them!
The sixth—and most recent—trip, in late February/early March, was particularly rewarding, as the unwed mom issue is gaining traction. We met with a lot of individuals, organizations, sponsored a workshop and a major forum, and held several interviews. What follows is a series of reflections by my staff, by Dr. Cheryl Mitchell, Research Professor, University of Vermont, who accompanied us, and by myself, about what we felt were the most significant parts of our wonderful trip.