Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Adoption in Korea

Many years ago I was asked if there was a possibility to adopt a Korean baby by one of the Catholics

Many years ago I was asked if there was a possibility to adopt a Korean baby by one of the Catholics. I was new in the country and did some asking about adoption procedures and it seemed that there would be no problem. The Catholic told me that he would not be able to tell his parents of the adoption because of the strong feeling they have to bloodline. He told his parents that while he was on a business trip he met a woman with whom he had a affair and fathered a son. This was at the same time that he was making preparations to adopt a baby from one of the orphanages run by the Church in Korea.

This was something that I found difficult to understand -the adultery was not as important to the family as having a grandson who was in their blood line. I believe this has changed a great deal over the years. In recent years the domestic adoptions are larger than oversea adoptions.

The government efforts to offer financial incentives and health benefits for adoption have helped a great deal but there has been a change in the thinking of the ordinary Korea. It was an embarrassment that the Koreans were exporting so many of their babies to overseas parents. Also the whole idea of preserving the blood line is not as strong as it was. In our yearly ordination classes to the priesthood it is surprising to see how many are an only son. When I came to Korea they would not accept an only son. Things have changed greatly.

There is also the change in the eyes of many Korean on boy versus girl choices. Since my time in Korea it seems that the girls are seen to many parents, as a better investment than the boys. They remain closer to the family of origin and in most cases show more affection toward their family. A great deal of this may be the globalization of the culture but also the influence of Christianity.

1 comment:

  1. Adoptive parent of two Korean children here, also devout Catholic. I'm active in the adoption and Korean American communities in the DC area.

    I think it's also important to acknowledge that single parenting is also gaining acceptance in Korea. It is becoming more common for unmarried women to keep and parent their children; support networks have sprung up in recent years offering women financial support and housing to help them get started.