For anyone interested in Korean adoption, here is an article about Korean-American children in Los Angeles who are living in foster care. More Korean Kids Ending Up in Foster Care was posted on the New America Media site on March 10, from the Korea Times.
“…According to the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) in Los Angeles, the number of Korean children in foster homes has risen steadily in recent years, an effect of the increasing number of divorced or single parents choosing to give up their kids for adoption.
Kim is a 20-something Korean mother who left her child with DCFS a week after giving birth. An international student, Kim, who asked that her last name be withheld, says her family back in Korea never learned of the pregnancy. “I had no choice. I don’t have the capacity to raise the child and could not bring myself to tell my parents.”
In a similar case, Ms. Park, a young mother, left her one-year-old daughter with DCFS following a bitter divorce from her husband of three years. Although she was given custody of the child, the 30-year-old divorcee said her daughter would prevent her from ever being able to remarry and start a new family.
Efforts by DCFS to reunite the daughter with her father were unsuccessful, officials said, as he had returned to Korea and remarried soon after the divorce, showing no interest in taking responsibility for the child.
Chung Ja Kim, a social worker with DCFS, says it is becoming more common for her to come across young Korean mothers looking to give their kids up for adoption. “Last year I worked on 10 cases involving single Korean mothers who were unwilling to raise their children, three of whom were newborn infants,” she noted.
Experts say the issue of adoption remains an awkward one within the Korean community, where the emphasis on blood ties remains strong. Soon Ja Lee is a practicing psychiatrist in the Los Angeles area. She says that compared to other ethnic groups, “Koreans tend to lay a great deal of stress on blood relations.”
Kim with DCFS says that in recent years there has not been a single Korean family that has approached the organization seeking to adopt. She adds that many Koreans harbor preconceived notions about the nature of abandoned children.
And while there is a consensus among adoption experts that abandoned children do better when adopted by parents from the same ethnic group, statistics show that on average the number of adoptions among Korean-American families remains miniscule at best. DCFS adds that there is not one Korean family registered on their list of eligible foster care homes.”
On a separate note, as predicted, the U.S. State Department has issued an Ethiopia Adoption Alert, which announces the 90% cutback in processing adoptions that will begin today. Dawn Davenport has posted an analysis on the subject, Drastic Cutbacks to Ethiopian Adoption: Are They Necessary and Effective?, on her blog, Creating a Family.