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Behind the Headlines: APA News Blog

Academic Version: Applying my personal experiences and academic research as a professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies to provide a more complete understanding of political, economic, and cultural issues and current events related to American race relations, and Asia/Asian America in particular.

Plain English: Trying to put my Ph.D. to good use.

September 13, 2007

Written by C.N.

More Domestic Than International Adoptions in Korea

When it comes to the issue of international Asian adoption (usually associated with White American families adopt an Asian child), one of the Asian countries most associated with “sending” large numbers of children to the U.S. is South Korea — close to 50,000 children since 1989 (according to U.S. State Department figures). But the tide seems to be changing — domestic adoption in South Korea have now overtaken international adoptions (thanks to the Transracial Korean Adoptee Nexus for covering it first):

About 60 percent of all adoptions were made domestically in the first half of this year, making it the first time for them to surpass overseas adoptions. . . .
A ministry spokesman said the “increase” is largely attributed to a new law prioritizing domestic adoption to overseas adoption — rather than changing attitudes towards adoption — as well as tax incentives and campaigns to encourage domestic adoptions. . . .

In 2005, Korea was rated the fourth biggest source for overseas adoptions, behind China, Russia and Guatemala _ 2,101 Korean children were adopted by foreign couples in 2005. The government has been making efforts to shake off the country’s reputation as a “baby-exporting” nation but any fruitful results have yet to be observed.

As the article notes, I’m not sure what effect this growing trend of domestic adoption will have on the overall numbers of international adoptions (we’ll have to wait for the numbers to come in later), but it is interesting that the government seems interested in trying to change their reputation as a “baby-exporting” country.

However, perhaps even more interesting is the government official’s statement that the rise in domestic adoptions has more to do with new laws and incentives, rather than changing social attitudes. So as such, it remains to be seen just how much of South Korea’s “baby-exporting” reputation will ultimately change.


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Copyright © 2001- by C.N. Le. Some rights reserved. Creative Commons License

Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "More Domestic Than International Adoptions in Korea" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2007/09/more-domestic-than-international-adoptions-in-korea/> ().

Short URL: http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/?p=481