South Korea’s Cruel Adoption Industry
Adopted to France at the age of 11, Kim believed that her parents abandoned her. It wasn’t until she stumbled upon her adoption papers earlier this year that she began to doubt what she had believed all her life. She remembers her parents clearly, but the name on her adoption papers is none other than “Nameless.” As the only Asian in a small French village, Kim grew up sexually abused by both her parents, and she began to track down the adoption agency that placed her, and we joined on her lonely, long journey.
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While forging the documents of children with parents, why was it necessary to make them orphans?
Adoption agencies send thousands of children abroad every year, getting bigger and bigger, and expanding their business.
What is the adoption agency’s position?
Lee Yi-baek, Director, Straight On Current Affair
We went to see a director who had led Holt Children’s Services in the past. Since you were the chairman at the time.”
Past Holt Director: “It’s been more than 40 years, so I don’t remember.”
“You signed the papers for a lot of adoptees.”
Past Holt Director: “All adoptions were done in accordance with government policy. We private adoption agencies can’t just do what we want. That was government policy. All the children who left via international adoption went through the proper procedures for immigration. It was all authorized by the government.”
“But there were errors in the paperwork and wrongfully adopted people.”
Past Holt Director: “With so many people being sent abroad, things like that could happen. There were many successful cases, but only a few, like what you mentioned. They were all successful. One of them even became a government minister in France. There are lots of successful cases in the States. It’s better not to talk about the past. It was good for the nation and the country. Whatever I say isn’t in the national interest. I don’t know what went on in the past. It’s better not to talk about it.”
For 69 years, an estimated 250,000 Korean children were adopted overseas.
Adoption agencies competed to collect fees, and government policy encourages it.
Korean children were young, smart, and healthy; they were apparently popular targets for adoption. There were other reasons for preferring Korean children. A surrogate adoption system where adoptive parents could adopt without having to come in person. As if shopping in a catalog, they could select a child from just a file and some photos. Without looking at the adoptive parents faces the children could be sent away. In other words, “Mail Order Babies”.
Inadequate verification process for adoptive parents.
Overseas adoption had been done at the convenience of adoptive parents, in other words, conducted with the consumer in mind. The children’s lives and human rights that should’ve been top priority.”
By masquerading children as orphans, has made millions for adoption agencies.