Is It Really a Voice of Love?

So if you’re a part of the international adoption community, you’ve likely heard about the Voices of Love campaign, which is an attempt to have the Korean government reverse its decision to limit and phase out international adoption as we know it now. If your life has been blessed by Korean adoption, they’re asking you to support their campaign and advocate for Korean children.

Without a doubt my life has been blessed by Korean adoption. Six years ago we embarked on a journey that has led to our lives having little resemblance to what they were before. And every day I’m thankful for blessings Korean adoption has brought into my life.

But this campaign bothers me. The fact is international adoption is complicated. Our daily life is complicated because of adoption: fear, anxiety, sadness, racial awareness, language learning, and cultural awareness.

Then you add in the things I know now about Korean adoption. The lack of women’s rights. The discrimination against single mothers and their children. The coercion that is part of the placing process. The fact that placing a child for adoption often isn’t a “choice,” because the word choice implies that there really is another option. For many of these women, there isn’t another option.

It’s just not as simple as advocating for a child. Do I wish every child had a loving family who cherished them? Of course. Does that mean that international adoption is always the right answer? No.

I’m not naive enough to think that the need for adoption would go away if cultural attitudes changed and job equality was better and there was better support for single mothers and that there was less poverty. Even if all of the previous were true there would still be women who would choose to not to parent. But likely there would be less who chose the path of adoption.

If you’ve heard of this campaign, I invite you to read a couple of posts from ThirdMom. Over the last few days, she’s posted about this campaign a couple of times. Here are the direct links to those posts in the order that they were written.



I especially love the nine things in the second link that Jane Jeong Trenka recommends prospective adoptive parents demand of Korea before they adopt from there.

The fact is the system is broken. Yes, there are children who need homes and families. And they should have them. But if at all possible those homes and families should be the ones they are born into. It’s not always possible. I get that. But until what is broken is fixed, I doubt keeping families intact is even at the top of the list for many in the industry.

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My Korean Culture Blog

Just a reminder that if you want to learn more about Korean culture (both traditional and pop culture), language resources, and cooking, check out my other blog: thekoreanway.wordpress.com It's filled with resources for adoptive families or anyone interested in Korean culture.

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