Policy madness–Korean adoption quotas!!

I guess if you put a country under enough “blame and shame” pressure, they will do anything to avoid further embarrassment.  It is hard to imagine a more insane policy than the one described here from the Korea Times–the Korean government placing numerical restrictions on Korean children being adopted out in order to make sure that domestic adoptions are a larger number!! Domestic adoptions are not growing that much–more and more children are “waiting children”–whose interests are served here?


Experts say the quota only puts more orphans on the waiting list and causes other negative side-effects, while having no substantial effect on boosting domestic adoption.

Local adoption agencies also argue that the quota deprives orphans of chances of finding new homes at an early age.

“What is actually happening now is that adoptive parents in other countries have to wait longer, up to almost a year, to adopt a child. The quota has simply increased the number of children on the adoption list,” said Hong Mi-kyung, official from Holt Children’s Services. “As children waiting for adoption grow older, adoptive parents and children experience more difficulties.”

She suggested that if the government maintains the adoption quota, it should exclude adoptions by Koreans living in other countries.
“I think the quota needs to be lifted for at least Koreans living abroad,” she said.

According to the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs (KIHSA), the adoption rate decreased to 27.5 percent in 2008 from 44.5 percent in 2000, with only 2,556 orphans out of 9,284 finding new homes. “The quota hurt the adoption rate, while the domestic adoption rate growth stagnated,” a KIHSA official said.

A Korean housewife living in the U.S., who has been waiting to adopt through a local agency, said abandoned children should be adopted as quickly as possible to help heal their “trauma” and better adjust to a new environment.

“A baby has been chosen for us to adopt, but an adoption agency said but we have to wait for a year just because the overseas quota is full this year. Does that make sense?” she said.

But the health ministry said adoption agencies should not accept applications from adoptive parents overseas when the quota is full to make it work in positive and desired ways.

The ministry also admitted that the quota led to the decrease of the adoption rate in general, but it is more important to find children a new home in their own country.

Like most other things relating to international adoption, this makes absolutely no sense–except from the perspective that international adoption should be limited and restriction as much as possible–whatever the true effects might be…..


One thought on “Policy madness–Korean adoption quotas!!

  1. Pingback: International adoption, International adoption myths … | Adoption

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