Don and I chatted in the comments section and came to a better understanding. Additionally, per my request, Don agreed to have LGA post his “two cents” as a standalone piece. Why did I ask? As most folks are aware, we here at LGA are all about challenging the traditional adoption narrative. At the same time, we are all about adoptees challenging each other. Let’s face it. If we adoptees can’t have open, honest, constructive, and productive conversations amongst ourselves, how can we expect the rest of the adoption community and the broad general public to engage us in a similar manner, let alone take us seriously?
At any rate, below is Don’s fully unedited evisceration. Enjoy.
Just my two cents worth. On the point of supporting “families”, what families are you talking, certainly not in South Korea? AKA Rep. of Korea (the free democratic guys not the communist North) is still VERY prejudiced against Unwed Mother (the official term used by NGO’s and the government, and in most cases the man (not a father- only the sperm donor) does not even have to take a paternity test to support his biological child. There is no help for the young woman (approximately 9-10,000 each year who do NOT Abort even though pressured to by their own family, friends, society, etc. The brave women of KUMSN (Korean Unwed Mother’s Support Network/ www.kumsn.org) have no ‘husbands or boyfriends’, they have run away. NO, in these cases the government even fails to give more than one hundred USD worth of support to them. Faced with such circumstances about 75 % of the women who are carrying a child must make critical decision on their own. It is certain that it is a combination of pressures and stark reality of the society’s feelings about ‘bastards/bastardettes’ (over in ROK it is not exactly clique/kosher to be an Orphan). Being Orphaned, even to be Adopted is labelled with SHAME and Derision, one must be flawed to be given away.
SO HOW is there to be SUPPORT for “Families”? There just aren’t any families, get a grip on reality. Focus should be on supporting Unwed Mothers and CHANGING SOCIETY’S attitudes, and must be done from Inside by Koreans. ASK and TRACK are Korean Adoptee organizations that are involved with doing this. I personally agree with 90% of their logic but not completely with their methods.
Can a country’s people be ‘forced’ or shamed to do the right thing? No, but even in ROK change is slowly coming and more people are accepting the Unwed Mother (Single Mother is so much nicer but can also refer to a divorced women, which thanks to the wonders of Divorce now allowed in ROK, there are more and more, thus Unwed Mother is used for the woman who had sex and got pregnant.) Not being judgmental, but this is how Koreans (the majority) feel according to KWDI (Korean Women’s Development Institute/ http://www2.kwdi.re.kr/index.jsp). KWDI also reports that almost double the number of domestic adoptions occur secretly IN-Country because of the growing number of couples that are Infertile (Could that be from all the Abortions that women undergo before they get married? Hmmm). These secret adoptions are done through the Civil Court Law thus avoiding all the background checks of pesky Hague Conventions (Which FYI ROK has not signed yet-that would prevent all the CCL adoptions from happening, SO the adoptions would have to be public, recent laws make it easier to have secret adoption, meaning the child is not even told in over 95% of the cases). These are facts, not emotional dribble, don’t believe me, check the KWDI.
When your video attacks Heritage Tours, what the hell is that about? KADs who want to go back to visit the land of their birth with their Adoptive Families have all the goddamn right to do so. These tours give many of us who are dealing with all the issues of our lives a taste of the Motherland, seeking some physical and emotional touch with our origins. When i visited Scotland, the country of my Adoptive Father, I was welcomed and my name was written in the family records…this will never happen in my Mother’s country. That is my reality that I have accepted. Deal with the reality of each country. YES, let us fight against corruption and greed…but stop making fucking blanket statement that suggest that all adoption is done the same way. THAT IS WACKED. I am for a Multi-leveled solution plan with family preservation (when possible or wanted) at the top, adoption openly within a society if possible, then multi-racial marriage with one spouse being of the ethnic/national of the child, then finally Inter-racial adoption.
SAY, here is a solution…maybe we should all stop having sex before marriage, use condoms, birth control pills, etc. How is THAT working? There is no easy fix is there? GET REAL, some of your assumptions are western based and totally OFF. We can work to make illegal adoptions less, but the horrible reality is that since the Hague Conventions on the Rights of the Child and International Adoptions were passed years have passed and many sending countries have not signed. Stop saying that ALL adoptions are ‘stealing children’ when they are NOT.
The Korean War Baby
Don Gordon Bell