Be The Answer for Kyoo Bin

29 11 2010

To learn more about Joint Council’s National Adoption Month Advocacy Campaign-Click Here

Despite the efforts by public interest groups and government entities in Korea and abroad to support and encourage parenting by single-birth mothers, domestic adoption, and birth family preservation, close to 10,000 children continue to be lost, abandoned, left to be found, and relinquished by single and married birthparents every year in South Korea.  Last year, only 24% of these children were placed with permanent families (in Korea and internationally).   There is a loud outcry by those who oppose inter-country adoption of Korean children as they make the claim that because Korea is a modern, developed nation, Koreans should be taking care of “their own children”, but the reality is that Korean attitudes and emotions towards orphans, homeless children, and domestic adoption are not receptive to this argument.  When the birthfamily cannot be preserved as a permanent solution for the child, domestic families are not stepping up, to the degree that is needed, to provide permanent Korean homes for these children.  In these cases, international adoption is the path through the child’s basic right to a family can be realized.

Kyoo Bin* was born to a young single woman in August of last year.  Unlike the majority of single birthmothers who are ostracized from their schools, families, friends and communities with no financial, emotional or physical resources, Kyoo Bin’s birthmother sought out her own parents (with whom she had been estranged) and received their counsel and support while making a decision as to her child’s future.  Based on her own belief that she was emotionally incapable of being responsible for her child, but also due to the lack of financial support available and because of social barriers that exist for single mothers (lack of access to re-enter high school, lack of affordable and available regular daycare, difficulty in securing a safe, stable, single-parent conducive job, strong traditional beliefs against women with children marrying, etc.), the birthmother decided upon adoption for her son.  Also very important in the decision for adoption by the birthmother were the real issues that Kyoo Bin would have had to face as a child (and later as an adult) being raised by a single mother in Korea.  These challenges include discrimination and social stigma that result in significant (of a much higher degree than anything experienced by adoptees in the US or European countries) denial of access to jobs, education, marriage, and family acceptance/belonging.  (The lifelong prejudice and denial of access to basic social and economic rights is even greater for children who grow up in Korea with no permanent families and who have been identified as having “orphan” status.)

Born at nearly full-term and healthy, Kyoo Bin has been in the care of a loving foster family since shortly after he was relinquished on the day of his birth.  Kyoo Bin is an active, bright-eyed child who I have had the pleasure to meet with his case worker and foster mother.  After having recovered from transient tachypnea at birth, Kyoo Bin has been healthy, but continues to show delayed motor skill development.  Cerebral Palsy, Fragile X syndrome, and Prader-Will Syndrome have all been ruled out as any potential cause for Kyoo Bin’s delays.  Now, over a year old, Kyoo Bin is not yet walking, but crawls well and pulls himself up.  He is positive, easy-going, and quite social while his favorite place to be is on his foster father’s knee.  Kyoo Bin enjoys playing with his toys, but has started to exhibit head-banging behaviors one time per day if at all.  His aging foster parents are providing him with a loving, but temporary home.  The hope of Kyoo Bin’s birthmother and her plan for him was that he would thrive and be able to meet his maximum potential.  This will only truly be possible when he is in a permanent family.

*Name of child changed to protect identity and at the request of the Korean adoption agency.  If you are interested in adopting Kyoo Bin, please contact Jane Lee at jlee@chsfs.org

Be The Answer For Kyoo Bin and other children by Watching Joint Council’s Be The Answer Video. Share your thoughts on the video by leaving a comment on YouTube.

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6 responses

29 11 2010
Dee Thompson

As a single adoptive mom to two children, it breaks my heart that single women in Korea face these terrible societal obstacles to parenting. Korea also won’t allow foreign singles to adopt children, no matter how financially stable. So the children suffer. This is heartbreaking and it’s all because of society’s prejudice.

29 11 2010
Tweets that mention Be The Anser for Kyoo Bin « -- Topsy.com

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Scott Schlecht, JointCouncil. JointCouncil said: A little boy in Korea needs a family. Are you that family? http://fb.me/Pejyyi21 […]

2 12 2010
The Korean

I really do not want to say this, because I do not want to be misconstrued. I really applaud the effort for adoption. One of the most rewarding aspect of running my blog is when I help adoptive parents and adoptees, and I don’t ever, ever want to appear disparaging the efforts of adoption advocates.

But I have to say this part of the post:

These challenges include discrimination and social stigma that result in significant (of a much higher degree than anything experienced by adoptees in the US or European countries) denial of access to jobs, education, marriage, and family acceptance/belonging. (The lifelong prejudice and denial of access to basic social and economic rights is even greater for children who grow up in Korea with no permanent families and who have been identified as having “orphan” status.)

… is a vast overstatement. There is certainly some level of prejudice against children born to unwed mothers. But the idea that such prejudice is to a “much higher degree” than the kind of prejudice that those Korean children will face as a racial minority in the U.S. or Europe is completely wrong. It is also simply untrue that these children will be denied jobs or education — much less “basic social and economic rights” — simply for being born of unwed mothers.

Again, I do not want to appear that I am disparaging this effort. I am not, and I absolutely do not intend to. But there is no need to put on a horror show in order to persuade people to help Kyoobin.

11 12 2010
Lemlem Tafere

you know you want adoption to be open in Ethiopia I want the adoption to be shut down.I hate people like her.

11 12 2010
Lemlem Tafere

As Ethiopian I hate what you people doing to my people now days The crude reality is that children have become a big Ethiopian export.whether you like it or not Ethiopian we are being genocide systematically.I am really amazed and surprised that slavery has ended a long time ago. However, here we are white people, picking children at a drop of a hat and import them, not because they are good semantically, rather with a hidden agenda.The point we are missing is that north Americans who are promising loving home for the kids, most of them they don’t want to take sick orphan children. Health children are rarely orphans and orphans are rarely healthy. so the adoption trade is rather targeting harvesting healthy baby for these white people who need health beautiful Ethiopian children. In the mean time who is losing? the mothers who were tricked to give their children. most of these kids even though it was reported there parents were dead, some of them when they start speaking English they tell their adoptive parents that their parents are alive. what a shock for the adoptive parents too.

11 12 2010
Lemlem Tafere

Why do Americans act like they own the world? Why do Americans feel they deserve other country child?I hate the implication that an adopted child is so lucky and the adoptive parents are saints! Ethiopia hasnt signed the Haeg Child adoption convetion and the NGO`s r taking advantage of it to an extent where they can do whatever U.S wont!! SHAME ON YOU AMERICA.

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