SEOUL, Nov. 17 (Korea Bizwire) — After Internet backlash over the recent posting of an article about the adoption of a newborn baby through a mobile secondhand marketplace, the government has decided to greatly strengthen support and protection for single moms and single-parent families.
On Monday, five government agencies including the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family unveiled a string of measures to support single-parent families, including single moms.
First of all, the government decided to review the idea of introducing the so-called ‘childbirth protection system’ that is designed to allow single moms to use pseudonyms when registering birth papers.
This system is aimed at preventing the abandonment or murder of a baby.
Moreover, the government decided to raise the age limit for teenage mothers who can receive medical expense subsidies for pregnancy and childbirth from the current 18 to 19.
If this plan is realized, a teenage mother who is 19 will receive medical expense subsidies of about 1.2 million won per year for pregnancy and childbirth.
At present, 19-year-old teenage mothers receive annual medical expense subsidies of 600,000 won, the same as those for older-aged mothers.
The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family announced that a new law designed to suspend the driver’s license of a parent who refrains from paying child rearing support will take effect from June 2021.
To protect teenage single moms from suspending academic activities, the government decided to allow them to apply for a leave of absence from school on the occasions of pregnancy or childbirth.
Moreover, the government decided to crack down the practice of requesting sensitive private information such as the marriage status of parents, parental separation and separation by death when assigning middle and high schools.
According to the ministry, the number of single moms and single fathers in South Korea stood at 210,000 and 7,082, respectively, as of last year. Of the total, single moms younger than 24 accounted for 8.4 percent or 1,700.
Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)