SEOUL, Jun. 28 (Korea Bizwire) — Prejudice against adoptees still runs rampant in South Korean society, despite growing domestic adoption, with nearly three in 10 adoptive parents facing difficulties dealing with negative stereotypes, a new report has revealed.
A report on childcare support for marginalized groups published by the Korea Institute of Child Care & Education (KICCE) on Tuesday showed that 28.7 percent of respondents with an adopted child think prejudice from people around them is the ‘biggest challenge’ facing adoptive parents in South Korea.
During an in-depth interview conducted alongside a survey, adoptive parents confided that they face both positive and negative preconceived notions of being a good person for adopting a child, but also that they won’t be able to raise adoptees as well as biological children.
Those surveyed also revealed that they have been told by people close to them to dissolve an adoption in the face of financial or medical difficulties.
Since new Korean adoption laws were put in place in 2007 prioritizing domestic adoption, the number of children adopted by South Korean parents grew steadily in proportion, reaching 546 and accounting for 62 percent of all adoptions in 2016.
However, the shocking findings from the newly released KICCE report serve as a reminder of social barriers that make it difficult for children without parents to find a new home.
According to the adoptive parents surveyed for the KICCE report, concerns commonly heard by others over their children included ‘they will cause trouble during puberty,” and “once they grow up, they’ll go meet their biological parents.”
In another report published by the KICCE published earlier this month, some of the adoptive parents surveyed did in fact say that social prejudices could influence their decision to adopt.
The research team at the KICCE says the widely shared, but somewhat skewed view that only parents with pregnancy complications such as infertility adopt is keeping the prejudice against adoption well and alive in the country, while other factors such as disagreement between couples and opposition from family members also played a role.
“Treating adoption or adoptive parents as something special in textbooks, for instance, needs to be avoided. The media also needs to refrain from using adoption as sensational broadcasting material without having an understanding of adoptive families,” the KICCE said.
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)