SEOUL, May 28 (Korea Bizwire) — Approximately 2 out of 3 domestic adoptees are girls, reflecting the current public sentiment in which girls are more popular among those looking to adopt.
According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the number of girls who were adopted accounted for 68 percent of all adoptees last year.
The percentage of girls adopted within Korea has been rising continuously, from 58 percent in 2001 to 69 percent 2011.
In 2013, adopted girls accounted for 70 percent, and in subsequent years, the ratio of girls has fluctuated between 65 percent and 70 percent.
As the preference for girls became more distinct into the 2000s, various public campaigns have been carried out to encourage gender-blind adoption, but the widespread predilection for girls by adoptive parents continues.
Kim Hye-gyeong, an adoption specialist, says that although the adoption rate for girls last year was 68 percent, around 90 percent of potential parents who initially seek adoption want girls.
Thanks to efforts by professionals like Kim, however, more boys get adopted in the end, although the gender ratio is still significantly skewed towards females.
Some experts say that the preference for girls by adoptive parents signals a change of times.
Hong Seok-won, a section chief at Korea Adoption Services, says that boys were preferred in the past because of they were able to pass down the family name.
“But nowadays, the adoptive parents want to create a real family for the new member of the household,” said Hong.
Adoption specialists say that as social norms have changed, people have come to perceive girls as being easier and more fun to raise, even for natural families.
According to a survey conducted in 2015 by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, 52.4 percent of respondents said that their reason for adopting a child was “to provide a family to those in need.”
Another 16.9 percent said that they took up adoption “because they had no children,” while 13.7 percent said their motivation for adoption was “for the sake of family harmony,” followed by the desire to raise more children (13.7 percent).
As the preference for girls as adoptees withstands, boys who remain unadopted domestically are being sent overseas in seek of new family ties. The proportion of boys adopted overseas reached 75.9 percent last year.
H. S. Seo (firstname.lastname@example.org)