Here's an essay I wrote about my experiences working with Korean birth mothers when researching my novel, Somebody's Daughter.
By Kim Tae-jong
About 60 percent of all adoptions were made domestically in the first
half of this year, making it the first time for them to surpass
The Health and Welfare Ministry reported Thursday that 59.2 percent
of adoptions, or 729 of 1,223 children in the January-June period,
were by domestic couples, far higher than the 41percent to 42 percent
average over the past five years.
A ministry spokesman said the ``increase'' is largely attributed to a
new law prioritizing domestic adoption to overseas adoption _ rather
than changing attitudes towards adoption _ as well as tax incentives
and campaigns to encourage domestic adoptions.
But it may take time to assess the full impact of the new law on
adoption patterns, a ministry spokesman said.
Over 2,000 Korean children have been adopted by foreign families
every year, but a fall in these adoptions has contributed to an
overall decrease in total adoptions.
As a result, more children are now housed at childcare centers or
with temporary families awaiting adoption.
The Overseas Korean Foundation estimated a total of 157,145 Korean
children have been adopted by foreign couples over the past 50 years,
the majority being from the U.S., followed by France, Sweden and
In 2005, Korea was rated the fourth biggest source for overseas
adoptions, behind China, Russia and Guatemala _ 2,101 Korean children
were adopted by foreign couples in 2005.
The government has been making efforts to shake off the country's
reputation as a ``baby-exporting'
have yet to be observed.