May 12, 2010 12:27
The number of locally adopted children in Korea has more or less stagnated since 2006. It rose to 1,314 last year, up a mere eight from the previous year, the Ministry of Health and Welfare said on the occasion of National Adoption Day on Tuesday. The figure stood at 1,322 in 2006 and 1,388 in 2007.
Korea has been struggling to shed the image of an adoption destination for foreigners and encourage adoption at home. The ministry introduced a quota in 2007 in an effort to reduce the number of children adopted overseas by 10 percent every year. It also tightened regulations so charities must look for local adoptive families for five months before the child can be considered for international adoption.
As a result, domestic adoptions began to outnumber international ones in 2007, but the number of domestic adoptions itself did not increase. The reason is that potential adoptive parents tend to be picky about the child’s gender, blood type and health. They not only look at whether the child has a history of illness and is handicapped but also take the background of the birth parents into consideration, Holt Children's Services said.
Only a limited number of children fit the conditions, and disabled children especially are frequently excluded, it added.
Most handicapped children are adopted from abroad. Between 2005 and 2009, 144 disabled children found adoptive homes in Korea but 2,171 were adopted by foreign couples.
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