Public Hearing on Adoption Law is TOMORROW 2-4 p.m.

Have you or someone you know had problems with

birthfamily search?

Do you think adoptees should be included in the revisions

Korean adoption laws?

Do you think Korean mothers need more than 24 hours to decide whether to relinquish their babies for adoption or not?

Are you looking for something meaningful to do
about Korean adoption?

If you said YES to any of these questions, get on TRACK and come to the public hearing on Korean adoption law tomorrow!

You saw the great media blitz that TRACK, ASK and KoRoot turned out for Adoption Day. We contacted all the same folks again. The media will be out and we need to show the Korean society that there will be nothing about us without us!

Tomorrow July 1st, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

Korea Press Foundation Building, 19th Floor

City Hall Exit 4 or Gwanghwamun Exit 5

What are the key issues at stake?

1. Possible institutionalization of intercountry adoption *TO* Korea *FROM* Africa and other parts of Asia. (imagine that!)

2. How the central authority will be shaped and what it will do for YOU as an adoptee.

3. Period of waiting time legally needed for mother to relinquish baby for adoption — currently they can relinquish in the WOMB but the govt is saying after 24 is OK. We say they need more time than that!

4. Inclusion of adoptees in the law revision process.

What’s the objective of adoptees going?

1. Show adult adoptee presence to the Korean govt and society (because why should they do anything for us if we don’t even bother to show up? This affects your search, the searches of your friends, and future adoptees).

2. Voice our opinions heard to the Korean government and its panel of Korean experts. (because YOU are the real expert).

3. Support and encourage the single moms to raise their own babies (because there WILL BE a single mom organization represented there and they have provided us with a statement of solidarity for us to read. WE ARE JOINING FORCES.

So what exactly am I supposed to do?

1. Come to the meeting!!

2. Be visible!! TRACK will pass out stickers for you to wear that say the name of TRACK in Korean and “Support the human rights of single moms and adoptees.”

Why do you have to be visible?

–Because WE GOT TRANSLATION this time thanks to your support and now it is VERY IMPORTANT for the government to be able to see the people again who support LANGUAGE ACCESS for adoptees when it comes to laws about us. If you do not wear the sticker, they will think you’re an agency worker or something. Do you really want that?

–Because we have a fresh chance at this meeting to help the government get it right because there is a new director in the department that handles adoptions. We have not met her yet and we want to make a strong first impression. We must be taken seriously!

3. Voice your opinion! Ask questions!!

There will be 40 minutes at the end of the hearing for ANYONE (that means you!!) to speak directly to the government and the “experts.” Bring your own comments or questions, or choose one of many that TRACK has prepared and that we will hand out at the press conference.

Today TRACK emailed these sample questions to the ministry to help them prepare. We know some of the answers already, but WE WANT IT ON THE RECORD for history. Do you want to know the answers to these questions?

1. We hear that plans for the central authority are already being formed by the MHWF andthat it will not actually be a government body, but a private body appointed by thegovernment. Will there be adoptee representation on the board that appoints the privatebody? (Answer: No)

2. Part of the role of the central authority should be to regulate adoptions from Korea and act as a watchdog. We believe it’s a conflict of interest for the agencies to regulate themselves. We have heard that some of the board members have already been selected. Would you please name them and give their affiliations both past and present? (Answer: They have stocked it with a lot of people who either now or in the past worked for the agencies.)

3. Another role of the central authority should be to hold the adoption files, and the ministrytold TRACK that Holt alone has 4 stories of records. However, the ministry also told us there is no plan to move the records to the central authority either physically or electronically. Adoptees have been told by their agencies that there are no records about them, but when they push their agencies, they find out that the agency just won’t give them the records, usually the Korean-language records including the relinquishment document, the Korean social history, and documents used to send the child to Seoul from provincial cities. A Ministry of Health, Welfare and Family Affairs report recorded that of the 76,646 adoptees that have returned to Korea to find their natural parents between 1995-2005; only 2,113 (2.7%) have succeeded. If the adoption agencies still control the records, what is your plan to improve adoptees’ access to their own histories and identities? (Answer: They aren’t going to improve it.)

4. How are these law revisions part of a comprehensive social welfare system to supportunwed mothers in caring for their own children? (Answer: it is not a comprehensive system)

So are you now convinced yet that your presence is absolutely needed? If you REALLY can’t come, feel free to email your comments and questions to be read at the hearing. Otherwise, if you are just crunched for time, just come at 3:45 to


The coalition of TRACK-KoRoot-ASK has prepared a special press conference complete with photo-worthy banners and picket signs to take place right outside in the corridor afterward the regular hearing. We need to you to STAND WITH US and HOLD THE SIGN while we give statements. Speakers will be: single mom Heo Nam-young of Seoul Single Parent Family Support Center; So Rami (lawyer from Gonggam Public Interest lawyers’ group who is drafting our own bill on adoption); Pastor Kim (KoRoot); adoptee Han Boon Young (getting her master’s in social welfare at Soongshil Univ.), adoptee Jane Jeong Trenka (TRACK representative), Lee Yewon (interpreter, TRACK member).

Our message:

No institutionalization of intercountry adoption to Korea

24 hours is not enough to decide the fate of a child!

Strong central authority!
Adoptee right to identity and information!!

Include adoptees in the adoption law revision process

You have seen from Adoption Day media blitz that the Korean media is POWERFUL and that our coalition has the ability to get the reporters out. So we have to be there to represent — or the reporters won’t come out next time.

This is a crucial moment in the history of adoption from Korea. We must turn out in big numbers for them to take us seriously. This is a chance to change Korean society to support SINGLE MOTHERS and to provide ADEQUATE AND REAL SERVICES FOR ADOPTEES.  This is the work of JOYFUL, EMPOWERED, HOPEFUL adoptees who act out of LOVE.

Adoptees who shall remain anonymous but who I know complain about the adoption system, discrimination, lack of support for single moms, the way their agency treats them, how Koreans treat us in Korea, how white people treat us in the West, how much it sucks to be robbed of the Korean language, how much it sucks to not have access to their own identity, how much it sucks to not really fit in anywhere, how there’s not enough meaningful stuff to do in Seoul for adoptees, etc., etc., but who will not spend two hours of their time doing something useful when the opportunity arises — this meeting is NOT for you. (Of course, some people just can’t make it because you live in a different country, etc. etc. But I KNOW that others in Seoul can just call in sick. Think about it: they are not going to fire you. You will go back to the office Thursday and it will be exactly the same as it was Tuesday.)

The rest of us who are powered on AGENCY and  HOPE — let’s wake up tomorrow with a smile on our faces because we know we’re going to do something worthwhile!! AND PLEASE BRING A FRIEND (Any friend will do as long as they wear a sticker and stand with us!!!)

link to map:

See you there!!

Let’s walk the talk, folks! Fighting!


About jjtrenka
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