Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Media Coverage of the 2007 IKAA Gathering in Seoul

It is always interesting to watch how the media covers international adoption. As feed back from the most recent gathering in Seoul starts to trickle in, the initial response from the online community to the media coverage is mixed. Some people are objecting to the angle the media is choosing to take by suggesting the existence of a great rift among adoptees concerning the practise of international adoption. Take this report by NPR's Jason Strother. He interviews Kim Stoker representative for ASK, Adoptee Solidarity Korea, who are adamently against international adoption, and Sandra McClaughlin, director of Bethany Christian Services in Pennsylvania, who maintains that adoption from Korea is still a viable solution to current social conditions. By offering only the extreme opinions on the issue, coverage often overlooks other important issues, i.e. what, if any, changes to Korea's social welfare system have occurred; and misrepresents facts, i.e. the status of children left in state care. By calling state care facilities "orphanages", it implies that the child's parents are dead. In Korea, this is most often not the reason children are in care. According to the good people over at Harlow's Monkey, the main reason children are abandoned is not due to unwed mothers, as this report claims, but to divorcing couples, where either the father does not want to assume responsibility or the mother cannot support them on her own.
We don't know if all the facts are in on this one, but it's good to see discussion abound on this very important topic. Weigh in for yourself by checking out Strother's report.

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