Sunday, September 02, 2007

Korea Times: "Domestic Adoptions Reach 60 Percent"

Here's an article from the August 30, 2007 edition of the Korea Times.

By Kim Tae-jong
Staff Reporter

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 overseas adoptions.

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 Denmark.

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'' nation but any fruitful results have yet to be observed.

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