According to the Holt Web site, the cost for an American couple to adopt a Korean baby through Holt can run up to $25525. In Korean won, that is about 32,762,613 won.
According to a February 2009 article in the Korea Times, unwed mothers in Korea get a subsidy from the state of 50,000 won per month.
Almost all Korean children who are being adopted these days come from unwed mothers. Lack of money is one of the main reasons why they relinquish.
Let’s do the math. If you take that same money that Holt is getting, (32,762,613 won) and divide it by the same money that the mothers are getting (50,000 won) you get 364 months of suppport at the government rate. That is over 30 years of inadequate support.
But really, the first five years are the most critical. So if you take (32,762,613 won) and divide it into five years, you get 546,043 won per month of support — over 10 times what the mothers are getting now. That would be adequate.
So if American adopters who claim to care so much about children would just send their money over to Korea, the child could stay with mom for five years very comfortably. All international agencies agree that keeping children with their mothers is in the “best interests” of the child.
So why don’t the ACT in the best interests of the child INSTEAD OF their own selfish interests to BUY another woman’s child (even if the purchase price is comfortably called a “country fee”)? Let’s just face it: the adoption industry is a business. It is NOT in the best interests of the child. If it were, people would just send their $25,525 for the child they have never met but claim to “love” to Korea to allow that child to stay with her mother. Why don’t they? Because they don’t get anything out of it? Adoption is a consumer-oriented business. It is not in the best interests of the child. It is in the best interests of the consumer. Why, after all, are wrongful adoptions covered under consumer law, like no-lemon guarantees? Why was MEPA covered under small business law? Because it’s BUSINESS.
I’m not asking people to send over that much money to Korea. I don’t think that’s realistic because people are generally not so saintly. But it, however, is realistic to stop being hypocrites. Let’s just call a spade a spade.
(In fact, I don’t think Americans should send a single red cent to Korea for charity because Korea is the 13th-largest economy in the world and it needs to take care of its own shit. Korea should be giving more aid to developing countries, is what should really be going on. And maybe all that good-hearted American money needs to go for reparations to Africa, African-Americans, and American Indians.)
Back to adoption: I know it’s trendy these days for some adopters to say things like, “I’m selfish. I wanted to adopt and my child gave me the chance to be a mother” or something like that. Man, it is so true!! Bravo! But does that really MEAN anything to the people who say things like that? Or is it just lip service to get the adult adoptees off their backs? If it meant something, I think they would be like, “I was selfish and I want to encourage other people to be GENEROUS instead of selfish. So here are some ways to be generous, not selfish: Let’s talk about using our resources to lift whole communities, not just “rescue” an individual child. Let’s talk about Americans sitting at the doorstep of empire, and white privilege (for those who have it), and how we can use that to advocate for entire communities of children in need. Let’s talk about ending American financial and military practices and foreign policy that cause crises and impoverish people in other parts of the globe and how we can address those first so adoptions are not “needed” when the fallout of all that crap hits. Let’s talk about how our ‘feminism’ of ‘choices’ creates an interlocking patriarchy with Asian countries that encourages relinquishment instead of empowering women and families. Let’stry to start to frame this in terms of politics and economics instead of elusive and slippery and more subjective terms like ‘adjustment’ and ‘love’ because all that is is dueling anecdotes, e.g., ‘Well, so-and-so is HAPPY!'” OK blah blah enough this has all been said before in Outsiders Within. Don’t need to reinvent the wheel here.
And now —
A note on flaming:
I just want to put it out there that while I am appreciative of comments, I do filter them, and I do not allow the ones I don’t like. People can flame me and my views as much as they want on other sites, and they do, and I am aware of that, and that’s fine. I believe in free speech and those folks who need to have free speech about me can go and have that somewhere else. This site, however, is my home page and I let people who want to work together to accomplish something positive inside my home, and keep people who don’t outside, just like in real life. ^^ I also let people inside who have differing viewpoints with good information who can state their point in a way that I find reasonable and compelling.
A note on personal correspondences:
Also, I do not post comments that are basically requesting correspondence regarding my personal “experience,” or their personal lives, simply because there are not enough hours in the day to cover that. I would like to answer everybody’s questions about this and that, but it is just unrealistic for me. Sometimes I do answer letters that I find really compelling, however, I generally am limited to responding to people immediately who are offering skills, information, or resources for TRACK or in general dismantling the master’s house. This is not a personal thing, but just how I have to prioritize my time in order to get anything done.
Alright, enough blogging and back to my little math problems to be distributed to the Korean public for Adoption Day.