Monthly Archives: March 2010

“Advice for improving support for unwed mothers”

My translation again– suggestions for a better translation welcome (especially on 11 and 12!!)

Cartoon’s title: Wise Mr. Kwan-ik

Published March 9, 2010

“Advice for improving support for unwed mothers”

1. The woman in the middle is the unwed mother. Goblins are “societal discrimination,” “isolation beginning with family friends,” “the hardships of life,” and “unkind treatment.”

2. Springing up in bed, she says, “No! Ah, I was dreaming.”

3. “What will I do? Baby, Mommy really wants to protect you but she doesn’t have any self-confidence.”

4. (At the Ob-Gyn, suggesting abortion): Now, my first horrible thought is .. but not this ..

5. (At the adoption agency): Should I have adoption counseling? But If I send my baby overseas for adoption we’ll be separated forever …

6. Wa ~ ha ha ha!! Da da da da!

7.  “Baby, my baby.” “Mommy is the best!” “Be careful so you don’t accidentally fall.”

8. “You really love her, don’t you?”  “Oh yes, she’s so pretty.”

9. “Wait a minute.”

10. “You were looking just before … You look tired. Can I give you help. Perhaps, are you divorced?”

Unwed mother says, “Yes, you look so happy with your baby. I also want give birth and raise my baby but …”

11.  “Pregnancy and birth by unwed mothers isn’t encouraged, but I think you look like you’re responsible and you want to care for your baby, so you have to get respect and protection. ”

“Right, but if that’s true, wouldn’t the existing system have to become outmoded?

12. (At the unwed mothers’ home): Right. Therefore, from the Citizens’ Rights and Interests Committee, support has been expanded for unwed moms in the form of child-rearing consultations, support for medical expenses and housing expenses, and facilities where unwed mothers and their children live together. They are leading the way to improve the system of fast deliberation/careful deliberation about adoption.

Wonderful comic about an unwed mother.

Take a look at this.

The woman is an unwed mother.

The cartoonist says that this illustration  is a task for his experimental comics class.

He is trying to connote the unwed mother’s fair weather friends, school, society and the the people connected with student records and her being expelled from school. He’s also trying to connote the unwed mother’s sense of rupture from the world with this illustration.

I think the writing is the name of the baby the mother has chosen, “Yu-mi,”  and the people are crossing it out.


60% of unwed mothers want adoption, spiral of regret after sending child

Thesis presented in a volume of women’s research

Through investigation, it has been found that six out of 10 Korean mothers want adoption. However, when compared with unwed mothers who raise their children, unwed mothers who decide on adoption have a higher feeling of sadness and a deep regret.

Last year, the Korean Women’s Development Institute (KWDI) surveyed 571 unwed mothers from all parts of the country as the foundation of the thesis “Ways of supporting child-rearing unwed mothers’ lives and self-sufficiency.” This thesis was presented today in the afternoon at Seoul Chunggu Taepyeong Korean Press Center “60th Women’s Policy Forum.”

According to the thesis, at present, 59.1% of unwed mothers who were surveyed wanted adoption during their pregnancy or after they gave birth.  While only 29.5% of the unwed mothers made a plan to raise their children, 11.4% were unsure or couldn’t decide and wavered.

The biggest reason for unwed mothers choosing adoption was  “no economic ability” at 34.4%, followed by “for the baby’s future” at 29.8%; “playing the parent role is difficult” (9.8%),  “for my future” (7.4%) , and “family members’ advice” (7.0%) in that order.

The biggest response from mothers who chose to raise their children regarding their decision was, “It’s my baby, and I have to raise my baby” with 40.8%. “I love my baby” was the response of 33.0%, and “If I send my baby for adoption, it’s like committing a crime,” with 13.6%.

It was found that the decision over whether to raise their children had a big impact on unwed mothers’ psychological and emotional state. Unwed mothers’ psychological states were measured on a scale of 1 point (completely disagree) to 4 points (strongly agree) .The results showed negative psychological states for unwed mothers who decided on adoption, who averaged 3.39 for sad, 2.88 for regret, 2.51 for despair and hopelessness, 2.46 for anger, etc.  Mothers rated their agreement with being “comfortable” or “lighthearted” at only 1.7 on this scale.

translation by me.

“미혼모 60% ‘입양’ 원하지만 아이 보내고 나선 크게 후회”여성정책硏 논문 발표

국내의 미혼모 10명 중 6명은 아이의 입양을 원하는 것으로 조사됐다. 그러나 입양을 결정한 미혼모들은 양육하기로 한 미혼모에 비해 슬픔과 후회하는 감정이 상대적으로 높은 것으로 나타났다.

한국여성정책연구원은 24일 지난해 전국의 미혼모 571명을 상대로 실시한 설문조사를 바탕으로 작성한 ‘양육 미혼모의 삶과 자립 지원 방안’ 논문을 통해 이같이 밝혔다. 이 논문은 이날 오후 서울 중구 태평로 한국프레스센터에서 열리는 ‘제60차 여성정책포럼’에서 발표된다.

논문에 따르면 조사 대상자 중 현재 자녀를 출산했거나 임신 중인 미혼모의 59.1%가 입양을 원한다고 답했다. 양육을 계획하고 있는 미혼모는 29.5%에 불과했으며, 양육 여부를 결정하지 못하고 망설이는 사람은 11.4%였다.

미혼모들이 입양을 선택하는 이유로는 ‘경제적 능력이 없어서’가 34.4%로 가장 많았다. ‘아기의 장래를 위해서’라는 응답이 29.8%, ‘부모 역할을 하기에는 아직 어려서(9.8%)’, ‘나의 장래를 위해서(7.4%)’, ‘가족들의 권유로(7.0%)’ 순으로 뒤를 이었다.

양육을 선택한 미혼모들은 이 같은 결정을 내린 이유에 대해 ‘내 아기는 내가 키워야 하므로’라는 응답이 40.8%로 가장 많았다. ‘아기를 사랑해서’라는 응답은 33.0%, ‘입양하면 죄를 짓는 것 같아서’라는 응답은 13.6%였다.

자녀의 양육 여부 결정은 미혼모의 심리와 정서에 큰 영향을 끼치는 것으로 나타났다. 미혼모의 심리적 상태를 1점(전혀 아니다)에서 4점(매우 그렇다)의 4점 척도로 측정한 결과, 입양을 결정한 미혼모들은 평균적으로 슬프고(3.39), 후회스러우며(2.88), 절망스럽고(2.51), 화가 나는(2.46) 등 부정적인 심리 상태를 보였다. 편하거나 홀가분하다고 느끼는 정도는 1.7점에 불과했다.


Korean TV show features “little mom”

Park Mi-so, ‘Beautiful little mom’ pregnant at 16, gave birth at 17, “thought about adoption, but through a mother’s instinctive love…”

Beautiful 18 year old little mom “Park Mi-so,” who will appear on SBSE!TV’s show “Splat House,” (a women’s talk show) has caught the eye of netizens. (A “little mom” is a young unwed mother and Koreans say it in Konglish as “리틀맘.”)

Park Mi-so was pregnant at 16, gave birth at 17, and is now raising her 11-month-old son.

Park Mi-so was not amicable in her junior high years, and after she ran away from home with friends, she was shocked to find out that she was actually 7 months pregnant.

Before the day of birth, her parents were shocked to find out the truth. After the birth, Mi-so thought about sending the baby for adoption, but her heart was broken so she couldn’t do it.

The story of little mom Park Mi-so will air March 25 at 12:00. You can watch it through the internet at

Meanwhile, netizens who heard about the storyline reacted by saying things such as “It’s good to see the image of strong living,” etc.

Note: It seems that Koreans watch a ton of TV and that TV programs are very important for helping to both shape and reflect the culture. I hope this program helps to erase some prejudice against unwed moms. Translation by me.

박미소, ‘얼짱 리틀맘’ 16세 임신해 17세에 출산…“입양 생각 했지만 모성애로…”

SBSE!TV ‘철퍼덕 하우스’에 출연한 18세 얼짱 리틀맘 박미소씨가 네티즌들의 눈길을 끌고 있다.

SBSE!TV ‘철퍼덕 하우스‘에 출연한 박미소는 16세에 아기를 가지고 17세에 출산 현재 11개월된 아들을 두고 있다고 말했다.

중학교 시절 원만하지 않던 교우관계로 가출을 한 후 임신 사실을 모르고 지냈고 임신 7개월 때야 임신 사실을 알게 됐다고 말해 MC들을 깜짝 놀라게 했다.

또 그는 출산 하루 전 임신 사실을 부모님께 말해 깜짝 놀라게 했으며 출산 후 아이를 입양 보내려 했지만 가슴이 아파 그럴 수 없었다는 사연을 말하며 눈물을 흘렸다.

리틀맘 박미소씨의 사연은 25일 밤 12시 철퍼덕 하우스를 통해 확인 할 수 있다.

한편 소식을 접한 네티즌들은 “모성애가 최고다” “꿋꿋하게 사는 모습이 보기 좋다”등의 반응을 보이고 있다.


춘천 청소년 한부모 가정 양육비 지원

The sign says “unwed mothers’ home” and the paper the woman is holding says “adoption.”

Young one-parent families can apply for child-rearing allowance in Chuncheon

【춘천=뉴시스】유경석 기자 = 강원 춘천시는 올 하반기부터 만 25세 미만 미혼모에게 양육비와 의료비를 지원한다고 22일 밝혔다.

[Chuncheon = Newsis] Reporter Yoo Kyeong-seok = Unwed mothers under the age of 25 can get support for child-rearing allowance and medical costs in the city of Chuncheon, Gangwando Province starting in the second half of the year, it was revealed March 22.

이 사업은 여성부가경제력 능력이 떨어지는 25세 미만의 미혼모 등 한부모 가정의 자립을 돕기 위해 양육을 원하는 미혼모와 부를 지원하는 것으로 제1회 추경예산에 반영, 다음 달 시의회 임시회에 제출할 계획이다.

This project was introduced by the Ministry of Gender Equality to boost the self-reliance and financial means of one-parent families and unwed parents under the age of 25 who want to raise their children. The plan reflects the first revised supplementary budget, and is planned to be submitted at next month’s city council meeting.

선정기준은 소득인정액 기준으로 최저생계비 150%이하 가구로 2인 가족은 128만8120원 이하, 3인 가구는 166만6370원 이하로 만 25세가 될 때까지 최장 5년간 지원된다.

The selection criteria is that a family must have an annual income of less than 150% of the minimum cost of living which is 12,812,000 won for two people or 16,663,700 won for three people, and the applicant can get support for a period of 5 years, until they turn 25 years in Western age.

지원액은 양육비로 월 10만원, 의료비로 월 2만4000원이나 정확한 액수는 국비 예산지원 규모에 따라 추후 변동될 수 있다.

The monthly amount people can apply for is 100,000 for child-rearing allowance, 24,000 for medical examination, or the exact amount as determined later considering that the government’s budget can fluctuate.

이밖에도 고등학교 이하 중퇴자들이 검정고시를 준비할 경우 연 115만5000원이 지원된다.

In addition, high school dropouts who are getting ready for their high school equivalent examinations can apply for 1,155,000 won.

또 가구별 자산형성을 위해 자부담 1대1 매칭 방식으로 월 5~20만원, 친자검사 지원비도 가구 당 40만원이 지원될 예정이다.

Also, to build up the assets of the household, people can apply for a matching program to save 50,000-200,000 monthly. (For instance, if you put in 50,000, the government will match with 50,000).   Also, there is a plan to give 400,000 in support per household for the cost of a paternity test.

The translation is by me and corrections are welcome.  I’m not trying to do a word-for-word translation, but just one in which English-language readers can get the content.

Series of new articles

These articles are the prose-ified version of  the first half of the Powerpoint presentation that I gave on book tour. Also read the article by guest blogger Choi Hyung-Sook, an unwed Korean mother who is raising her own child after she got him back from the adoption agency.

Choi Hyong-Sook’s article:

My series:

And now for a stupid Korean video. Ha ha ha. Isn’t it funny?

Is It Possible for Homosexuals to Adopt?

Young Chung goes to the adoption agency.

Lady: Why did you come?

YC: I came because I want to adopt.

L: How old are you?

YC: I was born in 1985.

L: Are you married?

YC: I haven’t married yet. Actually, I’m gay. Anyway, I can’t even make a baby and adopting is the only way I can do it.

L: As you know, in Korea, homosexual families are not recognized under the law. Because those kinds of people can’t get recognition, if you adopt, you have to be single (celibate). Adoptions by single people have age restrictions.

YC: Age restriction?

L: Yes, the restriction is 35-50 years.

YC: If I can adopt, I’ll raise the child to be pretty  and be thoughtful. These days, I want to have a baby, but I can’t. Really, nobody can understand how I feel.

L: A person who is too old can’t adopt. Please understand. What I’m trying to say is, you have to tell me you’re going to wait or … Presently adoption is hard.

It’s not possible for homosexuals to adopt. However, singles can adopt if they meet the age restriction.