“KUMFA (Korean Unwed Mothers’ Families Association) is an organization that was starting by and for unwed mothers themselves. It started as a Naver Cafe and then expanded to an offline monthly meeting where moms can participate in educational lectures, exchange information, etc. In addition, KUMFA holds camps for each major holiday in Korea, in order to provide family environments for moms and children during holiday seasons. KUMFA also provides educational, advocacy, and counseling support programs for unwed mothers.
KUMFA’s vision is a society where unwed mothers can raise their children without discrimination, and our mission is to become a society where the right to respect unwed mothers’ choices and their right to pursue happiness should be preserved.
KUMFA has also worked with TRACK, ASK, and KoRoot (adoptee advocacy groups) to help pass the revisions to the Special Adoption Law in 2011, which will help bring Korea up to standards of the Hague Convention on the Rights of the Child. The link between international adoption and unwed mothers in Korea is clear – currently, 90% of the over 1,000 babies that are sent from Korea each year now are those of unwed mothers in 2019 – a tragic indication of the difficulties that unwed mothers in Korea face.
Finally, in the beginning of 2011, KUMFA opened HEATER, a shelter for unwed mothers to raise their children. In 2018, the 2nd Heater opened, allowing more unwed pregnant women and unwed mothers to stay in need of residential space and emergency assistance. Each year it houses and feeds up to 30 mothers and their children. Mothers and their children stay at HEATER for two months or if necessary, more. It is a unique place in that, unlike other facilities in Korea, HEATER accepts mothers who are older and/or have children. Some of the children need medical attention.”