This page contains legal based information regarding international policies on adoption
and the rights of unwed mothers in Korea. Please take a look and feel free to share!

Special Adoption Act

On August 5, 2012, the Korean government enacted the Special Adoption Act. These revisions were lobbied into law by adoptee and unwed mothers’ groups (such as KUMFA, Adoptee Solidarity Korea, and Truth and Reconciliation for the Adoptee Community of Korea) in order to help bring Korea up to the standards of the Hague Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Monitoring South Korean Intercountry and-Domestic Adoption From a Human Rights Perspective

In April 2012, this paper was officially submitted to the United Nations. It identifies two types of failures within the Republic of Korea regarding intercountry adoption: 1) failure to regulate abuses in the adoption processes and 2) failure to protect social and economic rights. “Despite Korea’s long history of intercountry adoption, despite its full knowledge of the widespread abuses in adoption processes, despite its economic capability to provide regulation, and despite repeated calls to take remedial action, South Korea does not take appropriate action. This paper identifies some major problems, and makes recommendations for action.”

How to Improve Government Welfare Services for Low Income Unwed Mothers in Korea (Eng/Kor)

Published in 2010 by the Korean Unwed Mothers Support Network (KUMSN) and Korea Women’s Development Institute, this study reviews the welfare services provided by the Korean government for unwed mothers and looks at the degree to which these services are being utilized. According to this study, the Korean government provides “various welfare services for unwed mothers who are suffering from economic difficulties, but many Yangyukmihonmos continue to voice concerns about the financial hurdles they face while rearing their children…[and] the actual welfare services that are perceived to be helpful by Yangyukmihonmos seem to be limited.” Based on these findings, the study also suggests recommendations for improving the current welfare services.

Adoption Policies Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare

This 2007 Korean adoptee resource book contains information from the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare on various adoption policies. There is information about measures for promoting domestic adoption as well as information on the requirements and procedures for intercountry adoption through different adoption agencies.

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

Adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1989, this convention specifies the civil, political, social, health, economic, and cultural rights of children. It requires that countries act in the best interests of the child. Currently 194 countries have ratified, accepted, or acceded to the treaty. This includes all members of the United Nations except the U.S., Somalia, and South Sudan.

Convention On Protection Of Children And Co-Operation In Respect Of Intercountry Adoption

“The Hague Convention of 29 May 1993 on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention) protects children and their families against the risks of illegal, irregular, premature or ill-prepared adoptions abroad. This Convention, which operates through a system of national Central Authorities, reinforces the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (Art. 21) and seeks to ensure that intercountry adoptions are made in the best interests of the child and with respect for his or her fundamental rights. It also seeks to prevent the abduction, the sale of, or traffic in children.”