[Letter to the editor]Foreign adoptions
The story of Jade and the result of her private adoption that has put this child in a very bad situation concerns me. I am an American serviceman stationed in Korea. My family adopted our first son during our last assignment here in Korea in 2002.
This adoption was accomplished through Eastern, a local adoption agency, and we went through a family home study and background check before the adoption of our son was approved. When we returned to Korea in 2004, our hearts led us back to our son’s former orphanage, with the desire to adopt another child.
We were informed that domestic adoptions by foreigners in Korea would not be allowed any longer and the only way for us would be private adoption. Without the option of domestic adoption, United States service members stationed in Korea must adopt privately.
This is no easy process for many of the families we personally know who have adopted or are trying to adopt Korean children. The only way I see to prevent a situation like what happened to Jade would be to allow domestic adoptions by foreigners living in Korea so a local agency like Eastern can perform all the background checks on the prospective family before an adoption is approved.
There are many U.S. service members and their families who would love to adopt a Korean child and give them a loving home and all the opportunities they can, but the private adoption process hinders them. Approving domestic adoptions would protect these children and make the adoption process smoother for all concerned.
Daniel Berdine, Seoul