Unmarried foreigners get support to raise kids

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Unmarried foreigners get support to raise kids

Foreigners raising a child of Korean nationality alone will be eligible for government support, according to the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family on Tuesday.
 
The ministry announced that the Cabinet Tuesday passed revisions to the Single-parent Family Support Act made last October.
 
Single-parent family support is available to low-income single-parents who earn less than 52 percent of the median income and have children under the age of 18. It includes childcare expenses of 200,000 won ($178) per month for each child.
 
Previously, Article 5-2(3) of the Single-parent Family Support Act defined a foreign single parent as "a foreigner ... who has married a citizen of the Republic of Korea, raises a child with Korean nationality and resides in the Republic of Korea." Thus, only foreigners who divorced or whose Korean spouse died were eligible for governmental support as a single-parent.
 
The revision allows foreign single parents who have not married a Korean and are raising a child of Korean nationality to receive support. The ministry did not specify whether those raising an adopted Korean are also included.
 
According to the gender ministry, about 1,400 foreign single parents have received support, and an additional 100 foreign single parents who weren't married will be eligible thanks to the change.
 
The ministry also plans additional support for single-parent families who are already basic welfare benefits. Childcare expenses will be 100,000 won every month for each child under 18 years old.
 
In addition, younger single parents -- aged 25 to 34 -- with low incomes will be given additional monthly child support of 100,000 won for children under the age of five, and 50,000 won for children between six and 17.
 
"We were able to expand foreign single-parent support through the revision of the enforcement ordinance," said Gender Equality and Family Minister Chung Young-ai, adding, "We will make every policy effort to help single-parent families enjoy a stable life without discrimination."
 
Those eligible can apply for child care expenses at local government offices or online at online.bokjiro.or.kr.
 
BY SEO JI-EUN   [seo.jieun1@joongang.co.kr]
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