Adoptees from Korea to attend Winter Olympics - and lobby for changes to adoption laws

Tom Adams -

Eighteen Korean-born adult adoptees in the United States plan to travel to South Korea during the Winter Olympics to meet with lawmakers about reforming adoption laws in the country, according to this article from The delegation of adoptees is particularly concerned with a 2014 change to Korean law that affects both domestic and intercountry adoption, which requires mothers who wish to put up their children for adoption to sign a registry. "Critics contend the registry is pushing unwed mothers who want to avoid the stigma to instead abandon their babies - and abandoned babies can't be adopted," says the article. The result of this law, says Susan Soonkeum Cox, Vice President of Policy & External Affairs at Holt International, is that children end up living in institutions until they age out at 18. 

The delegates want to urge lawmakers to allow adoption as an alternative for institutionalization for these children, or to introduce new measures to support birth mothers and children to stay together. "It's important for people to know that we are not advocating for adoption," Cox said. "We're advocating for these children to have families."