Korean Adoptees Want to Stop IA: Korean Adoptees Worldwide Network, Thanks to Layne Kim Collage 1 https://theworld.org/stories/2017-03-01/korean-adoptee-meets-his-birth-mother-and-winds-moving-her

Halting Intercountry Adoptions from Korea for Human Rights

In Adoptee Stories, All, Featured, Korea Adoptees Worldwide News Articles, Special Request by KAW

Korean Adoptees Worldwide (KAW) unequivocally advocates for the complete cessation of intercountry adoptions from Korea. This special request elucidates the critical reasons behind our call for action, emphasizing historical wrongs of human rights violations and the imperative of adhering to established international laws, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

Historical Wrongs and Human Rights Violations:

1. Deprivation of Identity: Intercountry adoption from Korea has led to the permanent loss of cultural identities and severed connections with families.

2. Demand-Driven Market: The industry’s commercialization exploits children as commodities, perpetuating a demand-driven market.

3. Undermining Social Support: The practice erodes the establishment of essential social support systems within communities.

Children’s Rights and UNCRC:

1. Children’s Rights: Intercountry adoption must prioritize children’s rights to family, identity, and preservation of cultural heritage.

2. UNCRC Mandate: The state’s responsibility to protect children’s rights is underpinned by the UNCRC, which it is legally obligated to uphold.

Rationale for Action:

1. Inherent and Natural Rights: Supporting families in their communities is a sustainable approach.

2. Market Disruption: Intercountry adoption undermines the progress of robust social systems for child welfare.

3. Children are Not Commodities: The commodification of children contradicts natural, inherent, and unalienable rights recognized in human rights declarations and constitutions.

Redress for Victims:

KAW strongly advocates for a comprehensive redress mechanism for all victims of intercountry adoption, aimed at acknowledging historical wrongs and providing justice.

Specific Calls for Action:

1. Immediate Cessation: South Korea must halt all intercountry adoptions and adhere to UNCRC mandates it is legally bound by.

2. No Ratification of Hague Adoption Convention: Refrain from ratifying the Hague Adoption Convention. It is not a human rights instrument but an instrument by the demand side of intercountry adoption.

3. Independent Truth Commission: Allow the Truth Commission to operate independently, without undue influence from adoption special interest groups.

4. Preventing Influence: Prevent adoption profiteers and associated individuals from interfering with the correct interpretation of the UNCRC.

5. Redress Scheme: Implement a redress scheme enabling adoptees to seek individual compensation.

6. Independent Authority: Establish an independent authority for the victims’ legal and social inquiries, family searches, and more.

7. Centralized Records: Transfer all relevant documents, including communication, adoption files, and stakeholder interactions, to this independent authority.


KAW stands committed to ending intercountry adoptions from Korea, addressing historical wrongs, and ensuring that human rights violations are redressed. We urge South Korea to demonstrate leadership by adhering to UNCRC principles and refraining from practices that undermine children’s rights, i.e., Hague Adoption Convention ratification. The establishment of an independent authority solely rooted in recognizing human rights, for adoptees’ support, and the meticulous transfer of records will contribute to rectifying past injustices and pave the way for a just and humane future.

Korean Adoptees Worldwide Network

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