Single Moms in Korea

My friend, HaYoung, shared this article with me: Group Resists Korean Stigma for Unwed Mothers.

The article takes a look at the treatment of unwed mothers in Korea- many are forced/strongly encouraged to abort the baby (even though it is illegal) or give the baby up for adoption. I wonder what sort of stigma the fathers face? If it’s anything like America, the fathers are generally ignored whilst the pregnant mothers are stigmatized as sluts. See the scene in Juno when she’s talking to her baby’s father, “Are you ashamed we did it, because at least you don’t have the evidence under your sweater, I’m a planet.”

But what stood out most to me in this article is the section where the American man talks about how he used to see adopting Korean babies as heroic, and then realized that he was only putting a band-aid on the wound. He decided we should be treating the cause of the wound- the unfair treatment of single mothers in Korea- instead. Not that adopting babies is wrong, but it’s just a different way to think of adoption, anyway…

And of course, I think it’s fabulous and brave that there are women and men in Korea who will stand up to customs and societal norms in order to reach out to a marginalized population. Especially when this marginalized population only wants the right to raise their own children and continue to be treated as human.


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