KADs overall really need to stop thinking of themselves as war orphans. A few really are, but the vast majority really aren’t. As long as we as a community are ignorant of history and today’s realities in Korea, the agencies can keep us apathetic and/or compliant. (By realities, I mean, for example: Korea’s wealth, exceedingly low birthrate, even lower birthrate to unwed mothers, and structural discrimination against unwed mothers who dare to bring children into the world.)
The graph above shows how in South Korea, there is no relationship between poverty/war and international adoption. While the GDP was steadily rising, international adoptions also went up. You would expect that the poorer the country is, the more adoptions there would be. But in the case of Korea (and other countries as well), the number of adoptions has more to do with the development and efficiency of the adoption industry. You can also see how the adoptions were affected by politics because the line is so irregular, as opposed to the smooth line of economic growth. I am not showing exact numbers here, just the trend. (For the exact numbers, please look below at the tables.)
Here’s another graph above showing overseas adoption and GDP. Here again you can see that from 1991-2010, while the economy was getting better and better (despite a dip from the IMF crisis), the adoption program stayed quite stable. Only in more recent years has there been a decrease.
Table with exact numbers below:
|President or dictator(& other events)||Year||Overseas Adoptions||PP Converted GDP Per Capita of Korea, G-K method, at current prices (in International$)|
|Korea joins OECD||1996||2080||15188.51|
|(law to ban international adoption is introduced at Korean National Assembly and fails.)||2006||1,899||24115.32|
|(Dandelions protest to end international adoption)||2007||1,264||25933.95|
|(Amendment to Special Adoption Law passed)||2011||916|
|(Special Adoption Law enforced)||2012||755|
|Park Geun-hye||2013||300 (projected)|
Adoption statistics from the Ministry of Health and Welfare, ROK
Read a short history of Korean adoption by Tobias Hübinette.