South Korea to investigate hundreds of old adoption cases | WORLD
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South Korea to investigate hundreds of old adoption cases

An attorney submitting documents to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Associated Press/Photo by Ahn Young-joon

South Korea to investigate hundreds of old adoption cases

South Korea’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission said Thursday it would investigate 237 more cases of South Korean adoptees who suspect their records may not be accurate. The commission first accepted 34 cases in December, and hundreds more adoptees have applied to have their cases investigated. The commission said the family-origin records of many adoptees sent to the United States and Europe were manipulated, falsely describing them as orphans or faking their identities to smooth the adoption process.

Why would authorities falsely describe them as orphans? Families in Western countries adopted about 200,000 South Koreans, mostly girls, over the past 60 years—mostly during the 1970s and ‘80s. At the time, South Korea was ruled by a series of military dictatorships that saw adoption as a tool to reduce the number of mouths to feed and reduce the number of unwed mothers. 

Dig deeper: Listen to Jenny Rough’s report on The World and Everything in It podcast about a lawyer who helps moms navigate the legal mazes of adoption.

Mary Muncy

Mary Muncy is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. She graduated from World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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