Together with Korean adoptees
Almost 200,000 Korean children have been adopted internationally since the 1950s. Today hundreds of children are still being sent abroad for adoption every year. More than 90 per cent of babies put up for adoption are the children of unwed mothers, who fear being rejected by a socially conservative society.
When overseas adoptees reach adulthood, many choose to return to South Korea, to learn more about the country of their birth and search for family members.
KoRoot was established to support these overseas adoptees with the challenges they face in navigating an unfamiliar country and seeking answers about their family background and identity. Their guesthouse provides a welcoming home for ‘returnees’ on their visits to Korea, as well as a range of assistance including family tracing, trauma counselling and cultural events for returnees to build their understanding of Korean culture.
KoRoot is committed to reducing international adoption in South Korea.
Their research institute focuses on raising awareness of the issues surrounding overseas adoption by publishing books, translating key academic literature about adoption and child development into Korean. KoRoot promote alternatives to international adoption including family strengthening services and domestic adoption.
They collaborate with other volunteer groups in Korea to lobby for the country’s adoption law to meet international standards. Returning adoptees often participate in these events, sharing their first-hand experiences. In 2011 KoRoot established a ‘Single Mother’s Day’ that is now celebrated annually, to raise awareness of the rights of unwed mothers and reduce the stigma they face in society.