In the 15 years I have been involved in the Korean adoption community, the recent two deportations of Korean adoptees are the fourth and fifth of its kind. I know there are more, adoptees of other birth countries, but five is too many. I am especially incensed by this because it is preventable. You can blame the system of beauracracy whereby adoptive parents have to go to court and certify their children in order for them to be considered American citizens. This process has changed for most international adoptions, but Korea is not one of them. I don’t find complete fault with the bureaucracy. Adoption is not like giving birth. My blame lies more with the parents. I can’t help it. What were they thinking? It is particularly essential for Korean adoptive parents to do this paperwork not only because of fear of deportation but also to ensure their sons will not be called to fulfill their military obligation if they are in Korea before they turn 35 or 37. Korea is still at war and this obligation is must for Korean men of a certain age. To learn more about the military service, I found this really interesting blog – ASK A KOREAN.
I understand why people might get deported. I am not naive to the idea that people commit crimes and if they are not citizens of this country, deportation is a form of punishment. But deporting a person who is supposed to be loved and raised by their American parents who chose to claim him/her “as if they were our own” feels like an oxymoron. It just feels wrong to say adoption is just one option among many to create a family and then have a situation like this that makes so many of us feel like we are not nor ever will be a part of a family.
There are advocates in Korea fighting for these young people. I know that we all try and keep a pulse on where they go and how they fare. It is a challenge. But in the meantime, I hope you might consider signing this petition.