Since the 1950s, when the Korean War occurred, the Korean peninsula has been divided into the communist country of North Korea and the capitalist country of South Korea. International adoption of children from South Korea began in 1955 when an Oregon farmer named Harry Holt was so moved by the plight of Korean War orphans that he and his wife, Bertha, adopted eight children from South Korea. The arrival of these children in Oregon received an enormous amount of attention from the press and prompted other people to adopt Korean children. Since then, about 200,000 South Korean children have been adopted internationally by families in America, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, France, Germany, and Luxembourg.
Today, South Korea remains a favorite choice for Americans pursuing international adoption. In 2004, 1,716 children from South Korea were adopted by American families. No dossier is required for international adoptions from South Korea, and travel is optional. The children available for adoption from South Korea are housed in foster homes, where they receive lots of warm, loving, one-on-one attention. Furthermore, South Korea’s medical system is world class and on a par with the medical standards of the U.S.
Credits: The International Adoption Guidebook, © Mary M. Strickert
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