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3819South Korea files motion in Cook County to stop adoption

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  • Sunny Jo
    Jan 26, 2013
    • 0 Attachment
      South Korea files motion in Cook County to stop adoption
      Evanston couple embroiled in state, federal court dispute to keep
      7-month-old girl


      By Lisa Black, Chicago Tribune reporter

      January 27, 2013

      An Evanston couple accused of circumventing South Korea's adoption
      procedures have temporary care of a baby girl while they continue to
      fight for her permanent custody in state and federal courts.

      On Thursday, the South Korean government filed a motion to intervene
      in adoption proceedings that were initiated by Jinshil and Christopher
      Duquet in Cook County Circuit Court, said Donald Schiller, a lawyer
      representing South Korea.

      "Korea wants to protect its citizen," Schiller said. "There is no more
      vulnerable citizen than an infant child that has been illegally taken
      out of the country. The U.S. wouldn't stand for it if it happened
      here, and Korea is not going to stand for it."

      The Duquets, who lost guardianship rights over the child in another
      court, are moving on two legal fronts to keep Sehwa, who is 7 months
      old. Besides filing for adoption here, they have petitioned a federal
      court, requesting that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security allow
      a federal immigration judge to decide whether Sehwa should be
      deported.

      The couple have said they thought they were participating in a legal
      private adoption in South Korea in June, when the baby was born, but
      were given bad advice by a South Korean lawyer. The child's birth
      mother and grandparents signed documents giving up parental rights and
      do not want the baby back, both sides agree.

      "The baby is in a loving family," said Justin Burton, a lawyer for the
      Duquets. "I am really hoping that people take the best interests of
      the child at heart. The best interest is for the child to remain with
      a loving family."

      The Duquets maintain that the baby is being used as a political pawn
      in South Korea, which has tightened laws regarding international
      adoptions while giving incentives for its own citizens to adopt.
      Despite policy changes, there remains a cultural stigma against
      adoption in that country, leaving many children in orphanages, experts
      say.

      Schiller contends that the Korean government has identified families
      interested in adopting Sehwa.

      Customs officials at O'Hare International Airport first flagged the
      child's entry into the United States in June, when Jinshil Duquet
      brought her from South Korea. Sehwa lacked the proper visa for a
      prospective adoption, setting off a chain of events that resulted in
      South Korea's demand that the child be returned to her homeland.

      The couple lost legal guardianship over the child in early January,
      when the South Korean government intervened in the court process and
      pointed out that the Duquets failed to go through a licensed adoption
      agency.

      South Korea is expected to make the same case in Cook County's
      adoption court, where a legal guardian has been appointed to represent
      the child. The adoption proceedings are closed to the public.

      lblack@...

      By Lisa Black, Chicago Tribune reporter

      January 27, 2013

      An Evanston couple accused of circumventing South Korea's adoption
      procedures have temporary care of a baby girl while they continue to
      fight for her permanent custody in state and federal courts.

      On Thursday, the South Korean government filed a motion to intervene
      in adoption proceedings that were initiated by Jinshil and Christopher
      Duquet in Cook County Circuit Court, said Donald Schiller, a lawyer
      representing South Korea.

      "Korea wants to protect its citizen," Schiller said. "There is no more
      vulnerable citizen than an infant child that has been illegally taken
      out of the country. The U.S. wouldn't stand for it if it happened
      here, and Korea is not going to stand for it."

      The Duquets, who lost guardianship rights over the child in another
      court, are moving on two legal fronts to keep Sehwa, who is 7 months
      old. Besides filing for adoption here, they have petitioned a federal
      court, requesting that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security allow
      a federal immigration judge to decide whether Sehwa should be
      deported.

      The couple have said they thought they were participating in a legal
      private adoption in South Korea in June, when the baby was born, but
      were given bad advice by a South Korean lawyer. The child's birth
      mother and grandparents signed documents giving up parental rights and
      do not want the baby back, both sides agree.

      "The baby is in a loving family," said Justin Burton, a lawyer for the
      Duquets. "I am really hoping that people take the best interests of
      the child at heart. The best interest is for the child to remain with
      a loving family."

      The Duquets maintain that the baby is being used as a political pawn
      in South Korea, which has tightened laws regarding international
      adoptions while giving incentives for its own citizens to adopt.
      Despite policy changes, there remains a cultural stigma against
      adoption in that country, leaving many children in orphanages, experts
      say.

      Schiller contends that the Korean government has identified families
      interested in adopting Sehwa.

      Customs officials at O'Hare International Airport first flagged the
      child's entry into the United States in June, when Jinshil Duquet
      brought her from South Korea. Sehwa lacked the proper visa for a
      prospective adoption, setting off a chain of events that resulted in
      South Korea's demand that the child be returned to her homeland.

      The couple lost legal guardianship over the child in early January,
      when the South Korean government intervened in the court process and
      pointed out that the Duquets failed to go through a licensed adoption
      agency.

      South Korea is expected to make the same case in Cook County's
      adoption court, where a legal guardian has been appointed to represent
      the child. The adoption proceedings are closed to the public.

      lblack@...


      http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-korean-adoption-update-20130127,0,6596253.story