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SBS-TV Program Intended to Encourage Domestic Adoption

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  • Sunny Jo
    Hankooki.com Korea Times Arts & Living Celebrity Foster Mom SBS-TV Program Intended to Encourage Domestic Adoption By Han Eun-jung Staff Reporter For the
    Message 1 of 1 , May 3, 2004
      Hankooki.com > Korea Times > Arts & Living

      Celebrity Foster Mom
      SBS-TV Program Intended to Encourage Domestic Adoption

      By Han Eun-jung
      Staff Reporter
      For the past four weeks, audiences across the nation watched big screen
      leading lady Chon Do-yun cradle baby boy Son-kyu in her arms. As Chon
      fed, diapered, and bathed him, he so preciously cooed back at her.
      Anybody could have easily mistaken Chon for the baby's mother.

      But wait a minute _ Chon, the star of ``Untold Scandal,'' is single and
      never did media headlines flash news of pregnancy or birth. What is
      going on here?

      Chon was taking part in ``Sarangui Witakmo (Celebrity Foster Mom),'' a
      new addition to SBS's ``I Like Sunday's'' that was brought to audiences
      for the first time five weeks ago.

      Just as the title implies, an orphan is placed in the care of a
      high-profile celebrity. The two spend approximately two weeks together
      and the taping is aired over a total of four episodes.

      In the first episode, Chon met little orphan Son-kyu and those tuning in
      at home watched as the two bonded.

      Chon took the boy in her arms and looked after him just as any mother
      would. In no time the two were inseparable as they embarked upon a
      special two-week journey. Then, shown in the fourth and final episode,
      Chon takes Son-kyu to the airport where he is to leave for his new
      permanent home.

      Those tuning in at home see a side of movie star Chon they have never
      seen before. With eyes red from all the crying, Chon hands a journal to
      the caretaker who is to accompany Son-kyu on the plane. The caretaker
      opens the journal to find entries handwritten by Chon explaining
      Son-kyu's eating and sleeping habits. The caretaker gives Chon her word
      that the journal will be given to Son-kyu's parents upon arrival and
      with that, their 14-day relationship ends.

      ``The corner is intended to encourage domestic adoption,'' producer Yu
      Yun-jae explains. ``The number of children adopted within the country
      comes nowhere close to the number sent overseas.''

      Known to the rest of the world as the ``leading orphan export nation,''
      South Korea ranked number one when it came to sending children overseas.
      It was only a few years ago that South Korea dropped to third place. In
      2003, 2,287 children were sent abroad whereas the number of domestic
      adoptions stood at a mere 1,244, according to the Ministry of Health and

      ``Even when children are put into the homes of Korean families, the fact
      that the child was adopted is in more cases kept a secret from the
      child. The importance of `open adoption' is something that the corner
      also emphasizes.'' Yu added.

      Open adoption and secretive adoption are just two of the many
      adoption-related issues that viewers are informed of through the show.
      Social workers provide statistics about adoption and parents who have
      adopted in real life give words of advice.

      Kang Young-nim, domestic adoption field director at the Social Welfare
      Society, feels that `Celebrity Mom' can be of great help in changing the
      whole attitude our community has on adoption.

      ``The Korean society greatly emphasizes blood relationships which is
      what causes the hesitation and fear to adopt,'' Kang said. ``With their
      own eyes, viewers will realize that our precious children are being sent
      to North American or European countries when they could always be
      provided homes here.''

      Another main issue Kang addresses in the program is the best interest of
      the children. ``There is always the fear the children will be exploited.
      The first show of its kind, as long as `Celebrity Foster Mom' is well
      aware that the interest of the child should be the top priority at all
      times, it can be a helpful way to promote adoption.''

      Part two of the show began Sunday, following singer Um Jung-ah as she
      becomes a foster parent for sweet Su-jin.

      ``I Like Sundays'' airs on SBS weekly on Sundays at 6 p.m.


      04-25-2004 19:09

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