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First Korean Single Mom’s Day

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  • Sunny Jo
    First Korean Single Mom s Day 2011-05-05 14:28 Celebrations during Korea s family month of May are to recognize single mothers in the country s first ever
    Message 1 of 2 , May 5, 2011
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      First Korean Single Mom's Day

      2011-05-05 14:28

      Celebrations during Korea's family month of May are to recognize
      single mothers in the country's first ever Single Mom's Day.

      Unwed mothers and their children are to be celebrated and supported at
      a conference exploring issues ranging from international adoption to
      the discrimination these small families often face.

      Attendees will celebrate the event on May 11 by sharing enough
      birthday cakes to feed 1,000 people outside Kyobo bookstore in Seoul's
      Gwanghwamun.

      The cakes made by Mi n Mi Cake bakery will be given out at the
      bookstore's sunken garden at 12 p.m. to wish a collective happy
      birthday to kids raised by single moms -- who often lack support in
      Korea.

      Children will also be given presents bought through a gift drive for
      the conference hosted by the Korean Unwed Mothers and Families
      Association (Miss Mama Mia), the Korean Single Parent Association,
      Truth and Reconciliation for the Adoption Community of Korea and
      KoRoot.

      Miss Mamma Mia member, Jo Su-yung, 41, who requested a toy car for her
      son through the gift drive, told why she decided on raising her child
      without a husband on falling pregnant: "Forty is somewhat of an old
      age, so I decided to have my child. It has been hard, but I don't
      regret it one bit and we are living a strong and bright life
      together."

      The international conference aims to raise awareness about challenges
      facing single mothers, and to encourage the Korean government to
      provide more support to help them raise their children rather than
      feeling the need to resort to adoption.

      TRACK president Jane Jeong Trenka, who has written three books about
      her own experiences as a Korean adoptee in America, said: "We decided
      to organize single mom's day because this year is the 6th year that
      the government and adoption agencies have organized adoption day to
      promote domestic adoption.

      "Since around 90 percent of Korean children put up for adoption come
      from single moms, we want to promote family preservation and support
      for them rather than adoption."

      Kwon Hee-jung, executive director of event sponsor, the Korean Unwed
      Mothers' Support Network, which also works to change attitudes toward
      unwed mothers, agreed: "Our society has not accepted their (unwed
      mothers') right to be mothers for a long time and the majority of
      people naturally think they are supposed to give up their babies for
      adoption.

      "This is against human rights and now it is time to recognize
      motherhood out of marriage as legitimate as motherhood inside
      marriage."

      Unlike in many Western countries, Korean single mothers are often aged
      25 or older.

      Single mother Kim Deuk-won, 33, said: "Education is so important
      because I believe it is the most efficient way to change prejudices
      around us."

      The international conference titled, "Redefining Family: Moving from
      Adoption to Family Preservation" is to be held at the Community Chest
      of Korea conference room on May 11 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

      Speakers will discuss official positions on international adoption as
      well as hearing first-hand stories from international adoptees and
      single mothers.

      One such mother, Choi Hyung Sook, has stood up to tell her story -- in
      the face of discrimination by those around her.

      She initially gave her baby up for adoption after becoming pregnant at
      the age of 35. The father refused to be involved in the child's life,
      and her older brother warned her that raising the baby would affect
      their parents too.

      "In Korean society, raising a baby alone is not just my problem," she
      explained, referring to the stigma imparted on the entire family.

      But when she took her son back to care for him herself she was forced
      to close her beauty shop after people discovered she was an unwed
      mother. After the local press reported that she did not have a
      husband, people began calling to check that it was true.

      After six months, sales dropped, and coworkers began discriminating
      against her. "The drop in sales was difficult, but more difficult was
      the hurt I received from other people," she said.

      "These people were like my family, they came to my home and we ate
      together. But because I am an unwed mother ... they thought badly of
      me."

      Although she has struggled financially and emotionally, she says she
      has no regrets.

      "Even though life is difficult, when I see my son smile, I live for that."

      No registration is required for the International Conference and
      freewill donations are accepted from those attending on the day. Visit
      http://justicespeaking.wordpress.com for more information, details on
      donating to the gift drive or to contribute in other ways.

      By Hannah Stuart-Leach (hannahsl@...)

      http://www.koreaherald.com/national/Detail.jsp?newsMLId=20110504000899
    • Sunny Jo
      First Korean Single Mom s Day 2011-05-05 14:28 Celebrations during Korea s family month of May are to recognize single mothers in the country s first ever
      Message 2 of 2 , May 27, 2011
      • 0 Attachment
        First Korean Single Mom's Day

        2011-05-05 14:28

        Celebrations during Korea's family month of May are to recognize
        single mothers in the country's first ever Single Mom's Day.

        Unwed mothers and their children are to be celebrated and supported at
        a conference exploring issues ranging from international adoption to
        the discrimination these small families often face.

        Attendees will celebrate the event on May 11 by sharing enough
        birthday cakes to feed 1,000 people outside Kyobo bookstore in Seoul's
        Gwanghwamun.

        The cakes made by Mi n Mi Cake bakery will be given out at the
        bookstore's sunken garden at 12 p.m. to wish a collective happy
        birthday to kids raised by single moms -- who often lack support in
        Korea.

        Children will also be given presents bought through a gift drive for
        the conference hosted by the Korean Unwed Mothers and Families
        Association (Miss Mama Mia), the Korean Single Parent Association,
        Truth and Reconciliation for the Adoption Community of Korea and
        KoRoot.

        Miss Mamma Mia member, Jo Su-yung, 41, who requested a toy car for her
        son through the gift drive, told why she decided on raising her child
        without a husband on falling pregnant: "Forty is somewhat of an old
        age, so I decided to have my child. It has been hard, but I don't
        regret it one bit and we are living a strong and bright life
        together."

        The international conference aims to raise awareness about challenges
        facing single mothers, and to encourage the Korean government to
        provide more support to help them raise their children rather than
        feeling the need to resort to adoption.

        TRACK president Jane Jeong Trenka, who has written three books about
        her own experiences as a Korean adoptee in America, said: "We decided
        to organize single mom's day because this year is the 6th year that
        the government and adoption agencies have organized adoption day to
        promote domestic adoption.

        "Since around 90 percent of Korean children put up for adoption come
        from single moms, we want to promote family preservation and support
        for them rather than adoption."

        Kwon Hee-jung, executive director of event sponsor, the Korean Unwed
        Mothers' Support Network, which also works to change attitudes toward
        unwed mothers, agreed: "Our society has not accepted their (unwed
        mothers') right to be mothers for a long time and the majority of
        people naturally think they are supposed to give up their babies for
        adoption.

        "This is against human rights and now it is time to recognize
        motherhood out of marriage as legitimate as motherhood inside
        marriage."

        Unlike in many Western countries, Korean single mothers are often aged
        25 or older.

        Single mother Kim Deuk-won, 33, said: "Education is so important
        because I believe it is the most efficient way to change prejudices
        around us."

        The international conference titled, "Redefining Family: Moving from
        Adoption to Family Preservation" is to be held at the Community Chest
        of Korea conference room on May 11 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

        Speakers will discuss official positions on international adoption as
        well as hearing first-hand stories from international adoptees and
        single mothers.

        One such mother, Choi Hyung Sook, has stood up to tell her story -- in
        the face of discrimination by those around her.

        She initially gave her baby up for adoption after becoming pregnant at
        the age of 35. The father refused to be involved in the child's life,
        and her older brother warned her that raising the baby would affect
        their parents too.

        "In Korean society, raising a baby alone is not just my problem," she
        explained, referring to the stigma imparted on the entire family.

        But when she took her son back to care for him herself she was forced
        to close her beauty shop after people discovered she was an unwed
        mother. After the local press reported that she did not have a
        husband, people began calling to check that it was true.

        After six months, sales dropped, and coworkers began discriminating
        against her. "The drop in sales was difficult, but more difficult was
        the hurt I received from other people," she said.

        "These people were like my family, they came to my home and we ate
        together. But because I am an unwed mother ... they thought badly of
        me."

        Although she has struggled financially and emotionally, she says she
        has no regrets.

        "Even though life is difficult, when I see my son smile, I live for that."

        No registration is required for the International Conference and
        freewill donations are accepted from those attending on the day. Visit
        http://justicespeaking.wordpress.com for more information, details on
        donating to the gift drive or to contribute in other ways.

        By Hannah Stuart-Leach (hannahsl@...)



        http://www.koreaherald.com/national/Detail.jsp?newsMLId=20110504000899
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