14 Reasons Why This Adoptive Parent is not a Fan of the Drop Box Hype

The Drop Box film has enjoyed substative popularity in the United States.

As a mother of transracially adopted children, I have been asked frequently what I thought of the movie and the idea. Each question is clearly punctuated by a resounding sigh full of positivity and tearful bubble hearts.

I have not seen the movie.

I don’t plan to see it.

For anyone else not seeing the movie, the gist of it is that a South Korean minister has developed a special drop box wherein parents can “drop” their babies without being noticed — no questions asked. Presumably, the babies will then be placed in foster care or orphanages and, ultimately, for adoption.

As of yet, the drop box is only available in South Korea, but it sounds to me like Americans are ready to jump on the bandwagon.

Here is why I will not be one of them:*

1.  Drop boxes blame mothers for not being able to care for their child. 

Drop boxes view the problem as that of a woman who cannot, should not, or does not want to parent and so needs a place to abandon her baby without any attached ties or repercussions.

Basically, it’s the mother’s fault that we need these boxes. 

The shaming of unwed young women who become pregnant in South Korea is about a billion, trillion times more intense than over here. Virtually all of the children relinquished these days in South Korea either have physical disabilities… or have unmarried mothers. And those children are going into orphanages and largely not being adopted, because while some adult Korean adoptees have managed to pressure the South Korean government to nearly end outbound international adoptions, South Koreans, because of their cultural prejudices, are not picking up the slack and adopting in significant numbers. So these children will end up in orphanages. And no baby box is going to change that. — Mark Hagland, co-founder of Transracial Adoption Group

This attitude alone perpetuates the stereotype of the irresponsible woman, one that has stigmatized both single motherhood and adoption for centuries. Drop boxes conjure images worthy of Les Miserables or just about anything by Charles Dickens — a wonton woman dressed in rags, desperately combing the village for a place to abandon her bastard child.

That image needs to die. Mothers who are unable to care for their babies could easily be you and me — were it not for a circumstance or two. I guarantee you that every single person reading this post knows a mother who has placed (or was forced to place) a child for adoption. You just might not know that you know her. She’s your doctor, your babysitter, your electrician, the mother of your child’s best friend, the grandmother down the street, your grandmother. She is likely neither a romantic story for you to sing nor a tragic trollop for you to judge.

2.  Drop boxes are a bandage, hiding, not healing, an institutional problem.

Here is the real problem that makes drop boxes, rather than solutions, so desirable to many:

America is all about the shame.

A.  America shames single, impoverished, and mentally ill women for getting pregnant.
B.  America shames women who use birth control.
C.  America shames women for terminating a pregnancy.
D.  America shames women who do not want to be a mom (yet or ever).
E.  America enacts all kinds of legislation that punishes shameful women.
F.  America shames mothers and fathers who do not have the resources to care for their baby.
G. America refuses to help shameful mothers and fathers who do not have the resources to care for their baby.
H. America places more value on financial security than familial bonds, believing children to be better off growing up outside of their family of origin — rather than in shameful poverty.
I.  America prefers to shame parents who are struggling to parent in a healthy manner, and then separate them from their children, rather than help parents stop struggling.
J. America is super duper afraid of talking about sex and its potential outcomes. It’s shameful.

Rather than forcing America to face these systemic attitudes and issues, drop boxes absolve the system of its duties to parents and children.

3.  The institution of drop boxes attempts to solve a problem at the wrong end.

We should be solving problems before issues that lead to adoption can occur (see #2) — not after children are already born into difficult circumstances.

4.  The fact that drop boxes elicit inspiration and warm fuzzies means it could become a more preferred method of dealing with parents who cannot care for their babies without assistance.

We talk a good game about adoption. We speak of those poor unfortunate mothers and fathers who knew they could not care for a baby and so made the very difficult and selfless decision to place their baby in the drop box/at the safe haven/up for adoption. Look, if your choice is either sainthood or shame (see #2), the pressure is on to choose sainthood. How about if, instead of offering up quick fixes that run the risk of hurting a lot of people in the long-run (like those kids we keep saying solutions like drop boxes are for), we work harder to make the parents’ preferred choice for what is best for their baby the one that actually happens (See #2I)?

5.  Parents might feel pressured into using the drop boxes over finding other solutions to the parenting struggles they face.

Adoption is an industry. In order for the industry to continue to flourish, it needs babies. Babies who are unattached are highly desirable to many potential adoptive parents. Therefore, it behooves for-profit adoption agencies to fill those drop boxes to the brim. Therein lies the potential for pressure and the absence of enough assistance.

6.  Parents might feel that the drop boxes are their easiest or only viable solution to their parenting struggles.

A better solution would be to make the other solutions more easily accessible to parents in need.

7.  I’m not real comfortable with all the potential adoptive parents salivating over prospects in South Korea due to the release of the drop boxes and their accompanying movie.

In case you are unaware, the various waves of adoptions coming out of South Korea have not been universally popular amongst two populations in particular — Korean adoptees and their families of origin.

Click here to read a piece from the New York Times Magazine that offers some examples and explains how adoptees from South Korea are returning to their place of birth.

Click here to read a story about how some Korean adoptees are working to end Korean adoptions.

Click here to read about the experience of a Korean woman who, feeling ostracized by the prevailing shame thrust upon single mothers in Korea (see #2 about America), put her son up for adoption.

South Korea does not need another wave of adoptions. Like the United States, it needs solutions to a system that brings the waves on the first place.

8.  Drop boxes effectively eliminate the option for reunification.

What happens if parents change their mind after placing their child in a drop box? Having done so anonymously and without adequate records, it will either be difficult to find their baby or they will be required to jump through potentially insurmountable hoops to reunite with their baby.

9.  Drop boxes rob children of their history. 

I hope this one is self-explanatory. If not, here’s the synopsis: Many adoptees find it difficult and painful to know nothing about their medical and ancestral histories.

10.  Drop boxes rob children of any connection with their families of origin.

According to the Independent Adoption Center (and just about everyone else), “Current research on open adoption shows that adoptees in open adoptions have better psychosocial outcomes than adoptees in semi-open and closed adoptions.”

The anonymity of drop boxes prevents this from ever being an option, even when the children become adults and want to find their parents.

11. Drop boxes rob families of origin of any connection with their children.

When open adoptions are done in a healthy manner, many parents who place children for adoption, and their families, find them to be healing.

The anonymity of drop boxes prevents this from ever being an option, even when birth families are ready to connect with their children.

12.  Drop boxes make it possible for mothers to drop babies off without the consent of the fathers.**

Though we tend to forget this when we are judging women for getting pregnant, babies are made by both women and men. Just as men should be held responsible for unplanned pregnancies, they should also have as many rights to make the best choices for their children.

The use of drop boxes can bypass the rights of the fathers.

13.  Mothers who require post-partum medical care might not get it after placing a child in a drop box.

Safe havens, though suffering from some of the same problems as drop boxes, at least leave the possibility open that a mother may receive necessary medical care.

14.  Drop boxes are excessively adopter-centric.

See #1-#13. The image of a baby in a box doesn’t exactly help to reverse this perception. You might as well just stick a bow on the box and deliver it to the lucky waiting adoptive parent.

*My bonus reason for not supporting the drop box movement: The religious nature of the drop box movement ignores that the Biblical mandate to care for widows and children does not mean to do so at the expense of the widows and children.

 

Instead of getting all wrapped up in the hype of a sentimental movement and its accompanying movie, we need to enact reforms that reduce the need for adoption in the first place.

* Please note that this is a criticism of the drop box concept itself, not a review of the movie.

**A commenter, Anenomekym, offered an addition to #12 that I think is important to add. She said,

“Here’s another: The mother might not even know that her baby was put in this box for abandonment. The mother might be devastated upon learning (if she ever finds out the truth) that her baby is now gone from her.”

 

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45 Responses to 14 Reasons Why This Adoptive Parent is not a Fan of the Drop Box Hype

  1. Many great reasons.

    Here’s another: The mother might not even know that her baby was put in this box for abandonment. The mother might be devastated upon learning (if she ever finds out the truth) that her baby is now gone from her.

    • anenomekym, that is an incredibly important addition and one I did not even consider. Thank you. I think there are probably many more reasons not to do the drop boxes that we will learn along the way.

  2. Well-written and heartfelt. As much as I believe the pastor is doing this with a good intentions, I agree, this is just a band-aid for a complex set of solutions that starts with changing a societal mindset that shames anything less than the ideal picture of parental progression and responsibility.

    I would like to expound on your bullet points by number, from a Korean adoptee perspective:

    2. America does have its version of the dropbox. It’s called the local fire station, police station, or hospital. Many states offer the option to new mothers to drop off their babies at these places, no questions asked.

    4. Sometimes it’s not the mothers who give up the child. Sometimes a parent is forced to give up the child under duress from societal or family pressure due to re-marriage, stepfamilies, or even bad marriages where the children were used as pawns by the spiteful spouse. The poor, single mother trope is a common stereotype. How do I know this? I’ve heard these and many other stories from other adoptees. I was floored to hear of these atypical stories that don’t follow a linear adoption narrative progression. I know an adoptee whose birth parents were MARRIED and economically stable, yet her and a sibling (not all of them, just these two) were given up for adoption because of the father.

    7. Because of the efforts of adoptees changing South Korean law, the number of international adoptions has dropped significantly, and with tighter restrictions. As much as people are going to get the sudden urge to “save” all these poor children, they’re going to have a harder time doing so, for good reason. We’re not cute, fluffy pets that can easily be rehomed after you grow tired of us (well actually, you have illegally re-homed some of us, but that’s another story). We grow up, we question, we will seek to reclaim our rights to know our own history, regardless if it hurts our adoptive parents’ feelings. It’s not about you, it’s about us. Your biological family history is not our history, no matter how hard you try to tell us otherwise. Your health issues cannot be transferred to us just by changing our name; likewise, if we have health issues, it sure would be nice to know how much of it was inherited.

    12. Fathers can, and have, dropped off children at the drop box. It’s just not as common, and it may or may not have the knowledge or consent of the mother.

    • Jane,
      I so appreciate hearing your perspective as a Korean adoptee. You’ve offered information about which I was unaware, further demonstrating how much damage programs like the drop boxes can do to the very people they are supposed to serve.

      Especially important here is the fact that it is not just mothers and fathers who would be putting the babies in the drop boxes. That is devastating to the children, mothers, and fathers. The only people it would benefit are adopting parents who prefer not to know anything about the child they are adopting.

  3. I haven’t seen the movie either, but I’m not really getting the criticism here. It sounds like the pastor is filling a very critical immediate need. Is it not possible to meet this need while also addressing the institutional and cultural reasons it happens? What would happen if there was no box? That said, I checked out the website and found some red flags. It is produced/promoted by Americans with heavy Christian leanings (I absolutely disagree with Focus on the Family’s politics!). Again, not seeing the movie I don’t know what it’s like, but it could be so easy to paint a two dimensional story of a hero rescue and let the feelings and thoights of everyone else fall by the wayside. I’m kind of curious to see this. It’s certainly an uncomfortable topic, but if done right – if voices of adoptees, birth parents, of Koreans who live in these communities are included – I think it could be powerful and thought provoking. Kind of hard to criticize a movie you haven’t seen.

    • Thanks, Puzzled, for responding. While I agree it seems on the surface like he could be fulfilling an immediate need, what he is doing is turning the clock back on adoption ethics a good half century. He is also turning the clock back even further on women’s issues. The first real immediate need is to make sure that women who don’t want to be pregnant are able to prevent a pregnancy from happening. The second is that adequate help be given to families who are faced with financial issues so tumultuous that they feel placing their child in a box is their only option.

      I am also no thrilled with the Christian leanings of the movement — not because there are religious beliefs attached to it, but because the Christian orphan movement has been quite damaging already.

      • Uh, this pastor is not singlehandedly doing anything but caring for extremely vulnerable children. I feel for the children who are abandoned this terrible way and know there are some very raw feelings around this, but I don’t think the pastor is creating the problem. Sorry, but this post is just half-baked. I’m not giving all my money to poor pregnant women nor am I handing out condoms on the street – am I also guilty of turning the clock back on women’s and adoption issues? I am also highly critical of religion in adoption, and the warm fuzzies in adoption drive me nuts. But there are a lot of logic leaps here, mischaracterizations (there’s no “drop box movement”) and it is still not resolved what to do with unwanted children NOW. I love me some good adoption ethics discussion, but I’m kinda thinking I won’t be back here for more.

  4. Thank you. This is a fabulous post and I will be sharing.

    And for this: “Mothers who are unable to care for their babies could easily be you and me — were it not for a circumstance or two. I guarantee you that every single person reading this post knows a mother who has placed (or was forced to place) a child for adoption. You just might not know that you know her. She’s your doctor, your babysitter, your electrician, the mother of your child’s best friend, the grandmother down the street, your grandmother. She is likely neither a romantic story for you to sing nor a tragic trollop for you to judge.”

    I could literally kiss you. Yes yes yes.

    Another fact, the use of drop boxes in South Korea has NOT reduced infanticide.

    • Claudia, thanks for responding and sharing (and for the kiss).

      I appreciate the fact about the lack of reduction in infanticide in South Korea. I’ll look more into that. It’s pretty important.

  5. Please watch the movie first if you’re going to criticize it. It’s better to have a short term fix that saves lives than none. And there aren’t drop boxes in Korea. It’s just A drop box that a pastor made in hopes to save these babies that could otherwise be abandoned and left to die. You’re totally missing the point here.

    • Rereading this, I’m second guessing the whole point of the post. It seems to criticize the movie, but then just goes on and on about the boxes themselves. If people are criticizing the act of child abandonment itself, then, well yeah I think everyone is on board with that. Nobody is offering any real alternatives, though! Maybe we can address the systemic issues to end drop boxes in 30 years, but how to we help babies now? There’s a whole lot of feelings behind this post, but I wish I knew who or what they were directed at!

      • As history has shown, using bandages such as this one greatly benefits the adoption industry and potential adoptive parents. As long as the bandage is maintaining the supply of babies these entities desire, there is no reason to change the system. The ones hurt by such a system — the babies and their families of origin — will never have enough power to force change as long as adoption remains a profitable industry.

    • I agree with you, Jen. I’m seeing a lot of criticism for this movie among a circle of fellow adoptees I’m a part of on Facebook, but I can’t take any of them seriously when they all admit to not having seen the movie. Watch it first, then criticize.

      • Thanks, Suzi, for commenting.

        Are you saying people cannot criticize a movement if they haven’t seen the movie about it? There are plenty of ways to research the idea of a drop box that are far more thorough than a movie put out by an organization that also heavily promotes the Christian orphan movement.

    • Thanks, Jen, for responding. To be clear, I am criticizing the movement, not the movie. I use the movie as a jumping off point to the discussion and to anchor the discussion in time (as the movie recently came to the US).

      If you read from the looks in the post and from some adoptees here in the comments, you will see how many adoptees have problems with the drop box. Since they ar the most affected by it, their words matter.

  6. Here are some facts some people should know before criticizing the movie. Unlike here in America where we have drop boxes everywhere like the hospital and fire stations where you can give up your baby anonymously and no questions asked, in Korea, by law you can not just give up your child anonymously. This is the reason why so many babies get abandoned in the streets left to die. The pastor who started this box, he did this, so that the baby can live but also so that the mother would change her mind and be able to come back and find her baby safe. There has been so many instances where the mother would come back for her baby or the pastor and his staff would try to catch the mom while she is putting the baby into the box and they would counsel and minister to her. In fact, that is their primary goal. To have the mom take her child back. They are doing a good thing there and it saddens me to see some people see this so negatively.

  7. The problem is that the focus here again is how to make it easy for a mother to give up her child. The focus needs to be on preventing unwanted pregnancies in the first place and removing a family’s financial barriers to raising children.

  8. So are you suggesting we should just get rid of drop boxes since they encourage mothers to abandon their babies easily?

  9. I saw the documentary and was touched by the compassion Pastor Lee has for the children, especially the special needs children. It was heartbreaking to hear his adoptive son try to hold back emotion as he spoke of his own adoption and loss of his natural family, but just like most adoptee’s he quickly switched from raw emotion to intellectualizing. That is what is expected of us because it would make everyone too uncomfortable. So we internalize. He spoke of his stomach turning every time he hears the bell.
    http://www.PeachNeitherHereNorThere.blogspot.com

    • Thank you, Samantha, for your comment.

      What I am finding in the comments here and elsewhere is that many are judging the boxes based upon their own comfort levels, rather than what people within the option triad have stated.

  10. You are a hypocrite. If the Dropbox is a band-aid then so is Adoption. Replace the words, same thing. I can’t take your stance seriously because you choose to ignore so many factors, plus you totally ignore the MANY happy outcomes. Sigh..Sigh..Sigh

    • Oh, thank you, Merle. I haven’t been called a hypocrite in far too long. It’s always good to be reminded that I am human. Of course, you give no details as to why I am a hypocrite so I guess I’ll just have to figure that out myself.

  11. Great post. You hit the nail on the head with A-J, and women’s struggles in Korea are even more pronounced. It’s great to see a list of how society still tries to control women and reproduction in one listing. We often see these concepts standing alone or a few lumped together, but when looking at your full list, it’s so apparent we still have such a long way to go. Somehow our culture (and the Korean culture) has latched onto the idea that the deeply personal decision of when and if a woman becomes a mother is fair game for any old bystander to critique. Thank you, also, for bringing out that this is about shame and lack of women’s equality.

    To the questioners who ask what is wrong with the drop box (not the movie per se), here is my simple answer. It reduces an enormous societal issue – economic and gender equality – into the physical version of a sound bite. What is more feel good than a little box where people can safely drop off babies? Yet we need to look at this with a finer lens and examine the reasons for this and how we are contributing to its perpetuation (not just the box, but adoption in general). I don’t think anyone would dispute that a society where a drop box is not necessary is a good thing. The box is not a panacea to the endemic discrimination that women face. If people leave the theater questioning why the box exists, that is great. If people leave the theater with a warm fuzzy feeling, then I hope they dig deeper.

    I’m a happy adoptee, but I’m not blind.

  12. Adoptette, than you for commenting. It is vital to hear how adoptees feel about things like this.

    I totally agree with your statement that we need to dig deeper if we leave the theater (or post or news article — my additions) feeling warm fuzzies. It would be like leaving watching Schindler’s List with warm fuzzies because of the ending where all the survivors are putting rocks on the memorial. The very fact that it inspires warm fuzzies means that people are ignoring the underlying problems.

  13. . Your 14 “reasons” are illogical and this is coming from a KOREAN OVERSEAS ADOPTEE.
    If I were to list my reasons for why, it would take forever. So, I’m not going to do that. But your statement of, “As of yet, the drop box is only available in South Korea, but it sounds to me like Americans are ready to jump on the bandwagon.” Isn’t even true. You haven’t seen the movie and you obviously don’t know your facts. South Korea is not the only country with a drop box and don’t get me started on the rest of your article. SMH.

    • I haven’t seen the movie either, and I have no intention of doing so. I have visited this babybox, am familiar with the neighborhood, and as a KAD who was one of the MANY “abandoned” in Korea for exportation, I am against this babybox. Sixty years of child abandonment, and South Korea is STILL pushing for more child abandonment, erasure of their children’s histories with identity reassignment, while continuing to deny many people knowledge and access to their own histories.

      Regardless of the pre- and post- adoptive lives of KADs, I think it’s pretty sad when KADs uses their voices to encourage MORE families to lose their children and more children to lose their families, as if we should strive for a world of child abandonment. In an ideal world, every child would be abandoned, right? NOT. No wonder S. Korea leads with the lowest birth rate in the developed world, when they care so little about children or are advised to abandon their children.

      I appreciate the author of this blog for creating this list. As we know, there are more good reasons that she didn’t include.

  14. My pastor handed me the printed copy of your blog post to ponder and comment on. Since I recently went to see the movie The Drop Box and I also have a child with Down Syndrome, I walked away and read it, not once or twice but many times. I live in Ontario but was born and raised in the US. This further qualifies me to comment on the article that was written obviously from an American perspective. I would like to go over the 14 points and give my opinion. I seriously wasn’t even going to comment since you really don’t have a clue about the movie, how can you, you didn’t see it. So, in fairness, you have no right to judge it, IMO. But, you did so here goes.

    1) there was not one mention of blaming mothers, if anything, compassion for the women. Men were not mentioned, but let’s face it, unwanted pregnancies rarely have men in the picture. Single motherhood is not stigmatized in the US, in South Korea, yes. A dead infant will not solve this injustice.

    2) every point about America and the shaming is false. For one, birth control pills are given out by the handfuls for free by any public health facility, no age limit. Free Pap tests and medical advice is also given. No judgement, no shame, at all.
    There are approximately 1 million babies murdered annually by abortion. It seems in your opinion, abortion would be a solution to the drop box, a child is still dead, those children still wind up in dumpsters. So abortion over a child living and being adopted, really? How can you be for adoption and yet propose abortion?

    Welfare is given out regularly, to unwed mothers and fathers, no shame. The list goes on with this category. Give me a break, There is no shaming in the US for anything.

    3)I’m not sure how you would change this one, abstinence has been taken out of schools, the only sure way of no pregnancy is no sex. Handing out condoms or the pill left and right does not change this. To preach safe sex is ridiculous, obviously it doesn’t work, hence teen pregnancy.

    4) I guess the warm fuzzies would be finding dead infants all over, this is what Pastor Lee found, regularly. No warm fuzzies here, a lot of crying though.

    5)the solution you would have is??? How else would you save such babies that are not wanted? I would like to see your planning.

    6)in South Korea, which by the way is not the US, there doesn’t seem to be an alternative. These caring mothers want to have their baby survive.

    7)I’m not thinking I’m heading over to SK to get a child soon, to even say such a thing is repulsive, but I did notice your children were from Haiti, were you salivating? Or did you see a need and want to help. I’m wondering if your children are upset with you for taking them from Their homeland.

    8)I’m thinking when a person is desperate they are not looking to find their child again. I’m thinking a dead infant would not be reunited either.

    9)I repeat number 8, a dead infant has no history.

    10)repeat number 9

    11)we are talking desperation here, not warm fuzzies of adoption.

    12)I will agree on this one, but again, women are the ones stigmatized in SK, men don’t have to answer for a growing belly and telling parents.

    13)if a girl is desperate, she doesn’t want anyone to know period. Letting a child die doesn’t change that fact.

    14)that’s ridiculous to even say, period.

    If you had watched the movie and knew the children Pastor Lee adopted you would see the compassion he has for the children. His own son is deformed, with multiple disabilities, this is what led him to make the drop box. You can say what you like about this movie, I for one applaud Pastor Lee. Many of the children I saw on the screen looked like my son, each valuable in Gods eyes. It takes a special couple to adopt 15 children, all with some form of disability. I know the work and endurance it takes to raise a child with Down Syndrome, and I have only one. This man is the hands and feet of Jesus Christ.

    In your own American thinking, you believe you have the solution for a rising social problem in South Korea. The stigmas there and here are totally different but just as many infants are found dead in the US in dumpsters. The only reform needing to be done is changing the heart of people, which is sinful. We need to call on a Savior, Who adopts us when we accept Him. This is the only solution to a world in which there is no value of life, no acceptance of imperfection, no hope outside of Jesus Christ. Only He gives us hope. I pray as you sit and put out judgement on a man who is doing exactly what Jesus has taught us to do, you will see the bigger picture, every life has worth, Pastor Lee sees it, as do I

    • I am reviewing the dropbox itself, using the movie as an introduction. This is not a review of the movie. I have researched the box plenty. It is possible to discuss and criticize a concept without seeing a movie about it.

      It is very clear we are coming at this from very different viewpoints. It’s always interesting to hear the views of others.

  15. I thought you were very clear that you were addressing the concept of “drop boxes”, specifically in the US…

    “As of yet, the drop box is only available in South Korea, but it sounds to me like Americans are ready to jump on the bandwagon.

    Here is why I will not be one of them:*”

    Drop Boxes is just the newest incarnation of Foundling Wheels and Revolving Cradles. How many times does the current society need to learn what history has already taught us?

    I appreciated this post – one thing I would add is that even Safe Havens are not necessary, all that was needed was to revive the service the state offered to mothers back in the middle of the last century, call them up and relinquish and we’ll find a home for the baby. I would note that it is likely that most states actually still offers this service – education is then the only thing needed, instead of making the child suffer through life never knowing.

  16. While you may not like the idea of a dropbox it is hard to deny the need for a dropbox or something like it when babies are being abandoned on the street. That baby being abandoned on the street really does not care about your religion,politics, or what you long term 30 year solution is to the problem of abandoned children. Yes there are many reasons for abandonment, many are cultural that will not change over night or maybe not in 30 years. If you want to change the reasons for abandonment then you start working on it. It is not enough just to say abandonment should not happen. In the mean time, while you work on the 30 year solutions let the good Reverend go about his mission of helping those babies that need help now. There is room for both.

    • Richard, that baby doesn’t remain a baby for the rest of his/her life. When he/she grows up and wonders about his/her unknown history, reason for abandonment, or how many strategic lies were told to cover up his/her true history and identity, then religion, politics etc. may feel very important.

      Some dedicated and courageous people in South Korea have been working to address the reasons for ‘abandonment’. The work of Mr. Lee does nothing to curb child abandonment, instead his actions and publicity encourage it. The insistence of Mr. Lee to encourage child abandonment makes the work of those supporting family preservation that much more difficult. South Korea has had a child abandonment problem for more than 60 years. It’s about time for the S. Korean government to stop talking and making promises to support S. Korean families, but instead actually start supporting families and returning the histories and identities that were taken from S. Korean “abandoned” children decades ago.

  17. This was mommymeasit’ reply to Leno Emo’s critique of her “14 reasons”: “It is very clear we are coming at this from very different viewpoints. It’s always interesting to hear the views of others”

    I was going to respond to each of the “fourteen reasons” myself. However if all I will get is “politeness” then I won’ bother.

    Of course people see things diffefently, and of course hearing the views of others is sometimes “interesting”; but what about the substance of Leno Emo’s response? Could she be making some points which mommymeansit has not considered?

    The question left unanswered for me after reading the “14 reasons” is – what do we do with unwanted and abandoned babies in Korea while Koreans work to change the society? I could also ask why is mommymeansit being so mean to the Korean pastor; but since mine would simply be a “different viewpoint, I won’t bother.

    • Steve, this is a very confusing comment given that your profile on Gravatar (where clicking on your name here takes me) reads, “When it comes to arguments my motto is ‘let’s agree without being disagreeable'”.

      I’m not 100% sure what that means because it sounds like you are saying that people just need to agree and not argue — a concept with which I absolutely do not agree. But you do stress politeness in that statement — so why would my polite response to Leno be a problem? It is clear to me that I am not going to change Leno’s mind and I have already written out my 14 reasons — so why argue?

      • To “agree without being disagreeable” is to express differing opinions without rancour or enmity. The most robust debate ought to find us friends at its conclusion. What is “confusing” about this?

        Politeness is not the problem! Leno Emo took the time to respond to each of your “reasons”. You, in turn, simply dismissed her arguments without engaging them. My point is, why put forward an argument and when someone attempts to show the flaws in it you disengage? Why not instead rebut their argument(s)?

        One expects reasonable (and honest) persons, like yourself, to respond favourably to truth. You must know Leno Emo very well to know that “it is clear that you (are) not going to change his/her mind”.

        If in a discussion we are not engaging the arguments of others by expressing our own strongly held view(s), with a view to changing their minds, and getting them to see what we believe to be the truth, then, respectfully, all we are doing is grandstanding.

        • I see. So if a singer does a concert and does not engage every person in the audience individually, s/he is merely showing off?

          C’mon. This is the internet in 2015. People write things by choice and then people choose to read them. Nobody forced anybody to come read this post. It is not my responsibility to hold anyone’s hand through a discussion, nor is it my responsibility to engage with anyone with whom I feel engagement would go nowhere.

          Though I do not personally know Leno (and I suspect you do), the fact that she was not moved to re-consider her beliefs by the post, combined with history, tells me that arguing with her would be an exercise in futility, at best — an insult to her, at worst. I am not interested in either — thus, the polite response.

  18. Your post is interesting and thought provoking. I also am an adoptive parent of two wonderful Korean daughters. I also did not choose to see this movie…not because it was a Christian film—but because the drop box is the old way. These children need to be able, if they choose to, discover their birth family. Then they can begin to understand themselves. My youngest daughter suffers from bipolar disorder, probably inherited. It would be nice to know what is in a persons family history, so when those surprises in life appear, we can better understand, and questions can be asked. Hope I said it okay…life is a journey with highs and lows, and we are always running to embrace hope. All children need an identity of their own. That said, however, Pastor Lee is a hero for saving what he can. The birth mothers are the unsung heros because they gave the child life, the ultimate gift.

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