Diplomat, now with own kids, gives up adopted girl
9th December 2007, 16:45 WST
A senior European diplomat working in Hong Kong has promoted outrage by giving up the seven-year-old Korean girl he adopted with his wife as a baby.
The unnamed diplomat handed the girl over to social workers in Hong Kong saying the adoption had not worked out, the Sunday Morning Post reported today.
The man and his wife adopted the girl as a four-month-old baby in Korea, where he was working at the time, when they thought they could not have children of their own.
The diplomat’s wife has since had two children and decided to hand the girl over to social workers in Hong Kong because the diplomat said the adoption had “gone wrong,” the newspaper reported.
Social workers and the Korean community in Hong Kong are now trying to find a new home for the girl, who is in the care of an expatriate foster family in the former British colony.
The girl, who speaks English and Cantonese but not Korean, is neither a citizen of her adoptive parents’ home country nor a Hong Kong resident so her future in the territory is uncertain.
The diplomat told the newspaper his family was struggling to cope with their decision and said his wife was undergoing therapy after giving her adopted Korean daughter away last year.
“It’s just a very terrible trauma that everyone’s experiencing,” he was quoted as saying. “It is something we have to deal with.
“My Foreign Ministry knows about my situation. I have also been in touch with the Hong Kong government and they have been very helpful to me and so has my own employer.”
The plight of the girl, described by the newspaper as healthy and happy, has sparked anger and bewilderment among members of the Korean community in Hong Kong who have flooded the country’s consulate with offers of help.
A Korean magazine has carried appeals for Hong Kong-based Koreans to adopt the girl, explaining that her adoptive mother “has since had her own two children so they gave her up for adoption”.
Under Korean law, adopted children cannot be returned by their adoptive parents but no such law exists in Hong Kong.
Read the article here