🇰🇷 South Korea's Solo Mums | 101 East

🇰🇷 South Korea's Solo Mums | 101 East

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South Korea’s Solo Mums -101 East

What drives single mothers in South Korea to abandon their babies?

Park Da Hoon was 25 when she became pregnant and her boyfriend left her. She hid her pregnancy from her colleagues and parents, and gave birth in a hospital alone. Park says her family would have made her abort the baby. Abortion is illegal in South Korea unless under exceptional circumstances, but an estimated 300,000 cases take place every year.

Soon after childbirth, Park left her baby at a church in Seoul.More than 500 other desperate mothers have done so since 2009, after the pastor, Lee Jong Rak, set up a baby drop box in response to news of many abandoned newborns. He offers the mothers counselling and gives their babies temporary refuge.

Seen as irresponsible and unreliable, single mothers like Park suffer social discrimination. She even lost her job for “not fitting in with company values”.

Her parents eventually let her retrieve her daughter but she is among the lucky ones. The stigma against unwed mums is so strong in South Korea that most of them either give up their children or are left to raise them with minimal support. Children born out of wedlock are also ostracised in school.

In 2012, the Korean government passed a controversial adoption law intended to make it easier for children to find their birth parents and to deter unwed mums from giving up their newborns. The law makes it compulsory for a single mum to nurse for seven days before deciding whether to keep her child. She also has to register the birth in official records. Giving a baby up for adoption now requires consent from both the baby’s parents and sometimes grandparents.

Pastor Lee says the law “kills babies” by forcing more mothers to illegally dump their newborns. The number of baby box drop-offs has more than quadrupled since the law passed. Lee has folders full of letters from desperate mothers who left their babies with him, often depressed and even suicidal.
Lee’s church records reveal one in four mothers retrieve the babies.
The remaining children are sent to shelters where many are adopted by overseas couples. Local adoptions are rare because of the stigma attached to unwanted babies.

Through the eyes of single mums battling the odds in South Korea, 101 East explores their struggle to hold onto their babies and their dignity.

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43 thoughts on “🇰🇷 South Korea's Solo Mums | 101 East

  1. The courts need to step in, every baby has a father. Mothers should be able to request paternity test and ensure that the father takes at least financial responsibility for the child. This is not a woman’s problem, it’s societal.

  2. It hurts to see that single mom's are treated like this here. So she had a baby so what! She was mature enough to take responsibility and try to find work to cater for their needs. The mentality of the employers are no narrow and ridiculous. Everyone makes mistakes that is how we learn and grow. If people don't learn from their mistakes then that's a problem. But here a mom is trying to make ends meet, trying to care for her daughter and her family clearly showing how mature she is and we have some people who think they're saints. I really have no words for these kind of people who think mistakes are what define a person. Truly despicable.

  3. I have huge respect for single moms.
    No abortion unless its rape. Its not the childs fault. Its your fault you got pregnant.
    The fathers who run from their responsibilities are lower than dog shits.

  4. so what being a single mom? A severe punishment should be given to the irresponsible father. Then, it may help to overcome this issue more effectively.

    it's unfair if only the mom & innocent children are forced to face all these unfair judgement from the society, family & friends…
    & the irresponsible father are free from all these unfair judgements in these society & lead a good life out there n causing more pregnancy & more single moms…

    what r the government doing??? why is the children's father free from all these unfair judgement???

  5. Some of the men who form these perfect families probably abandoned a child back in the day. Just because they marry their now girlfriends does not make them a perfect family. Perfect are parents who love the child. A single mom can provide a stable home

  6. As if it isn’t hard enough to raise a child on your own because the father abandoned them.. but it’s even harder because the country treats you like a villain. Disgusting.

  7. South Korea has the highest drinking rate! South Korea has one of the highest ratio of plastic surgeries, South Korea has higher ratio of single mothers, South Koreans work approx 12- 18 hours per day….South Koreans need JESUS to pull their life together! ASAP….

  8. Its a sorrowfull!, south korea SO CALLED HIGH STANDARD of LIVING, and CONSERVATVE SOCIETY?CLASSEFIED AS FIRST CLASS SCIETY? My OPINION they might missleading their VALUES in their Cultural Belief

  9. To pastor Lee and to all the staff who help him, thank you for the unconditional love that youre showing to all the babies and special children, for taking care of them, when no one’s there for them when they open there eyes to this world.

  10. Another misogynistic culture created by men where women and children suffer! 😡. The unwed fathers go on happily impregnating more women! Men are never held accountable…nor do they suffer! Sickening!!!🐀🤬👺

  11. Bless the Pastor. May the Creator continue his mission through him. Such a good man in Jesus Christ. God bless him.
    My heart breaks for these mothers. Couldn’t imagine what they had/have to go through. May the Almighty heal their hearts and keep them strong and courageous. In Jesus Christ’s name. Amen!

  12. Start punishing the men. And then watch the abortion clinic. They will force the women to abort the babies next.
    Put harsher punishment on the men.
    South korea is indeed misogynistic country.

  13. I can’t believe how damage is Korean society, she’s a mother like everyone else she loves her child it’s so hard to understand? She has more values than the other ones trying to fit on a damage society with 0 values.


  15. Big example : Norway 🇳🇴 the parents are living LA VIDA LOCA ! Crazy life and then , Government comes to your house and take kids away. You’ll never seen them again. Stop following their agenda!! Principles and moral are not old fashion !! The kids don’t deserve to come to this world to pass for this. Love your kids and make them good human beings.

  16. Well, this happen because all the satanic western countries they spread their liberalism and libertinage. They spread feminism and sexual liberalism. Why? For you to sleep with any dog and bring kids to feed their satanic agenda. They will get the kids from orphans , rape and kill them .

  17. It is called child support S.Korea get with it. These women did not make these kids alone. These men are just as responsible as these women. Men should also be stigmatized….it takes two to tango!

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