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Korean government sanctions out-of-wedlock baby factory!

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Single parents, teen mothers, children born out of wedlock, young people ‘living in sin’ suddenly accepted in Korea?!

Making the illegitimate legitimate in the ROK

Yeah, the title is a bit inflammatory, but when you boil it down, that’s what the government is advocating. Change is coming about in the land of the morning calm, a bit short of a 1960’s ‘love child’ acceptance, but making the illegitimate more legitimate is a first step. 

South Korea wants to root out age-old prejudices against single parents and unmarried couples who live together, encouraging more people to have children…
REUTERS.COM|BY BY CHRISTINE KIM AND JEE HEUN KAHNG
 

Will the real single parents please stand up, please stand up, please stand up!

Slim shady aside, the culture has progressed in many ways in the last two decades alone, the English word ‘sex’ has virtually lost it’s taboo, PDA has become ok (when I arrived in the late 90’s men held hands with men walking on the street – never wives, never women, no mixing of the sexes), women finally stopped being beaten for smoking in public (not to say that smoking is ok!), then men were able to hold hands with men again (in a different context) as same sex couples came out of the 옷장 (thanks Hong Seok-cheon [홍석천]), and finally (and most unbearably sluggishly 느리게), attitudes toward divorce have finally come out of the dark ages and are no longer a social death sentence… But two things have NOT changed,  acceptance of single Korean parents and acceptance of cross-cultural dating, marriage & children (but we won’t get into the second one today)! 

From 돌싱 [dol-sing] acceptance to 엄싱 [eom-sing] surrender? 

돌싱 (돌아온 싱글): single again, a return to being single after a divorce
엄싱 (엄마 싱글): a single mom (yeah, I just made it up, so what)

The government is ‘proposing’ to tackle this important social issue, not because it is wrong to discriminate against such people, oh no!, but because they can’t get anyone else to solve their baby problem?! ‎  #TIK‬: This is Korea

According to a new article by Reuters: “The average age of first-time South Korean mothers is the world’s highest, at 30.7 years, young couples living together before marriage is almost unheard of, and just 1.9 percent of children are born out of wedlock.” So the government is going to overcome generations of prejudice and patriarchy in order to stimulate an upsurge in offspring, ostensibly igniting the flames of lovers in an eruption of “misbegotten” babies, to induce an outpouring of progeny in a deluge of illegitimate descendants, to whip up a baby boom to pay for their aging population and aging economy. 

The issue of the birth rate is a real problem, but is this the way to tackle it?

The real issue, the wholesale mistreatment of an entire segment of the population, should be the real focus here. In light of the current realities, where “job-seekers in South Korea are often asked their family status, which can penalize single parents, and children of single parents are often stigmatized, even into adulthood,” do you really think a few regulators can do anything about prejudicial hiring and widespread mistreatment of single parents and their children without throwing the entire system, the strict confucian patriarchal culture into upheaval? And could such a small segment even make a difference the baby shortfall with its already paltry 1.89% of Koreas dwindling birth rate and no real support system for unwed mothers? 

Considering it’s history of sequestering pregnant teens and forcing them to give up their children to overseas orphan seekers or, worse yet, involuntarily initiating unwed mothers into the sort of machiavellian maternity home adoption agency baby factories alleged in A maternity home run by an adoption agency is a legal baby factory, ostracizing any who dare to expose their sin to the light of day, refusing to hire single mothers, and even abusing innocent children with far more than simple ridicule, can the ROK really have any chance of implementing a 180 in the Korean psyche? 

Korea could use some serious 엄싱 [eom-sing] or at least to take the leap towards acceptance, but it’s still rather sad that the government is not stepping in due to the unfair treatment, abuse and harassment these people are subjected to… only for the birth rate?!  

The “pushback” is likely to be hard, but at least they are talking about change. Or could the government be using the aging population and reticence of willing (married) mothers as a clever ruse to tackle a greater social issue… Not likely, but an excuse to start a conversation and hopefully make some changes none-the-less.
 
Let’s not #‎TIK‬ this one for once. 
 

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