GOAL’s Dual Citizenship Campaign for KADs

Hi everyone.  I just got this message from GOAL on the K@W listserv.  It’s a great campaign and I support their efforts to increase the visibility of our community and what it would mean for all of us.  -GS


Global Overseas Adoptees’ Link (G.O.A.’L)
“The adoptee organization in Korea run by adoptees since 1998”
KPO Box 1364, Seoul 110-613, Korea
Phone: 82-2-325-6585 • Fax: 82-2-325-6570 • Website: http://www.goal.or.kr
Contact: Myriam Cransac, Campaign Coordinator FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Phone: 02 325 6585
Email: campaign@goal.or.kr
G.O.A.’L Initiates Global Campaign for Dual Citizenship
Seoul, 15th May 2008 – From 1956 until today a total of more than 160,000 children have
been officially adopted from Korea to fourteen different countries. The majority went to
the USA and an unknown number of Korean children have been adopted individually.
Global Overseas Adoptees’ Link (G.O.A.’L) is an organization that was founded in 1998 by
Korean adoptees who returned to Korea in order to live here, learn Korean or search for
their birth families. Since 1998, G.O.A.’L has been active within Korea and has lobbied for
inclusion of adoptees into the Overseas Koreans Act from 1999. Since then, many
adoptees from around the world continue to show interest in G.O.A.’L activities as well as
the Korean culture. Many adoptees have studied Korean, some have reunited with their
birth family and most importantly, Korean adoptees have manifested their will to take part
in the Korean society and to participate at the life of the country.
Today G.O.A.’L will launch a global campaign in order to support the right for Korean
adoptees to have dual citizenship. It would concern adoptees from countries that accept
themselves dual citizenship. These countries include: US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand,
France, Switzerland, Italia, the United Kingdom and possibly Germany, the Netherlands,
Sweden and Belgium.
Currently, the Korean law does not accept dual citizenship, as article 10 of the Nationality
Act of 1997 states “a foreigner who has acquired the nationality of the Republic of Korea
but maintains a nationality of a foreign country shall renounce the nationality of the
foreign country within six months after the acquisition of the nationality of the Republic of
Article 10, Nationality Act of 1997
Likewise, as article 12 reads, a dual national shall select one nationality before he reaches
22 years of age. It states “a person who has had the nationalities of both the Republic of
Korea and a foreign country by birth or by dint of the provisions of this Act (hereinafter
referred to as a “dual national”) before he reaches his full twenty years of age shall select
Global Overseas Adoptees’ Link (G.O.A.’L)
“The adoptee organization in Korea run by adoptees since 1998”
KPO Box 1364, Seoul 110-613, Korea
Phone: 82-2-325-6585 • Fax: 82-2-325-6570 • Website: http://www.goal.or.kr
one nationality before he reaches his full twenty-two years of age; and a person who
becomes a dual national after he reached his full twenty years of age shall select one
nationality within two years”
Article 12, Nationality Act of 1997
Today, Korean adoptees are considered as foreigners when in actually they never chose
voluntarily to give up their Korean citizenship. Actually Korean adoptees have a strong
interest to be part of the Korean people and by holding the Korean citizenship, this would
help make civil engagement possible as it would give them the right of vote. However
they shall not give up the citizenship of their welcoming country for all that. Many
adoptees got much love, caring and a good education from their adoptive family and
country, consequently it is difficult to ask them to cut the link with their respective
nationality. Obviously dual citizenship involves some problems of loyalty, but Korean
adoptees indeed experience loyalty for both of their countries. They are ready to manage
the rights and obligations involved by both nationalities.
This campaign acknowledges the issue of mandatory military service for males in Korea.
Immigration authorities are concerned with dual citizenship being misused to escape one’s
military obligation. It is important to note that under International Law, Korean adoptees
are considered “orphans” which therefore exempts them from having to serve in the Korea
By granting this right to Korean adoptees the Korean government could set a precedence
which is also very important for the thousands of international adoptees worldwide. Korea
was the pioneer in international adoption and can regain this status by changing the laws
accordingly. Korean adoptees represent a new type of “Global Korean” by speaking many
different languages and having the cultural knowledge of the countries they were adopted
in. Consequently the introduction of dual citizenship for Korean adoptees would benefit to
the Korean society by bringing a new multicultural aspect. In addition it would benefit the
adoptees as well, by giving them a larger and more complete sense of belonging.
Many examples holding dual citizenship and participating successfully to their country’s
public affairs can be mentioned: current California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger holds
both Austrian and American citizenship, and French current Minister of Justice and Mayor
of Paris’ 7th arrondissement Rachida Dati is citizen of France and Morocco. She represents
a symbol of the successful integration of the North African community in France. These
examples prove that the presence of citizens holding dual nationality can be an asset for
the country, especially for a country like Korea who values the quality of its community.
Global Overseas Adoptees’ Link (G.O.A.’L)
“The adoptee organization in Korea run by adoptees since 1998”
KPO Box 1364, Seoul 110-613, Korea
Phone: 82-2-325-6585 • Fax: 82-2-325-6570 • Website: http://www.goal.or.kr
This campaign is supported by advisory board consisting of Lee Jong-hoon (President of
the Institute of Governance and Management, Ph.d in Political Science) and Professor Lee
Chulwoo (Yonsei University, Ph.d in Law). Their knowledge is essential is the whole
campaign. Also supporting this campaign is a member of the Korean National Assembly,
Congressman Kim Chung-hwan.
In case you have any questions or would like to schedule an interview, please contact our office at
02 325-6585.


3 Comments on “GOAL’s Dual Citizenship Campaign for KADs

  1. Hi..I am an Korean adoptee. I have grown up in America since five and went to live in Korea during the nineties for awhile. I’ve also spent time in other parts of Asia teaching and have spent almost total of fifteen years in various countries.

    I would like to know more abou the dual citizenship and want to know if it matter if there had been any legal issues of prior time spent in Korea?

    Thank you,


  2. Hi Ki,

    All I can tell you about the campaign for dual citizenship is what I wrote in my post, and what is written on the GOAL website. I believe there is no minimal residence requirement, but I believe there will be some sort of service requirement. At the moment I think there is a push for adoptees to have some sort of a public or social services requirement since there has been talk about dual citizens fulfilling military duty.

    Again, I would contact GOAL, the Global Overseas Adoptees’ Link (www.goal.or.kr)

    Best of luck to you!

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