North Korean Children to Be Placed in American Foster Families

More updates on adoption from North Korea.  Thanks to Jane for translating this article that gives information about what could be the first three North Korean children to be adopted by American families.

According to the article that Jane cites, the three children ages 12, 8, and 4 are family.  Several are siblings and one is a cousin.  The children’s were North Korean refugees living in China at the time when they were found and taken back to North Korea.

Several couples/families in the states of California and Maryland have agreed to becoming foster families for these children who asked to be sent to the U.S.  It’s likely that they will eventually adopt them.


Adopt a North Korean

by Noh Jeong-Min, Washington

March 21, 2010

[Translated by Jane]

An American human rights group is pushing forward with the adoption of three stateless North Korean orphan refugees who are in China. The orphans arrived safely in a third country and received support. It will be the first case of Americans in the U.S. adopting stateless North Korean orphans.

The adoption to the U.S. of three stateless North Korean orphan refugees who were living in China is being pushed forward by an American human rights group. The children’s North Korean parents were refugees in China and were forced to go back to North Korea.

The siblings and cousins aged 12, 8, and 4 hid in China, and through the help of an American human rights organization arrived in a third country at the beginning of March.

The representative of the human rights organization added that 2-3 couples/families who are residents in Maryland and California have accepted the refugees for foster care and are working on operations for their adoption.

Human rights representative: The North Korean refugee orphans arrived in a third country. The children want to go to the U.S., and in the U.S. there are families who want to progress their adoptions. They children will be the first North Korean refugee orphans to be adopted in the U.S.

Also, the representative said that the U.S. embassy there that they’re in touch with said that doing the work to prove the identity of the orphans would be difficult, but help from U.S. human rights organizations and a refugee center would increase the changes of the possibility of the orphans being adopted to the U.S.

Amid this, U.S. Senator Sam Brownback proposed a bill on March 23 to speed up the adoptions of North Korean stateless refugee orphans in the future and said that prospects are high that there will be growing interest in adopting them.

Brownback clearly stated that there has to be a strategy to set up and provisions and offices/agencies for adoptions to the U.S. must be installed on the opposite side to help the thousands of stateless NK orphan refugees.

The human rights representative said that the proposed bill was warmly welcomed and that in the future and if processes and provisions are made it is expected that there will be a big effort for NK orphans to be adopted in the U.S.

Presently there are five orphans being supported and two additional ones in the process of going to a third country so they can be adopted in the U.S., the human rights organization’s representative added.

++Translation by me again. This one was pretty difficult because I don’t know the issue well. As always, corrections to my translations are welcome.

MC: 미국의 인권 단체가 중국에 있던 탈북 고아 3명의 미국 입양을 추진하고 있습니다. 이 고아들은 제3국에 무사히 도착해 보호를 받고 있으며 이들의 양부모를 자청한 미국인도 있어 미국에서 탈북 고아를 처음 입양하는 사례가 될 전망입니다.

노정민 기자가 보도합니다.

부모가 강제 북송된 이후 중국에서 고아가 된 탈북 아동 3명이 미국 인권단체의 도움으로 미국 입양을 추진하고 있습니다.

12살과 8살, 4살의 이 탈북 고아는 형제와 사촌지간으로 중국에서 숨어 지내다 미국 인권단체의 도움으로 지난 3월 초 제 3국에 도착했습니다. 이들을 돕고 있는 인권단체의 대표는 탈북 고아들이 미국행을 원하고 있어 이들의 입양을 추진하고 있다고 25일 자유아시아방송(RFA)에 밝혔습니다.

또 미국 메릴랜드 주에 거주하는 부부를 비롯해 캘리포니아 등 미국 내 2~3가정이 탈북 고아들을 양자로 받아들이겠다고 나서 이들의 입양을 위한 작업이 힘을 얻게 됐다고 이 인권단체의 대표는 덧붙였습니다.

인권단체 대표: 탈북 고아들이 제 3국에 도착했습니다. 아이들이 미국에 오길 원하고 미국에서 이들을 양자로 삼고 싶다는 가정이 있어 미국으로 입양을 추진하고 있습니다. 탈북 아이들이 (입양을 통해) 미국에 오는 것은 처음으로 알고 있습니다.

또 이 대표는 현지 미국 대사관과 접촉해 탈북 고아들의 신원을 증명하고 입양을 신청하는 작업에 어려움이 있지만 미국의 여러 인권 단체와 난민 센터가 돕고 있어 이들이 미국에 입양될 가능성이 크다고 덧붙였습니다.

이런 가운데 미국 공화당의 샘 브라운백 상원의원이 지난 23일 탈북 고아들의 미국 입양을 촉진하기 위한 법안을 발의해 앞으로 탈북 고아들의 미국 입양에 대한 관심도 높아질 전망입니다. 이 법안은 북한을 나와 떠돌고 있는 수천 명의 탈북 고아들을 돕기 위한 전략을 세우고 미국으로 입양을 주선하는 데 필요한 대안 장치를 마련해야 한다고 명시했습니다.

이 인권단체의 대표는 법안의 발의를 환영하면서 이 법안이 통과돼 탈북 고아들의 미국 입양을 위한 법적 절차가 마련된다면 앞으로 탈북 고아의 미국 입양에 큰 힘이 될 것이라고 기대를 나타냈습니다.

현재 5명의 탈북 고아를 보호하고 있는 이 인권단체의 대표는 나머지 2명도 미국 입양을 위해 제3국행을 추진하고 있다고 덧붙였습니다.


2 Comments on “North Korean Children to Be Placed in American Foster Families

  1. “The representative of the human rights organization added that 2-3 couples/families who are residents in Maryland and California have accepted the refugees for foster care and are working on operations for their adoption.”

    Does this mean they are breaking up a sibling group? Do these children have any idea what moving to America at their age entails? What were the third country’s plans for these children?

    You can read the bill here:

    Please sign up for’s wiki

    and comment on the bill to express your questions and concerns

    you can also show your position for or against this at that site.
    and write your congressmen.

    this bill is full of holes, and while it may help some it also has the potential to exploit many undefined situations.

  2. It sucks that North Korean refugees are treated so badly in China that they feel their only option is to be separated from their family and be adopted in the US.

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