Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bits and pieces

A few articles in the Joongang Ilbo yesterday looked at how 'the system' is failing children (and single mothers) in various ways. First is an article with lots of adoption-related statistics:
Over the past decade, the number of children living in foster care has doubled, from 7,565 in 2003 to 14,384 in 2012. In most cases, children were cared for by grandparents (67.9 percent) or relatives (25.6 percent), and children living with another family accounted for just 6.5 percent.[...]

The ultimate goal of the foster home system is to send children back to their birth parents. However, only 12.9 percent came back to live with their birth parents in 2012, down from 19 percent in 2006. Most children living with foster families stay with them until they’re legally adults and sometimes even later.[...]

Though the number of domestic adoptions grew continuously until 2011 to 1,548, it abruptly dropped the following year to 1,125.[...]

In 2012, of more than 2,000 babies adopted in and out of Korea, 92.7 percent were born to single mothers.[...]

Many child care advocates insist that’s precisely why the government should establish a system in which single parents can raise their children without giving them up. According to research conducted in 2011 by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, 46 percent of unwed mothers had debts averaging around 13 million won ($12,514), with an average monthly income of about 785,000 won.[...]

Right now, the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family provides 150,000 won to unwed mothers 24 or under. But out of a total of 360,000 mothers, just 2,005 receive benefits.
Next is an article about the lenient sentences received by two stepmothers who beat their stepdaughters to death.
A court in Daegu sentenced one woman, surnamed Lim, to 10 years in prison for beating her 8-year-old stepdaughter so hard at their home in Chilgok, North Gyeongsang, that she died of an intestinal rupture. Lim then intimidated the victim’s 12-year-old sister into taking the blame.[...]

In the second case, an Ulsan court handed out a 15-year jail sentence to a stepmother who beat her 8-year-old stepdaughter so hard last October that 16 of her 24 ribs were broken. Some of them pierced her lungs, and she died from her wounds.
The first word that pops into my head is 'scum.'In the first case, ten years does not seem enough, especially with the added factor of intimidating the sister into taking the blame.

Another article looks at criticism of a private high school in Jinju after two fifteen-year-old students died less than two weeks apart in separate instances of violence at the school.

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