Wednesday, August 01, 2007

New South Korea Family Registration Law Takes Effect 1/1/2008

I saw this in the Adoption Institute Newsletter. This is a huge step forward for Korean families, especially those headed by single women, and adoptees.


The South Korean Supreme Court has issued the final details of its new family registration law, which will replace the traditional patriarchal “hoju” system, according to a June 4 Korea Herald article by Shin Hae-in, “New Law Takes on Patriarchal Family System.” The new statute will take effect on Jan. 1, 2008, and will radically change how South Koreans have legally defined a family. The current system gives mothers fewer parental rights – which contributed, in part, to the problem of legal orphans and the availability of children for overseas adoptions. Under the new law, a child born outside of marriage can be registered under the mother’s family name and not only under the father’s. The changed system would also allow children to claim a stepfather’s surname without agreement from the biological father. The new registration system also secures equal legal rights for adopted persons, on condition that the biological parents agree. Under the current system, adopted children and stepchildren have no rights to inheritance or certain rituals to honor deceased parents.

See more here:

1 comment:

Third Mom said...

Hi, Roberta, hope you're enjoying your summer!

Thanks for posting this. It will be really interesting to see what happens when the new laws are actually in effect. The times and laws are a-changing, but I wonder how long it will be for Korean society to catch up. You can't just throw a switch and expect attitudes to change immediately. But it is an important step in the right direction, for sure.