Several readers e-mailed me this appalling story of parental abdication and sheer selfishness, via the London Daily Mail:
A Dutch couple has sparked outrage by giving up a seven-year-old South Korean girl they adopted as a baby – after claiming she didn’t “fit in” with their life-style.
The diplomat and his wife, who had taken in the child after failing to conceive, handed her to social workers in Hong Kong after having two biological children. They claimed the girl, who was adopted when four months old and has lived in the territory since she was three, was struggling to adapt to their culture, including food. Now the Hong Kong’s Korean community is trying to find a home for the unnamed child who is currently in foster care after being given up last year. The girl, who speaks English and Cantonese but not Korean, is neither a Dutch citizen nor a Hong Kong resident, so her future in the territory is uncertain.
In South Korea, parents cannot return adopted children, but no such law exists in Hong Kong.
The diplomat told reporters, who agreed to his anonymity, that his family was struggling to cope with their decision and said his wife was having therapy. “It’s just a very terrible trauma that everyone’s experiencing,” he said. “My foreign ministry knows about my situation. “I have also been in touch with the Hong Kong Government and they have been very helpful to me and so has my own employer.”
But the plight of the girl has sparked anger among social workers and many of the seven million people living in the territory. “It’s bizarre. I don’t think it has anything to do with cultural shock,” said Law Chi-kwong, an associate professor at the University of Hong Kong’s Social Work department.
“The child grew up with them. They adopted her when she was a baby; they are responsible for shaping the child’s mind and culture.
“How can you say the child cannot adapt to the culture in which she was raised? This is just ridiculous.”
This poor young girl is yet another casualty of our disposable culture.