On Saturday, November 12th from 10am to 4pm, the first ever foster care and orphan care conference will take place in South Korea. The conference will have speakers from Mission to Promote Adoption of Kids (MPAK), Hope for Orphans, Holt Children's Services, and other leaders in the field of orphan and foster care through out Korea. They will be explaining the challenges of orphan care in Korean culture and will raise awareness of the orphan crisis in South Korea. Attendees will also have a chance to hear testimonies from adopted children and updates on adoption laws. This conference will provide practical ways that churches can care for orphans, present other options aside from adoption as means of orphan care, and to really challenge churches in Korea to be active in caring for orphans.
Pastor Eddie Byun will be one of the guest speakers at the conference. We asked him a few questions about the challenges that have made this a growing issues.
Have there been major issues that made people realize the need for more awareness and intervention in the foster care/adoption system?
Current laws and quotas placed on inter-country adoption is making it more urgent for Koreans and expats in Korea to become more actively engaged in caring for orphans in Korea. There are more opportunities for residents in Korea to be care-givers and those families who do give care from Korea (even expats), because even the adoptions by expats who reside in Korea will not be counted against the quota for inter-country adoptions, providing more opportunities for these children to gain families.
What have been the biggest challenges in reforming these (adoption/foster care) systems?
There are many challenges. Korean cultural hurdles against adoption, the importance of bloodline in Korean culture, churches not seeing the role of orphan care as a gospel issue. These are just a few of the challenges I've come across over the years.
How have things changed in the past decade?
Not enough has changed, which is why I felt the need to begin this type of conference to educate and mobilize the church to be caregivers for the orphans of Korea.
For more information, tickets, location and directions please click here.