A Tale of Love and Parenthood in South Korea


 The birth rate in South Korea was boosted with billions of dollars, but Kim Kyu-jin and his wife had to travel to Belgium to start a family.

Legally, South Korea continues to reject same-sex partnerships notwithstanding their 2019 wedding in Seoul and legal registration in New York City. Their marriage registration was refused by Seoul authorities.

Therefore, the happy couple's domestic choices were restricted when they decided they were ready to start a family: single people are typically viewed as unsuitable for adoption, and fertility clinics are made for heterosexual married couples with reproductive concerns.

Due to tradition, Kim Kyu-jin and his wife Kim Se-yon, who also share the same last name, chose to attempt it. After eight months, Kyu-jin and Se-yon are now expecting a child thanks to a sperm donation in Belgium.

The pair intended to give birth in their native South Korea, where Se-yon works as a doctor at a hospital and has chosen to speak in public to promote same-sex motherhood there.

According to Kyu-jin, a lot of Koreans think that they should "end the unhappiness of our generations by not having children." Being in a same-sex relationship in socially conservative South Korea "wasn't easy," therefore he never imagined that he would be the father.

"This child will grow up with content mothers," Se-yon predicted. We think there's a strong probability the kid will be content as well."

Practical Obstacles:

The lowest birth rate in the world is 0.78 percent per woman in South Korea. In order to encourage its residents to have more children, Seoul invested billions of dollars, yet this effort had little impact.

Policies include free child care, monetary incentives, and subsidized fertility treatments, but the government primarily targets heterosexual married couples.

This implies that many couples who would make good parents but are not married or in same-sex relationships are passed over.

The official perspective, according to experts, emphasizes a pervasive stigma against single parents and hides the reality that, in 2020, just 2.5% of all South Korean kids were born outside of wedlock.

Around 40% is the OECD average.

According to Se-yon, people who attempt to have children "outside the traditional system" in South Korea receive harsh criticism. individuals criticize and assert that certain individuals shouldn't have children, she remarked.

There are also considerable practical difficulties in this case. Se-yon won't have any legal parental rights over the kid, she won't be qualified for parental leave, and she won't be able to act as the child's legal guardian in case of an emergency.

The only way to rectify this is for her to formally adopt the kid, but due to the government's opposition to allowing unmarried individuals to adopt children, doing so is challenging.

Kyu-jin's realization that he may become a father in France altered the couple's attitude. When his French employer learned that he was gay and married, he inquired as to whether they had any plans to have children.

"Because it was such a personal inquiry, I was astonished. And I reasoned that if it were commonplace here to have children with same-sex partners, people would bring it up right away.

They had to travel to Belgium where they acquired an anonymous donation because of the lengthy IVF waiting period brought on by the lack of sperm donors in France.

It is deemed "selfish" of this couple to have a kid who would be subjected to prejudice due to their sexual orientation.

Kyu-jin and Se-yon stated that they may think about leaving South Korea if raising their child there proves to be too challenging.

According to Kyu-jin, "We have many kind friends who care about our child and are concerned about how emotionally harmed the youngster may get. But there won't be any need for such concerns if these kind individuals can contribute to making our society a little more accessible for our youngster.

Se-yon's present relationship with her parents is difficult, and they chose not to attend the couple's 2019 wedding, so even the baby's grandparents might not get to see the child for the first time.

We all put in a lot of effort, but it didn't turn out, she remarked.

When they finally do accept Kyu-jin and her relationship, she wants to introduce them to their grandchild.

"I had no idea how much time had elapsed up to that point. But I believe we will regret missing so many enjoyable and joyous opportunities along the road.

Post a Comment

* Please Don't Spam Here. All the Comments are Reviewed by Admin.