updated 9 Mar 2010, 11:43
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Thu, Mar 04, 2010
The Korean Herald/ Asia News Network
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Unmarried mothers coming out of isolation (Part 3)

Fortunately, Choi is one of the rare unwed moms who receive childcare costs from their children's birth fathers.

She had tried not to inform her pregnancy to her former boyfriend. But her doctor said that he also has the right to know.

Even though related laws oblige the fathers to share the rearing expenses, most of them ignore the duty. The average amount reported is less than 500,000 won per month.

Most of all, mothers themselves give up the money, fearing that the fathers could ask for the custody of their children belatedly.

"It is more likely that the fathers who have a better job as well as family support win a lawsuit. However, recently, the court also rules in favor of the mothers who have never abandoned the kids and try to find a stable job. So, the mothers need to seek the financial assistance more aggressively," Choi said.

In 2008, three years after the birth, her family finally accepted Choi and her son.

"When I became an unwed mom, my family was the first to abandon me. But they finally accepted me. And that support encouraged me a lot more than anything else," she said.

Adding to the efforts of the unwed moms' association is the support from Korean-born adoptees who recently returned home to help the mothers who face the same difficulties as their birth mothers did decades ago.

They help promote the issue to the public as well as educating and taking care of the kids of unwed mothers.

"There are a lot of campaigns ongoing to promote adoption. They say 'Bear abandoned children with love.' However, the mothers had never abandoned the kids. They made an unavoidable decision for the better future of their kids," Choi said.

"We hope adopted people to understand the cruel situations their birth mothers had to face."

Part 1 << Part 2 <<

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