Korean adoption advocates call for change in adoption process

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WASHINGTON -- For the last two years, the Korean adoption community has been IN mourning, glued to their televisions and computers closely waiting for the sentencing of a Montgomery County man who killed his Korean, adopted son. Brian O’Callaghan was sentenced Tuesday, his sentence resulted in people nationally and internationally, calling for change.


Currently, there are not any national adoption regulations, each state has its own set of laws about the mandatory screening people have to go through before they are able to adopt a child.


O'Callahan was sentenced to twelve years in prison, and could be eligible for parole in about five years.


Following the low-end sentence O’Callahan received, for beating his three year old son to death, members of the Korean adoption community in the states, and in Korea, were heartbroken, frustrated, feeling betrayed, and even outraged.


“They felt tremendous kinship to Hyunsu, this was there little brother, and he was taken from them in a tremendously violent way,” explained Margie Perscheid, with Korean American Adoptee Adoptive Family Network.  Perscheid has two children who were adopted from Korea, so for her, this hit close to home.


“There was a trust that was broken,”Perscheid said in response to the low-end sentence.


She said her community felt there was very little value put on the innocent victim’s life and on the lives of other Korean children who are brought to the states through the adoption process.


“This is not the first time, there have been many horrific acts committed against adoptees, American and specifically Korean adoptees,” explained Perscheid.


She said what happened to baby Hyunsu goes to show, how important it is for the adoption process to be better regulated, even if it means certain people are denied the opportunity to be adoptive parents.

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