huge news, HUGE! congrats to all the korean adoptees who got their korean nationality back!
By Lee Hyo-sik
Thirteen ethnic Koreans adopted overseas acquired Korean citizenship
without having to renounce their original nationality, becoming the
first beneficiaries of the nation’s revised Nationality Act, the
Ministry of Justice said Tuesday.
Kim Dae-won, 43, who went to Switzerland when he was five, and 12
other overseas adoptees obtained dual citizenship after the revised
act went into effect early this year.
All thirteen individuals returned to Korea years ago and have been
working here in various occupations such as English teacher or a
member of a civic organization.
The ministry organized an event Tuesday at the Gwacheon Government
Complex, south of Seoul, to celebrate their regaining Korean
A senior ministry official said ethnic Koreans adopted by foreigners
deserve the right to recover Korean nationality because they had no
say in the matter when they were sent abroad.
“The reinstatement will encourage more Korean adoptees overseas to
settle down here and help redefine their Korean identity,” he said.
Under the revised Nationality Act, which took effect on Jan. 1, the
government offers dual citizenship to Korean adoptees and foreigners
with outstanding talents if they vow not to exercise rights as a
foreign national while staying here.
Foreigners who have a Korean spouse and ethnic Koreans aged over 65
who seek to spend the rest of their lives here are also allowed to
gain Korean citizenship without giving up their initial nationality.
Nearly 100 countries across the globe permit multiple-nation
Previously, Korean overseas adoptees and others who want to acquire
Korean citizenship had to renounce their original nationality within
six months after naturalization.
Those who hold more than one nationality were required to choose one
when they turn 22 or they would automatically lose their Korean
The change is expected to prompt more ethnic Koreans adopted by
foreigners to come here and obtain Korean citizenship. Many adoptees
are reluctant to give up their foreign nationality because it may harm
the family relationship with their adoptive parents and siblings, the
justice ministry said.
Tens of thousands of abandoned children here have been adopted by
foreigners, mostly by Americans and Europeans, over the years. Many
Koreans are unwilling to adopt because they place high priorities on
blood ties between parents and offspring.
According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, 1,013 Korean children
were sent to foreign countries for adoption in 2010, down from 1,125
in 2009 and 1,250 in 2008.