Two Together, a documentary about single mothers in Korea

The decision to raise a child as a single mother is never an easy one. In Korea, where unwed motherhood is highly stigmatized, the decision is especially difficult. For many years, the Korean government played no small role in influencing this decision. Instead of offering financial and social support to unwed mothers, the government opted for a system that seemingly swept the problem under the rug: overseas adoption. Today, Korea has the largest adult population of adoptees in the world, and the vast majority of Korean adoptees are the children of unwed mothers.

This documentary follows the stories of three different women. While their stories are different, each demonstrates the need to give women back the right to decide. It advocates for a society in which mothers can choose to raise their own children.

Lee Seul Bi, 34, is a single mother living in Korea. When she had her son, Doh-Eun, she was 30-years-old. She knew she was prepared, and capable of raising a child, but pressure from family, friends and coworkers made the decision harder than she had expected. Somehow she found the courage to stand up to their criticisms and make the decision that felt right for her and her son.

Thirty years ago, Noh Geum Ju gave birth to her first child, a boy she named Yoon Seok. However, after only 11 months together, her relatives took her boy away and gave him up for adoption without her knowledge. There was nothing she could do. The experience of losing her son to adoption was the single most tragic event of her life, and it left her feeling helpless. Her life-long search for her son ended when they were reunited on national television.

Girl X is 21 years old. She recently moved into a women’s facility after being kicked out of her parent’s home for being pregnant. The father of the baby has expressed no desire to be a part of the child’s life. Facing pressures from her closest friends and family, Girl X is unsure whether or not she should keep the child. Will it hurt her chances of getting married in the future? Will she be able to provide for the child? Will the child be treated differently if he grows up without a father? In the coming months, she must make a decision that will change her and her unborn child for the rest of their lives.


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