North Korean Refugee Act

The North Korean Refugee Adoption Act is potentially the first step in allowing Americans to adopt North Korean refugee orphans, many of whom are at risk of being sent back to North Korean prison camps or getting forced into the sex slave business.

The Han-Schneider International Children’s Foundation is currently pushing for the act to enter the House and Senate. Below is a petition letter you can sign and send to your local representatives.


We are asking for your support for the Korean Refugee Adoption Act of 2010. This act, if passed, would push the Secretary of State to create a plan to more effectively allow Americans to adopt North Korean refugee orphans in China and other neighboring countries.

Sang Man (Sam) Han-Schneider (Han-Schneider Foundation) was separated from his family in 1950 at six years old during the outbreak of the Korean War. In 1961, Dr. Arthur Schneider adopted Han-Schneider by means of the private bill S.1100, which allowed, for the first time, a bachelor to adopt and bring a foreign child to the United States. This opportunity inspired Han-Schneider to work with his children’s foundation and Suzanne Scholte to write an act that would eventually bring North Korean orphans to the United States.

Most North Korean children are not given the chance to be healthy and grow up in a stable home. They are often sent to prison camps and lack the nutrition needed to grow and develop at their age. Statistics show that on average, North Korean girls and boys are three inches and five inches shorter than South Korean children, respectively.

Many flee to China and neighboring countries, where they are still not safe, as most are sold into sex slavery and forced onto the streets as beggars. Right now, it is extremely difficult to bring these children to the United States. For example, earlier this year, three orphaned North Korean children (siblings) wanted to come to the United States, and a Caucasian family on the East coast decided to bring them to their home. However, they are still in the process of legally transporting the children to the United States, which can take up to several years. The Adoption Act would create a plan to effectively allow Americans to adopt North Korean orphans and raise them in a nurturing environment.

This is not just an adoption issue or a Korean and Korean American issue. This is an issue about human rights. These children do not receive the love, care, safety, and protection they need, and adoption by American families would provide that to them.

Please support this act and the freedom and new life it would bring to North Korean refugee children.

Sign this online petition if you wish to support the Act.


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  • double eyelids

    Listen, those poignant, propoganda pics break my heart and all, but please…

  • HeidiK

    I first read about this on Open Congress and right then and there I supported the bill. But now I haven’t heard anything more about it.

    Can someone post an update? Has it not been passed? Is it active? What’s going on?? Let’s help these poor children!

    North Korea is 10X worse than ANY food deprived African country. I hope that Koream has the resources to find out more about this.

    Thank you.

  • girl4708

    ALL adoption issues are human rights issues born of social injustice.

    There are many problems with this bill, especially Section 4:

    b.1-isn’t it irresponsible to promote adoption in non-Hague countries w/o proper oversight & child protections?

    b.2-it is up to each country on how to deal with non-residents

    b.3-this bill appears to promote int’l adoption as the ideal solution vs. the last resort

    b.4-“alternative mechanisms” is an opportunity for obfuscation of identity

    b.5-what protections do S.Korean infants have from being labeled N. Koreans?

    b.6-this process has pressure towards one conclusion “eventual international adoption.”

    b.7-statelessness becomes the backdoor to adopting within N. Korea and the agenda for all countries seems clear.

    b.8-“orphaned children with Chinese fathers and North Korean mothers…have no access to…resources” so being a poor refugee means your children are orphans.

    This adult Korean adoptee wants to know why there isn’t a bill to help N. Korean refugees. Why only their children? When it’s too late. Why? Because the ugly truth is people only help when it benefits themselves. Because nobody wants to adopt an adult refugee. But they’ll do anything for Asian babies. And 200,000 adopted S. Korean children isn’t enough for the west.

  • Park

    Agreed Girl4708, This is a shameful bill and should not be passed. Koreans should be raised by Koreans, only as a last resort should they be adopted by foreign Caucasian peoples. The United States congress should instead pass a bill that would encourage Koreans in Korea to adopt these Children. Or a bill that would only encourage Korean Americans to adopt these children so at least they would be raised in a Korean way.

    Also, Gril4708 there was already a bill for adult North Korean refugees, its called the North Korean Human Rights act and has already allowed hundreds of so called “refugees” into the United States. Really though I think these people are defectors and its really just simple economic reasons they are leaving not so called “human rights” which is an open hypocrisy anyway for the United States to judge human rights given what they do down at Guantanamo Bay.

  • Park

    Also agree with you double eyelids, I think such propoganda pictures should be removed. Its exploitative of the people in the picture to parade them around as some sort of example and it shames the Korean name.

  • Park

    Where is the petition where Korean Americans can sign to show their opposition to this act?? The last thing we need is more Koreans being adopted by foreigners.

  • Andrew Park

    I am all the way for the petition. Saving life should come first beyond any other consideration. Thank you so much for doing this, Elizabeth! Andrew

  • Ellen

    Wow…some are so interested in “shame” and “ethnicity” that they don’t seem to care that these children are starving for a affection. It may not be the perfect way, but it is a fine solution for the children who need care ASAP.

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