On Tuesday May 16, a South Korean court is expected to rule on adoptee Adam Crapser’s suit against the adoption agency Holt International and the government of the Republic of Korea.
From my 2022 blog post Adam Crapser vs. Republic of Korea and Holt International: “Obvious international human rights violations:
“In January 2019, Korean adoptee Adam Crapser filed a petition against the Korean government and Holt Children’s Services Inc. for allegedly violating his rights during his adoption process. ‘Although the plaintiff’s story garnered worldwide media attention, his lawsuit represents a historic legal first..this petition is the first and only attempt by an inter-country adoptee to hold the Korean government accountable for failing to uphold its duty in such an adoption.'”
Lee Kyeung-eun, the director of Human Rights Beyond Borders), wrote in The Korea Times article “Adam Crapser vs. The Republic of Korea,” that “This petition filed by Shin Song-hyuk (better known as Adam Crapser) is the first and only attempt by an inter-country adoptee to hold the Korean government accountable for failing to uphold its duty in such an adoption.”
Kyeung-eun cites several “Alleged illegal acts of Republic of Korea” as well as “Alleged illegal acts of Holt Children’s Services Inc,” and argues that “The plaintiff (Crapser) has suffered the following rights violations: the right to know and preserve his true identity due to the fraudulent falsification of his orphan registration (a birth registration reserved for children without their parents’ information); damages from physical, mental and emotional abuse inflicted in the course of the adoption, the dissolution of the adoption and the consequential multiple moves to other homes and the effects of those events; violation of the right to acquire and have the nationality of his adoptive country; violation of personality rights and the right to pursue happiness due to deportation.”
After being brought to the United States for adoption at 3 years old, Crapser was horribly abused and abandoned by two adoptive families. He got into legal trouble, and faced deportation because he could not prove his US citizenship.
Ultimately Adam was deported by the Unites States back to South Korea in 2016, leaving behind a wife and 3 daughters. He is not the only deported international adoptee: According to the New York Times, “Deportation a Death Sentence to Adoptees After a Lifetime in the United States.”
I wrote about Adam’s deportation for Slate. I’ve been writing about the tragedy of adoptee deportation for years. While Crapser is not the only internationally adopted deportee, he is the first to sue both his adoption agency and the government of his country of origin. Many governments and adoption agencies are likely watching this case closely.
I will post more when we hear about the court’s decision. May there be justice for adoptees.