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Swedish investigator says S Korea key to her adoption probe


A Swedish legal expert investigating the country’s international adoption practices said Tuesday she’s trying to determine whether Swedish authorities were aware of falsified child origins as they approved the adoptions of thousands of South Korean children.
Anna Singer spoke to The Associated Press during a weeklong trip to South Korea, where she plans to meet with officials from government and a Seoul-based agency that handled adoptions to Sweden to gather details on how South Korea procured and documented children for foreign adoptions.
Many South Korean adoptees accuse their agencies of fabricating documents to expedite adoptions by foreigners, such as falsely registering them as abandoned orphans when they had relatives who could be easily identified, which also make their origins difficult to trace.
Most South Korean adoptees were sent overseas during the 1970s and ’80s, when Seoul was ruled by a succession of military governments that saw adoptions as a way to deepen ties with the democratic West while reducing the number of mouths to feed.
“Our primary focus is the Swedish organizations and the Swedish actors – what did they do and what did they know? But in order to get a full understanding, we also need to know how (adoptions were) organized in the countries of origin,” said Singer, a law professor at Uppsala University who was appointed by the Swedish government to lead the investigation in 2021.

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