BUSAN, South Korea (AP) — "A notorious South Korean facility that kidnapped, abused and enslaved children and the disabled for a generation was also shipping children overseas for adoption, part of a massive profit-seeking enterprise that thrived by exploiting those trapped within its walls, The Associated Press has found.
"The AP, which previously exposed a government cover-up at Brothers Home and a far greater level of abuse than earlier known, has now found that the facility was part of an orphanage pipeline feeding the demand of private adoption agencies."
"There were probably many more adoptions over the three decades that Brothers, the largest facility of its kind in the nation, was in operation, but the full extent will likely never be known. Most relevant documents have been lost, destroyed or withheld by the government and adoption agencies, which falsified the origins of many of the children they obtained."
But Brothers was also separating young children for adoption, according to a review of hundreds of previously unreported records and interviews with former inmates who saw the process play out. Brothers then sent these children to adoption agencies, which placed them with families in North America, Europe, and Australia.
During that period, South Korea’s ruling military dictatorships aggressively institutionalized and exported poor children for-profit and to clear the streets of those considered socially unacceptable. In Brothers’ heyday, adoptions brought the country as much as $20 million a year by some estimates. The new revelation that Brothers was part of this corrupt system further widens the shadow cast by its abuse.
Adoptive parents in the West were unaware of the horrors that were happening at the place their children once lived or that their payments likely helped fund an abusive facility that used slave labor to enrich its owner. Biological parents may not have known that their children were at Brothers, let alone sent overseas.
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Most relevant documents have been lost, destroyed or withheld by the government and adoption agencies, which falsified the origins of many of the children they obtained.
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