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Seoul to facilitate family searches by overseas Korean adoptees

National 15:32 December 19, 2019

SEOUL, Dec. 19 (Yonhap) -- Overseas Korean adoptees will find it easier to search for their biological parents or family beginning next year as they will be able to have their genes collected and registered with South Korean diplomatic missions, officials here said Thursday.

According to the National Police Agency (NPA) and the foreign and welfare ministries, Korean adoptees living abroad can conveniently register their DNA at 34 South Korean diplomatic missions in 14 countries, including the United States, France and Sweden, from Jan. 1, if they want to find their birth parents or family at home.

This file photo shows the National Police Agency. (Yonhap)

This file photo shows the National Police Agency. (Yonhap)

At present, overseas Korean adoptees wanting to find their biological parents or family members are required to visit South Korea and submit their DNA samples to a local police station. The NPA has built up a genetic information database of local families wanting to find their abandoned children.

In particular, police have secured genetic information about local families searching for their missing children, as it is believed that many overseas Korean adoptees are missing children, officials said.

Genetic information of overseas Korean adoptees collected abroad will be matched with the NPA's DNA database of missing children before their reunions with birth family are pushed, they explained.

Since the 1950-53 Korean War, an estimated 170,000 Korean children have been sent abroad for adoption. Of them, about 30,000 are regarded as abandoned children.


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