S Korean consulate inundated with adoption offers for rejected child

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 16 December, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 16 December, 2007, 12:00am

The South Korean consulate has been flooded with offers from families to adopt the Korean girl given up by a Dutch diplomat and his wife.

'They have been coming from everywhere - we even had one from the US - and there have been many other calls with people wanting to help in some way,' said Cho Won- hyung, consul for public affairs.

The girl was handed over to the Social Welfare Department last year, six years after her parents adopted her.

The Sunday Morning Post - which last week revealed the plight of Jade, the daughter of diplomat Raymond Poeteray, 55, and his wife, Meta - has also heard from concerned citizens wanting to make sure she has some Christmas presents under her tree.

Jade, now eight, is pictured here as a two-year-old in Jakarta, where her adoptive father was posted after working at the Dutch embassy in Seoul.

The photograph shows a cute little girl looking happy and healthy in a baby blue Bugs Bunny jumpsuit - a far cry from a more recent photograph distributed throughout the Korean community, in which she has a sad, vacant stare.

At the time this picture was taken, her adoptive parents claimed she was seriously ill and suffering from a severe fear of bonding.

A babysitter who cared for the child in Indonesia while Mr Poeteray served there, said the couple treated their adopted daughter differently from their natural son. She said most of the girl's care was done by an Indonesian helper working at the home.

The Dutch family have said they tried to cure her through intensive family therapy, but 'to our great disappointment, she did not get any better'.

The condition became so bad, they claimed, that the family began to suffer.

On the advice of doctors, the adoption agency Mother's Choice and the Social Welfare Department, Jade was given up for re-adoption in the middle of last year.

Neither the Social Welfare Department nor Mother's Choice will comment.

Jade has since been in foster care with an international family while a search goes on for a permanent new home.

The good news from the Social Welfare Department is that Jade's condition has improved markedly in the past year and she shows no sign of mental problems or disabilities.