By Steven Borowiec
SEOUL—When South Korea amended its adoption law in August of last year, it was intended to reduce unregistered adoptions of children overseas.
A year later, it appears to have accomplished that with an unintended side effect: a drastic increase in the number of babies abandoned anonymously by their mothers.
In the first seven months of this year, 152 infants were abandoned in South Korea, up from 62 in the same period of 2012, according to Ministry of Health and Welfare data. The increase has been attributed by some to the new Special Adoption Law, which stipulates that infants can't be put up for adoption without their births being registered with the government. It also requires that mothers remain with their newborns for a minimum of seven days before putting them up for adoption.