A Danish report on Thursday said that adoptions of children from South Korea to Denmark in the 1970s and 1980s was “characterized by systematic illegal behavior” in the Asian country.

These violations, the report said, made it “possible to change information about a child’s background and adopt a child without the knowledge of the biological parents.”

The report was the latest in a dark chapter of international adoptions. In 2013, the government in Seoul started requiring foreign adoptions to go through family courts. The move ended the decadeslong policy of allowing private agencies to dictate child relinquishments, transfer of custodies and emigration.

The Danish Appeals Board, which supervises international adoptions, said there was “an unfortunate incentive structure where large sums of money were transferred between the Danish and South Korean organizations” over the adoption

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    The move ended the decadeslong policy of allowing private agencies to dictate child relinquishments, transfer of custodies and emigration.

    The report based its findings on 60 cases from the three privately run agencies in Denmark — DanAdopt, AC Boernehjaelp and Terres des Hommes — that handled adoptions from South Korea.

    “Danish organizations continuously expressed a desire to maintain a high number of adoptions of children with a specific age and health profile from South Korea,” the report said.

    Boonyoung Han of the Danish activist group, told The Associated Press that an independent investigation was still needed because with such a probe “we expect that those responsible will finally be held accountable for their actions.”

    In the late 1970s and mid-1980s, South Korean agencies aggressively solicited newborns or young children from hospitals and orphanages, often in exchange for payments, and operated maternity homes where single mothers were pressured to give away their babies.

    For years, adoptees in Europe, the United States and Australia have raised alarms about fraud, including babies who were falsely registered as abandoned orphans when they had living relatives in their native countries.


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