Adoption agency ordered to pay 100 million won for falsifying orphanhood
Kim Su-jung, legal representative of Adam Crapsey, speaks to reporters at the Seoul Central District Court on May 16, 2023, after the court ordered Holt Children's Services to pay 100 million won ($74,730) to the plaintiff for falsely registering him as an orphan before sending him to the United States for adoption 40 years ago. Yonhap
A Seoul court on Tuesday ordered Holt Children's Services to compensate an adoptee for falsely registering him as an orphan before sending him to the United States for adoption 40 years ago.
Adam Crapsey, 46, filed a lawsuit against the prominent international adoption agency and the South Korean government in 2019.
Crapsey, who was adopted in 1979, claimed that Holt fabricated his adoption documents, falsely portraying him as an orphan despite having a living biological mother.
He also argued the government failed in its responsibility to provide the necessary support for him to acquire U.S. nationality.
The Seoul Central District Court ordered Holt to pay 100 million won ($74,730) to the plaintiff while dismissing the claim against the government.
Crapsey had sought compensation of over 200 million won from both parties involved.
"It is only natural to acknowledge Holt's responsibility for its illegal actions," Crapsey's attorney, Kim Su-jung, said after the ruling.
"But it is regrettable that the state's responsibility for leading, managing, planning and tolerating illegal overseas adoptions was not recognized," she added.
Crapsey, whose Korean name is Shin Song-hyuk, was adopted by a U.S. family at the age of three but was subsequently abandoned.
At the age of 12, he was readopted by another family, only to be abandoned once again four years later.
Crapsey alleged that he suffered abuse from both adoptive families and was unable to properly apply for citizenship.
He was deported to South Korea in 2016 after his criminal record from his youth was revealed during the process of renewing his permanent residency in 2014. (Yonhap)