Unification Church Faces Administrative Instruction over Adoptions

Society

Tokyo, Jan. 23 (Jiji Press)--Japan's welfare ministry on Monday issued an administrative instruction to the controversial religious group known as the Unification Church over adoptions that are said to have taken place among its followers.

In the instruction, the ministry said that adoption should be considered when biological parents cannot raise their children or it is inappropriate to leave the kids under the parents' custody.

The ministry mentioned a report from a person who was adopted saying, "I was extremely shocked because my real parents gave me up for adoption although they were capable of bringing me up."

A book published by the Unification Church, formally called the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, describes adoptions as "a beautiful tradition" of the group. The instruction urged the group to correct the description, saying, "There is a risk of readers thinking that they can get adoption mediated by the group."

The law on adoption mediation limits those who can act as mediators to social welfare corporations and some others, and requires approval from prefectural governments. Repeated and continuous mediation without abiding by the rules may be illegal, regardless of whether there are transfers of money.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press