Korean stars outraged after 16-month-old baby dies of suspected abuse by adoptive parents

Published January 4, 2021, 12:24 PM

by Jonathan Hicap

BTS’ Jimin and Lee Min-jung

Korean celebrities and the public are expressing their anger after a 16-month-old baby died due to suspected abuse by her adoptive parents in South Korea.

The hashtag #SorryJungin trended on Twitter and posted by celebrities on Instagram, referring to baby Jungin, born on June 10, 2019, who died last Oct. 13 after being adopted in January 2020.

Jungin was adopted in January 2020 and for this, her adoptive parents received monthly child allowance from the government.

Korean TV channel SBS’ program “Unanswered Questions” aired an episode on Jan. 2 on the death of Jungin. When she was brought to a hospital emergency room last October, it was found out that she had bruises all over her body, her stomach was filled with blood, her major organs were damaged, and her arm and collarbone were fractured.

After the episode aired, the Korea Child Abuse Prevention Association proposed the #SorryJungin challenge to commemorate the death of Jungin and raise awareness about child abuse in South Korea.

Among the celebrities who posted the #SorryJungin hashtag in Korean on social media include BTS’ Jimin, Lee Min-jung, Uhm Jung-hwa, Seo Hyeo-rim, Lee Yoon-ji, Han Chae-ah and Han Hye-jin.

A public petition was also filed on the website of the Office of President Moon Jae-in urging authorities to disclose the identities of Jungin’s adoptive parents and charge them with murder. The petition has been signed by 231,440 people and under the rules, when a petition has garnered 200,000 signatures, government authorities are mandated to answer it.

Korean netizens are also criticizing the Yangcheon Police for failing to act immediately to separate the child from her adoptive parents after three incidents of Jungin’s abuse were reported to them since May.
A neighbor of the adoptive parents saw Jungin was left in a car for 30 minutes and reported it to the police. However, the police only visited the site after a month, according to Korean media.