Japanese Foster Parents

12 03 2009

Yoko Sakamoto remembers well the prejudice she faced as a foster mother.

She and her husband, Koichi, who were childless, decided to expand their family by welcoming foster children. But when their first son had major problems in elementary school, the criticism started.

Some parents whispered about the different family names. One waited for the boy after school and slapped him for the “nuisance” he caused. Even Mrs. Sakamoto’s own parents criticized the decision. “We were facing a fierce storm of discrimination,” she says.

When the Sakamotos let their son skip school because of stress, officials removed him, sending him to institutional care.

But the couple didn’t give up. Today, their home in this quiet Tokyo suburb reverberates with the energy of five children, ages 4 to 15. And the government is looking for more people like them.

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13 03 2009
Gobbler

This is a great story. I think maybe the stigma of having children live with you that aren’t blood related is one of the reasons there are so many abortions in Japan; adoption doesn’t really seem to be an option. To see this mentality being challenged by couples like this is awesome.

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