A sizeable proportion of Danish people adopted from overseas countries say they have been met with racism and discrimination in Denmark. Some seven percent run away from home before the age of 16 due to the discrimination, and 17 percent say it has happened at least once in the last six months.
However, no overall figures were provided by Ankestyrelsen, the national appeals board, which spoke to 2,000 adoptees about their lives. In total, there are 18,000 Danes adopted from overseas countries like South Korea and China.
“Denmark is a society that is not particularly receptive to people who look different,” a psychologist and adoption specialist, May Britt Skjold, told Metroxpress. “Administrators in the regions need to step up their efforts in the investigation and selection of future adoptive parents.”
Seek professional help
Skjold said there should be an intensive follow-up with both the children and the parents. The survey revealed that fully 30 percent of children adopted in 1979 and 1980 sought out professional support and advice.
Yong Sun Gullach, the head of the adoptee advocacy group Adoptionspolitisk Forum, said the problems were worse than those revealed by the survey.
“Many of these problems occur in the teenage years during which adoptees ask: 'Who am I and why do I look different?’” she said. “Many of them feel like strangers in Denmark.
Gullah questioned whether it was even wise to “take children from the other side of the earth and fly them to Denmark”.