Couple realise huge adoption bungle 17 years after bringing their son home: 'It was only then that I saw it'

Picture: Getty Images
Picture: Getty Images 

Spare a thought for these parents who realised they had made a huge mistake when adopting their son - 17 years after bringing him home.

The story - which was originally posted to Reddit several years ago, resurfaced this week when TikTok user @mrsmedeiros - who films herself cooking alongside captions recounting Reddit stories, retold the saga. 

It starts sweetly enough - a US couple adopted a baby boy born to Asian-American parents and raised him to be culturally aware of his Chinese heritage. Going as far as enrolling him in Mandarin classes, befriending a local couple in their Chinese community to act as an adopted 'auntie and uncle' and even taking regular family trips to China.

However, 17 years later, as they were helping their son fill out his college application, they realised they had made a huge mistake. 

Their son's birth parents had not been Chinese - they were Korean. 

As @mrsmederiros retells the story, after spending a few months getting to know their son, they decided to try to raise him with a strong understanding of his Chinese culture. 

"After about eight months, though, we started to feel twinges of guilt because out perfect Chinese son was going to be raised in a whitewashed household by two ding-dongs who were unable to provide him with any sort of connection to his cultural heritage or identity," the dad wrote. 

"There happened to be a large Chinese community in our city though so it seemed like a no-brainer for us to expose him as much as we could.

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However, while all seemed well as they raised their son through his younger years, when it came to revising his paperwork ahead of a college application, they noticed one small, but hugely significant detail. 

"Digging through my office for the needed paperwork, I came cross his adoption papers and it was only then that I saw it," he continued.

"Something so obvious, so painfully brick-to-the-face obvious, something that neither my wife nor I, in the stupidity of our youth, had registered."

"The names on the adoption paperwork were Park and Kim. Our son was Korean."

TikTok users were divided on the error, some saying at least the parents tried to be culturally sensitive, others saying it would have made for one very confused teenager.

"This child has been colonised twice, omg," wrote one, "you guys had the intention though," added another. 

"That's accidental racism," said another. 

"Even though it was the wrong culture, still putting in the effort to for him to try and connect with his roots was very thoughful and loving," a more sympathetic user argued.