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Jeong-in, a 16-month-old girl was abused to death by her adoptive parents

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By Yun-ji Lee
기사입력 2021-03-15

  © weeklymonday

The terrible death of 16-month-old girl abused by her adoptive parents has triggered public anger in South Korea. On October 13th, 2020, a girl named “Jeong-in” was taken to a hospital with cardiac arrest by her adoptive mother and died after being abused for trivial reasons such as trying not to eat meals. The girl’s adoptive mother, Ha-young Jang and the adoptive father, Sung-eun Ahn had severely abused Jeong-in for a long period of time.


According to an investigation by the National Forensic Service (NFC), she died of severe abdominal damage and internal bleeding caused by strong external force on her back. The autopsy also revealed pancreatic amputation and fracture of the occipital, clavicle, and parietal bone. The pancreas can be cut only when the stomach is pressed flat enough to reach the spine. One of her adoptive parents  claims to have hit her weakly to punish her, but experts say that it is impossible for such a condition to occur with a weak assault.


The investigation report on Jeong-in’s prolonged abuse has shown that the abuse had been reported three times during the five months before the child died. A daycare center teacher first reported it after seeing a bruise on the child’s thigh, and there was also a second report from a neighbor who saw Jeong-in left alone in the car in the hot summer weather.  According to the last report, the nursery teacher took her to the pediatrician, who reported it to the police after judging that she had been abused.

 

However, there was no separation between the child and the adoptive parents. The police failed to conduct a proper investigation into Jeong-in’s case even after the reports of abuse. The adoptive parents claim that all the reports of abuse were caused by general prejudice and misunderstanding about adoption. People are furious about this incident, and they are raising public opinion through social network services (SNS) that their case should be “changed to murder, not aggravated child abuse, and they should be sentenced to more severe punishment.” Several celebrities posted the message “Jeong-in, I’m sorry” to help raise public awareness of child abuse.

 

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