Tuesday, December 5, 2023
From the Japan Times:
South Korean writer Eun Seo-ran was happily single, until a medical emergency made her want family around to help. But she took an unconventional route: legally adopting her best friend.
The 44-year-old lives far from her biological family, who are not actively involved in her life. She's not married and, like many people in low-birthrate South Korea, she has no children of her own.
But Eun does have a very good friend: Lee Eo-rie. The pair, who are not romantically involved, own property together, live together, share bills and have taken care of each other during illness.
With one of the world's lowest birthrates and plummeting marriage rates, more and more people in South Korea live — and will die — alone.
Single-person households now account for 41% of all households, official figures show — with that set to grow in coming decades.
"South Korea's narrow legal definition of family is partially responsible," Hyeyoung Woo, a sociology professor who researches families in South Korea at Portland State University, told AFP.
Read more here.