'What Happened to Mr Cha': Where are Cha In-Pyo's children? Here's how actor fought South Korea's adoption taboo
Ae-Ra and In-Pyo are known to be the first from the Korean entertainment industry to adopt children with public knowledge, which helped with Korea’s new ‘adoption rules’
Actor Cha In-Pyo and South Korean actress Shin Ae-Ra share more than two decades of a beautiful love story and are deemed as one of the global star couples of Korea who led the country in fighting adoption stigma.
Cha In-Pyo, known for his critically acclaimed roles in SBS TV series ‘Perfect love’, ‘The Gentlemen of Wolgyesu Tailor Shop’, ‘You and I’, ‘The Boss’, ‘Her House’, ‘Love is in Your Embrace’, and films such as ‘Crossing’, ‘Seoul Searching’ and ‘Heaven’s Quest’, met Shin Ae-Ra on the set of ‘Love in Your Heart’. The couple tied the knot in 1995 prior to Pyo’s military enlistment.
Ae-Ra and In-Pyo, one of the IT couples of ‘90s Korea were one of the first people who openly talked about adoption while adopting two beautiful daughters, Ye Eun and Ye Jin, in 2005 and 2008 after their first biological son was born in 1998. Initially, the couple faced a lot of criticism for choosing to adopt because in Korea, adoption was seen as a distortion of ‘pure bloodline’. In-Pyo and Ae-Ra are known to be the first from the Korean entertainment industry to adopt children with public knowledge, which helped with Korea’s new ‘adoption rules’.
In 2011, a new rule for adoption titled “The Special Adoption Act” was passed, which changed the way Korean babies previously got adopted by parents from overseas. The rule was intentioned to boost domestic adoptions more and fight the taboo that was inherent in Korean society. Shin Ae-Ra was acknowledged for her exemplary efforts in fighting this stigma by the Ministry of Health and Welfare. She is the honorary ambassador for Korean Adoption services.
Later, Cha In-Pyo talked about it in an SBS talk show where he was asked why he went for adoption.
The 53-year-old actor said, "it is because my wife and I gave birth to a son". The social activist and actor said, "Since we had a son, if we could choose, we wanted to a have a daughter. When I got my first daughter, I was really happy. So I thought, it would be nice to have another." He added, "My older daughter said to me, 'When i get older I want to go meet my birth father and mother, but I am too scared so I want to go with you and mom. I asked why and she said, 'If I go meet them, maybe I won't be able to come back home, so I want to go with you."
The actor concluded beautifully by saying, "It is her life and choice. The duty of the parent is to open the door for them."
In-Pyo’s children have already made quite a few national TV appearances. In 2018’s ‘Master of the House', Ye Eun, the elder daughter spoke about her favorite Kpop band being Blackpink. In 2014's KBS 2TV 'Superman Is Back', Ye Eun and Ye Jin exposed their parents for having a big fight after they apparently went to sleep. The younger daughter Ye Jin said, "They had a big fight while I was asleep when we lived at Chungdam-dong." Both In-Pyo's daughters go to a private Christian school, and the son to a private university.
Cha In-Pyo leads a very private life when it comes to his family but the actor’s children are sometimes seen in Shin Ae-Ra’s Instagram updates where the ‘Record of Youth’ star once did the 10 years challenge with their children’s picture along with the couple's picture.
Cha In-Pyo is starring in the Netflix show ‘What Happened to Mr. Cha?’, releasing on January 1, 2021. The show will delve into the award-winning actor’s life to unveil “with the peak of his career-long behind him, how the actor clings to his past glory — until a sudden wake-up call forces him to face who he's become".