Posts tagged ‘Korean Adoption’

I Was Googling Today…

This documentary was broadcast on BBC International last Friday. I found it today on google and thought it was worth sharing. I was pleased to see the article calls out Holt International for creating a system of “mail order” babies.

I was abandoned in a public market in the beginning of winter”, claims one Korean adoptee.

Every year, around 1,000 South Korean children are given up for adoption in Western countries. The overseas adoption programme began in the 1950s as the impoverished government’s answer to the masses of mixed-race orphans from the Korean War.

All told, around 200,000 Korean children have been adopted overseas over the past 60 years. About 300 of them have since returned to live in Korea – and many are now involved in trying to change the adoption laws.

In this programme, BBC journalist Ellen Otzen meets Jane Trenka and Suki Leith, both of whom were adopted by American families, to explore the impact foreign adoption has had on them.

Successive governments have pledged to end the practice of trans-national adoption. South Korea is now one of the world’s most developed countries, and has one of the lowest birth rates globally, so why are Korean children still being sent away?

Today, 89% of Korean children sent overseas for adoption are born to unwed mothers, who say they are approached by private adoption agencies during their pregnancies and urged to give their children up for adoption.

One of the major players, Holt International Adoption Agency, has often been criticized by Korean adoptees for disregarding the rights of unwed mothers and setting up a system that made Korean “mail-order babies” possible.

Agency head, Molly Holt, argues that the organisation’s main goal is simply to give “unwanted” Korean babies “a permanent, loving family.”

The adoptees say it is time the Korean government makes laws that promote family preservation instead of international adoption.”

You can listen to the documentary here. Please share your thoughts with me!

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August 12, 2010 at 6:32 pm Leave a comment

On Grief

I think we should be allowed to grieve.

When I was “in the fog” so to speak, I never thought of it that way. I would have said “Grieve?? I’m so grateful I’m adopted, what is there to be sad about?” But it makes sense to grieve. Think about it. As an infant you pretty much lost the only people you ever knew. If you’re an international adoptee, you also lose the only place you ever knew, the only language you ever heard, and more than likely you lose people around you who look like you.

All in one day.

All in one day you lose your entire extended family, your identity, your culture, genealogy, familiarity. All in one day you lose so many things that other people take for granted. In any other situation, people would rightfully expect you to be devastated. They would not demand you forget about the past, move on from your old family to a new one. They would not tell you to be grateful or chastise you for missing your family. They would tell you to grieve. They would hold you as you cried. They’d bring casseroles and let you wallow for a while.

Why is it different just because I was a baby when I lost my whole life?

I really think we should be allowed to grieve.

August 11, 2010 at 6:00 pm Leave a comment

I’m a Coward

Yeah.

I’m a coward because I haven’t sent out for my file again. My bank account has seen its fuller days…planning a wedding and saving up for a car have made sure I have very little disposable income lying around. To be completely honest I’d have to admit that it’s actually a little more than the money thing that’s holding me back. I could have saved up the money I needed. I could have eaten out less or waited to put down a deposit on a wedding gown. The real reason I haven’t done it is because I’m a coward.

See, I’ve spent 23ish years building up a sort of sense that I DO matter and I AM important and I AM worthy of love. I’m afraid of what the truth might do to my somewhat fragile façade. I don’t know how to handle it. I’ve just begun to admit to being Asian and slowly embrace my heritage. I am really not sure just how to go about steeling myself for whatever the truth really is.

How do I know when I’m ready? How do I know what to do when the envelope comes and I find out (or don’t)?

I know I’ve let myself down as well as anyone else following my story. And I’m sorry.

August 10, 2010 at 7:36 pm Leave a comment


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