September 09, 2011
KOREAN ADULT ADOPTEES RETURN TO MOTHER LAND.....TO STAY.
As an adoptive mom, I have to find some way to respond to this... I'm also an adoptee and I'm also reunited with my birth family, well all except my birth father. I'm aware that I do not have all the answers. I am aware I'm not a Korean adoptee, I am aware I am "the mom" to some adopted kids. So possibly older Korean adoptees may think I am not qualified to respond or in any way give my opinion. BUT AS A MOM TO ADOPTEES I AM RESPONDING! I have grown up Korean adopted kids who are in their twenties. I know that when ALL "kids" are in their 20's we are all more critical of how our parents parented us. I also know it is extremely important for all adoptive parents to listen to adult adoptees as far as what they have to say about their experience of being adopted. Because we all learn from them. And we can learn how to improve adoption for children in the future. And even though some times adult adoptees can rant and rave ... (domestic adoptees can too!) listening to their own experiences with adoption is invaluable to us all. So is listening to birth or first parents and so is listening to adoptive parents. We are a three-sided triad and without each other we are incomplete.
I AM AN ADOPTION ADVOCATE. In a perfect world adoption would not ever be needed... but we are here all of us in this imperfect world and children can not "wait to grow up" before we find answers to the needs of children with out families to raise them. I do not think growing up in foster care (as only the foster kid) or growing up in an orphanage is preferable to being adopted. I believe all kids should grow up with birth family if possible and if not then they should be placed in adoptive families in their birth countries. AND IF THAT IS NOT POSSIBLE THEN CHILDREN SHOULD BE ADOPTED OUT SIDE OF THE COUNTRY OF THEIR BIRTH....Because adoption is mostly a misunderstood concept in general in most other countries it is not well understood out side of the United States, Canada or France. A family is a family just like birth families. NO MATTER WHAT COLOR THE OUT SIDE OF THE PARENTS OR THE CHILDREN ARE. It is not a village or a group home or a foster home. Families are Filled with imperfect people trying to love and live for each other and with each other. And in this life, as a family, we grow up to be individuals who can love and become healthy members of our societies who will care for others as well.
When I first heard of Korean adoptees returning to Korea to live and become part of Korean society I was very excited about it. No country is proud that it sends its children to other countries to find families through adoption. Korea I knew had always wanted to stop the adoption of its children in need. But when I heard that these adult adoptees went to Korea with the sole purpose to stop any and all future Korean adoptions of Korean children I was shocked! The first thing I thought of (upon hearing this was the reason for over 2000 grown up Korean adoptees returning to live permanently in Korea!) was an expression a dear southern friend used one day in dealing with her teenage son. He had done some thing so reckless and dangerous she could only exclaim, "Are ya'll just plain Crazy!"
(A very interesting man named, Don King Bell, is an adult Korean adoptee also, until recently, was living in Korea as well. He was adopted with the first group of Holt Korean adoptees. He has lived in Korea and tried to educate and teach the importance of adoption to Korean nationals as well as in some way fight these misguided adoptees. His web site is www.koreanwarbaby.com. Please go to his site and read up on his experiences as well as many adoptees he links to his site.)
I really had thought that these adoptees had gone to Korea to help change their birth culture for the better. I had even seriously thought they were possibly wanting to adopt Korean children and raise them in Korea. Showing Korean culture that adoption was preferable to throwing unwanted children in the ocean (a practice common when Harry Holt first went to Korea) ..... starving them or abusing them, denying them the right to a birth certificate, schooling or marriage, work or making them live as second class citizens in Korea. I thought these adult Korean adoptees might change Korea for the better.
Here are some of the adoptees desires for Korean orphans from what I can understand:
They want all international adoptions in Korea to stop. Inner country adoption should be allowed but only if the adoption is kept secret from the child and others in the society.
That the adoption agencies made money on their adoptions and this was the reason for the agencies arranging adoptions.
Many feel they were stolen from birth families by adoption agencies and that some where there are birth families who miss them.
I am left to understand also that these grown adults also feel much resentment and unhappiness with their adoptive parents and their lives in America. Growing up in a white family in America was too unhappy for them and they would have rather grown up in orphanages or not have grown up at all. Or that all of them were in some way stolen from birth families and so they rather would have grown up in these first families.
"ARE YA'LL JUST PLAIN CRAZY?"
Tomorrow (if I am still upon this earth) my response in "detail" .....(pray for me!)
till then go to Korean war baby's site and read up....
Posted by Dawn at 2:16 PM