Adoption Stories from Adopted the Movie - A Feature Film by Barb Lee

June 25, 2007

The Loss of Birth Culture

Filed under: Adoptees,Adoption — Catherine @ 2:51 pm

We recently had a chance to sit down with Dr. Richard Lee of the University of Minnesota. Dr. Lee specializes in Asian American studies, specifically the cultural socialization of Korean adoptees. Below, he discusses the loss of birth culture in internationally adopted children.

June 21, 2007

Survey for Australian Korean Adoptees

Filed under: Adoptees,Racism,Transracial Adopters — Catherine @ 9:54 am

A doctoral student at the University of New England in Australia is looking for Korean adoptees living in Australia to fill out a quick, 10-minute survey on racial discrimination in Australia. If you’re interested in taking the survey, click here.  

June 19, 2007

Father’s Campaign to Help Unwed Mothers in South Korea

Filed under: Korean Adoption — Catherine @ 12:13 pm

A recent article by South Korea’s official news agency discusses an adoptive father’s campaign to help unwed mothers in South Korea. Dr. Richard Boas, who adopted his daughter from South Korea almost twenty years ago, was one of the co-founders of a program in Connecticut that helped others adopt internationally. However, after traveling to South Korea and seeing perfectly capable single mothers giving their kids up for adoption, Boas has a change of heart.

When I met the moms, I started asking myself questions that the other Americans weren’t asking." Boas said. "Why would these moms give up their babies? Isn’t it the right of any birth mom anywhere in the world to bring up her child if she’s capable and loving? Why are these kids not being absorbed into Korean society, either by their birthparents or by domestic adoption?" The rate at which unwed mothers relinquish their children in South Korea, estimated at 70 percent, comes as a shock to Americans, where fewer than 2 percent of unwed mothers relinquish their children for adoption.

After meeting healthy and seemingly capable Korean unmarried mothers, who were nonetheless sending their children overseas for adoption, Boas wondered, "Why am I favoring so much international adoption when it doesn’t need to be necessary? This is like the tail wagging the dog."

Upon his return, Boas decided to fund Give 2 Asia, an organization that supports single and unwed mothers’ homes in South Korea. He believes that "Koreans have a golden opportunity to really evolve and do so well by these kids and their mothers. I think when you really come down to it, the economic price and the social price is relatively small. I think it’s much smaller than the price that everybody is paying now."



June 4, 2007

Adoptions from Ethiopia on the Rise

Filed under: adoption news — Tags: , , — Catherine @ 1:24 pm

Today’s New York Times reports on the growing number of Ethiopian children being adopted by American families. The story points to a few reasons for the recent increase in international adoptions there: less corruption, lower fees, shorter waiting times, and a unique foster system that experts and adoptive parents say helps with attachment issues.

It is no wonder, given these advantages, that Ethiopia, a country more often associated by Americans with drought, famine and conflict, has become a hot spot for international adoption. Even before the actress Angelina Jolie put adoption in Ethiopia on the cover of People magazine in 2005, the number of adoptions there by Americans was growing. The total is still small – 732 children in 2006, out of a total of 20,632 foreign adoptions, but it is a steep increase, up from 82 children adopted in 1997.

Ethiopia now ranks 5th among countries for adoption by Americans, up from 16th in 2000. In the same period, the number of American agencies licensed to operate there has skyrocketed from one to 22."

Be sure to view the accompanying multimedia component with slideshow and audio.

While the article gives a decent overview of Ethiopian adoptions, it doesn’t mention race at all. And the adoptive parents featured in the slideshow only talk about how easy it has been adopting from Ethiopia. "The adoption stuff has been really easy," says the adoptive mother of three children from Ethiopia. "As a culture, they’re so affectionate toward children…[The Children] inherently trust that they’ll be looked after." The feel-good tone raises the question of whether parents adopting from Ethiopia are preparing themselves for the racial and identity issues their children may have.

Also, experts quoted in the article say there’s less corruption in Ethiopian adoptions than in other parts of the world like China and Guatemala. Will Ethiopia be able to handle the increased interest in adoption without the system becoming corrupt?