hey, thanks for your message. this is awesome. i feel like we’re getting some momentum going here~^^ to be honest, i’ve been living in korea for the past SIX (god, i can’t believe it’s already been that long… i am oooooold) years, i’m a bit out of touch with the stuff going on in the states, but i do know a few adoptee activists that are really involved in the states that i can put you in touch with who can give you more concrete answers about what you can do there, if you’re serious about getting involved. if you’re interested, send me another personal message with contact info and i’ll pass it along to them~^^ (also, spreading awareness is always helpful… the majority of people are just unaware of the reality of the situation! support - no matter how small it may seem - of organizations like kumfa is also always welcome!)
yes, i would say that all korean adoption agencies follow these dishonest practices, to varying degrees (like i said, i think holt is the worst). but they ALL run unwed mothers facilities and they all make TONS of money (upwards of $15million/year) sending children for international adoption. is there not something creepy about an adoption agency that runs an unwed mothers’ home when we see that 90% of the children adopted both domestically and internationally are the children of unwed mothers. that is baby farming, pure and simple. (fun fact: only 37% of moms in unwed mothers facilities run by adoption agencies choose to raise their children, compared to 82% of moms who stay in non-adoption agency-run homes who choose to raise their kids . coincidence? i think not.)
(cont.) I guess also wondering if you think adoption should happen at all. Is it a necessary evil? just a plain necessity? or something that shouldn’t happen?
i’ve stated before that i’m not 100% against adoption and i stand by that statement. if you look at the original post, i said:
i’m not against adoption 100%. but i’m against it in any case that the mom was coerced or not given a real “choice” as to whether she could raise her own child.
the word “choice” is a tricky one. it’s often used in discourse about sex-related labor, often in the case of “comfort women” with whom i also volunteer. it’s often used to excuse human rights violations, violence, discrimination, or injustice against women, poc, and oppressed classes. because they “chose” to work there, or do that, or go there, etc. we have to be critical about the word choice. choice doesn’t mean that no one had a gun to your head.
in korea, even though unwed moms go to adoption agencies and sign papers - we have to be critical about whether or not these women really have a “choice”.
when we consider that unwed mothers are pressured to get abortions (96% end up getting abortions) up until 8 months of their pregnancy. when we consider that most of them are kicked out of their homes and thereby forced to go to unwed mothers’ facilities during their pregnancy. when we consider that roughly half of the unwed mothers facilities in korea are run by adoption agencies. when we consider that the percentage of mothers who DON’T give up their children in adoption agency-run homes is 37% compared to 82% in non-agency homes. when we consider the fact thatunwed mothers who give up their children but change their minds are told that they owe money to the adoption agency for each day that their child stayed in their facility. when we consider that one mom told me that after she went back to get her child from the adoption agency, they showed her photos of the adoptive parents in the US and their house and kept telling her how much better the child’s life would be in the states AND that she would break the adoptive parents’ hearts if she took back her child and eventually made her WRITE AN APOLOGY TO THE ADOPTIVE PARENTS before they would give her back her child (psychological warfare, anyone?) when we consider that there’s no real legal way for unwed mothers to claim child support from the father of the baby. when we consider that companies practice discriminatory hiring practices and won’t hire unwed mothers.when we consider that even unwed mothers who run their own businesses suddenly lose all their customers when they find out they’re unwed mothers. when we consider that the government gives an unwed mother a measly 50,000 won per month to raise her baby but gives adoptive parents 100,000 and child welfare facilities 1 million won per month per child.
when we consider all of these things, do these women really have a “choice” at all?
so back to what i originally said - i’m not against adoption 100% but i’m against it in any case that the mom was coerced or not given a real choice as to whether she could raise her own child. when we really start to calculate what percentage of adoptions are done under these conditions… well, then i think i’d have to say then that i’m against it for the most part, right?
sorry to basically quote the entire passage but i just think it’s so important that i want it to be out there in the universe again.
so then…back to your question. is there a good way to adopt? yes, i think there is. but it requires an awful lot of due diligence on the adoptive parents part. it requires a lot of setting aside of the adoptive parents’ wants and desires over the best interest of the child and mother. it requires acknowledging the possibility that the best interest may not be adoption. it requires the in-depth background research into the adoption market, the adoption agencies involved and the circumstances of that particular child. it requires deep soul-searching that asks, "am i being given the chance to raise this child over their own parent due to my privilege or because the parent is legitimately absent and/or unable to care for them?" in the case of international and/or interracial adoption, adoptive parents need to ask themselves if they think they are legitimately equipped and able to prepare their child of a different race/culture (i personally do think this should be avoided at almost all costs). i think these are hard questions that most people brush aside because they are uncomfortable. but we are talking about changing the entire course of multiple human lives (both the child and the original parents) and it is not something to be taken lightly.
i think holt is the worst because it has the worst record of flagrant forging of records in order to create “orphan hojuks” or family registries in order to more easily send children for overseas adoption. what this means is that in order to make a child legally an orphan (so that said child could get an adoption visa to the states or other western receiving countries), it eliminated birth parent information and instead made up fake stories about children being left on door steps of police stations and churches. i’ll say it again: it eliminated birth family information in order to create legal orphans to make the adoption process easier. IT ELIMINATED MY PERSONAL INFORMATION SO THAT NOW I CAN NOT FIND MY FAMILY SO THAT THEY COULD MORE EASILY SHIP ME ABROAD.
holt was also known in the past to go scouring the korean countryside trying to convince poor families to give up their children (promising open adoptions) in order to give them better educational opportunities, etc. they now run unwed mothers homes in korea for the same purpose, to farm babies. they (and other adoption agencies in korea) also do everything that they can in order to stop women from trying to get their children back if they change their mind about adoption. that’s just a few of the reasons why i think they are the worst.
well. i debated whether i should answer this. but i decided to just go for it.
i almost didn’t answer this question because i think it’s an irrelevant question. it’s also a ridiculously simple question for an abundantly complicated relationship. it’s irrelevant because it’s a waste of time and energy to wish that my parents hadn’t adopted me. if i wished that, does it mean that i could go back in time and change anything? if i didn’t wish that, does it mean that everything regarding my relationship with my parents is rainbows and unicorns?
i wrote about why it’s irrelevent in this post: saying that i think korea should stop international adoption doesn’t mean that i denounce my own adoption. i neither denounce it or celebrate it, i simply accept it. nor do i mourn the person i might’ve been or glorify the person that i have become.
it also dismisses the human element from my relationship with my parents. yes, i am disgusted with the adoption industry (let’s call it what it is) although i’ve stated that i’m not 100% against adoption, in theory. anyways, my parents were/are far from perfect as (adoptive) parents. but many people seem to be super concerned with my parents feelings regarding my feelings about adoption ㅡㅡ why?? are their feelings about my feelings more important than my feelings? does that make any sense??
do i view my parents as my parents? yes. regardless of our complicated relationship, i view them as my american parents. but i also think i have more than one set of parents. i do love my adoptive parents, i do appreciate the things they did right. but that doesn’t mean i’m not allowed to be critical about the many and sometimes very serious things that they did wrong.
again, does that mean i wish they hadn’t adopted me? what does that question even mean? you asked the question actually twice in your ask so i’m answering it again to point out the urgency with which you seem to need to know the answer to this question (although you did say feel free to ignore?). again, it seems like a totally irrelevant question to me but it’s one that many seem to want to know the answer to. and i think that that’s almost more telling. why do people want to know this? is it because they want to check whether or not i am appropriately grateful (by whatever standards they are measuring by) to my adoptive parents? to me, in that question, there’s an underlying implication that i should be grateful to have been adopted and therefore did not waste away in an orphanage and/or forced to become prostitute or any of the other horrid outcomes that would have surely been my fate if i had not been adopted. yes, adoptees are fed these stories of how we would’ve ended up if we hadn’t been ‘saved’ by our parents and i think this is to keep adoptees in line and eternally grateful. i think that’s psychologically abusive, but it’s an attitude that is pervasive throughout (western) society and the romance/myth surrounding the adoption story.
do i wish my parents hadn’t adopted me? no. because that’s a pointless exercise. it’s a waste of time and energy. do i wish that poor, women of color had just as much of a right to raise their children as the middle/upper class, white women who eventually get to raise them through adoption? yes.
that is the relevant question. one that can actually be used for change and progress. and that is why i work with kumfa.