IKAA Research Symposium

I am so excited to be able to attend this research symposium. As you read this, I am attending the day-long event at Dongguk University. A number of friends are also presenters. This is one of many events I hope to share with you readers. This is a historical event. What is exciting to me, also, is that so many of these presenters and scholars are adopted Koreans themselves.

For those of you who are adoptive parents, I hope that some day some of your children will be involved in their adoptive communities and making historically significant contributions towards adoption studies, like my fellow friends listed here have.






International Symposium on Korean Adoption Studies



Hosted by
Asian Adult Adoptees of Washington State (AAAW – U.S.A.)
and Global Overseas Adoptees’ Link (G.O.A.’ L – Korea)    


Organized by the Intl. Research Committee


Venue: Dongguk University


The aim of the symposium is to establish and explore this new and rapidly expanding academic field. The field of Korean adoption studies is specifically concerned with international adoption from Korea, as well as with overseas adopted Koreans.

It has recently emerged as an area of study both in Korea, the country of origin, and in the Western receiving countries to which Korean children have been sent for adoption.
This symposium will, for the first time ever, bring together scholars from around the world who are conducting research in the field of Korean adoption studies.

These scholars, from Sweden, Denmark, Korea, the United States, the Netherlands, and France, are working at the multidisciplinary intersections of Asian and Korean studies, postcolonial and cultural studies. Their works also address issues of ethnicity, migration and diaspora, and globalization and transnationalism.

This day-long and multi-disciplinary symposium will take place in Seoul, South Korea, and will be comprised of paper presentations and open discussions. The symposium will lay the foundation for creating an academic network for the field and for future symposiums


Social Sciences
Lisa Ellingson – Hague Convention
Boon Young Han – Adoption in the Korean Legal System
Jean Kim – Cold War History of Militarism and Imperialism Around Korean Adoption
Peter Selman – Changing International Trends with Respect to Sending Countries

Rebecca Burditt – Media Representations of Korean Adoption in the US
Hosu Kim – Birth Mothers on Korean TV
Tobias Hubinette – Korean Adoptee Autobiographical Texts
Sarah Park – Korean Adoptee Configurations in American Children’s Literature

Behavioral Sciences
Rich Lee – Post-Adoption Issues for Korean Adoptees
Beth Kyung Lo – Korean Adoptee Mental Health Issues
Hollee McGinnis, Scott Ryan and Jeanne Howard – Current Survey Research of Korean Adoptees
Kelli Donigan – Significance of return to Korea for Korean adoptees

Author: JaeRan

Assistant professor at UW Tacoma, writer, and researcher.

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