Talk outlines risks in international adopting

This was an interesting article from the Daily Iowan

Talk outlines risks in international adopting

Ashton Shurson – The Daily Iowan

Issue date: 3/25/08 Section: Metro
As Chinese adoptions increase around the world and especially in the United States, a few UI students have been looking into the darker side of adoptions in the Asian country.

UI law students Patricia Meier and Joy Zhang gave a presentation Monday on the Hunan baby-trafficking scandal and how it exposes vulnerabilities in Chinese adoptions to the United States.

In November 2005, police in China uncovered a baby trafficking ring involving six orphanages and babies primarily from the southern part of the country.

It is unclear how the children were obtained, but defendants claim the babies were abandoned while prosecutors in the case accused the Hengyang Social Welfare Institution of knowingly buying abducted babies.

For the whole article, click here.

Korean response to Sueppel tragedy

Another article about this tragedy. Interesting figures about domestic Korean adoption included.

S. Korean adoption agency saw no problem with American parents

By Kim Hyun

SEOUL, March 27 (Yonhap) — A South Korean adoption agency said Thursday that it had seen no signs of any problem with the American couple who adopted the four Korean children found dead this week, calling the deaths of the entire family "unimaginable."

"We are shocked and dismayed. I can’t find words to describe it," Hong Mee-kyung, a director of overseas adoption at Holt Children’s Services Inc. in Seoul, said. "Considering the personalities and the attitudes they have shown, it’s unimaginable."

The Power of Love to Transform and to Heal

The Power of Love to Transform and to Heal

by Jackie Lantry

Jackie Lantry

Nubar Alexanian

Lantry is a part-time hospital clerk in Rehoboth, Mass. She and her
husband have adopted two girls and two boys from China. When Jackie
asked her children what they believed in, they said "family."

Listen to the podcast here

Morning Edition, August 1, 2005 ·
I believe in the ingredients of love, the elements from which it is
made. I believe in love’s humble, practical components and their
combined power.

We adopted Luke four years ago. The people from
the orphanage dropped him off at our hotel room without even saying
goodbye. He was nearly six years old, only 28 pounds and his face was
crisscrossed with scars. Clearly, he was terrified. "What are his
favorite things?" I yelled. "Noodles," they replied as the elevator
door shut.

Luke kicked and screamed. I stood between him and the
door to keep him from bolting. His cries were anguished, animal-like.
He had never seen a mirror and tried to escape by running through one.
I wound my arms around him so he could not hit or kick. After an hour
and a half he finally fell asleep, exhausted. I called room service.
They delivered every noodle dish on the menu. Luke woke up, looked at
me and started sobbing again. I handed him chopsticks and pointed at
the food. He stopped crying and started to eat. He ate until I was sure
he would be sick.

That night we went for a walk. Delighted at
the moon, he pantomimed, "What is it?" I said, "The moon, it’s the
moon." He reached up and tried to touch it. He cried again when I tried
to give him a bath until I started to play with the water. By the end
of his bath the room was soaked and he was giggling. I lotioned him up,
powdered him down and clothed him in soft PJs. We read the book One Yellow Lion. He loved looking at the colorful pictures and turning the pages. By the end of the night he was saying, "one yellow lion."

next day we met orphanage officials to do paperwork. Luke was on my lap
as they filed into the room. He looked at them and wrapped my arms
tightly around his waist.

He was a sad, shy boy for a long time
after those first days. He cried easily and withdrew at the slightest
provocation. He hid food in his pillowcase and foraged in garbage cans.
I wondered then if he would ever get over the wounds of neglect that
the orphanage had beaten into him.

It has been four years. Luke
is a smart, funny, happy fourth-grader. He is loaded with charm and is
a natural athlete. His teachers say he is well behaved and works very
hard. Our neighbor says she has never seen a happier kid.

I think back, I am amazed at what transformed this abused, terrified
little creature. It was not therapy, counselors or medications. It did
not cost money, require connections or great privilege. It was love:
just simple, plain, easy to give. Love is primal. It is comprised of
compassion, care, security, and a leap of faith. I believe in the power
of love to transform. I believe in the power of love to heal.



Korean adoptees in US seek identity via peers or cultural exploration

University of Oregon study traces early adulthood experiences of many early-to-arrive adoptees






            Jiannbin "J " Lee Shiao, a sociologist at the University of Oregon, is studying Korean adoptees living in the United States for an upcoming book. A piece of that book is…
              Click here for more information.          


Public release date: 19-Mar-2008

Finding out "Who am I?" for Korean adoptees, many of them orphaned, following the Korean War in the 1950s was a struggle when adulthood hit for many in the 1970s, but the road has since gotten smoother with exploration of their ethnic identities following two basic paths, say University of Oregon sociologists.

The two roads — usually one or the other, but rarely both — have been through extended social exposure with their Asian peers or by reaching out to learn about their cultural heritage, most often while pursuing higher education, said Jiannbin "J" Lee Shiao, a professor of sociology and associate director of ethnic studies.

Shiao and co-author Mia H. Tuan, director of the UO Center on Diversity and Community, reported their findings in the American Journal of Sociology (January). The study focused on early adulthood memories of adoptees that had been among the earliest wave of Koreans into the United States. It was a study, Shiao and Tuan wrote, that shows "ethnic exploration exemplifies how the persistence of ethnicity can depend on the individual negotiation of racial inequality."

The researchers interviewed 58 adoptees, ages 25 to 51, recruited from international adoption-placement records. The participants had been placed into West Coast homes in California, Oregon and Washington between 1950 and 1975. The study, which includes numerous excerpts of participants’ responses, is part of a book the two authors are writing on the adoptees’ experiences.

YouTube series – “Judy Alive”

Remember the MadTV episode in which Bobby Lee played an *unusual* kind of Korean Adoptee (actually a 34-year old goat-farmer from Pusan)? Unfortunately it’s no longer available on YouTube, but in this vein comes the Judy Alive series of a Chinese adoptee (with a twist of course).

The Baby Thief: The untold story of Georgia Tann, the baby seller who corrupted adoption

This was a fascinating book. I couldn’t help but make comparisons to the current social philosophy regarding expectant mothers, poor single mothers and their children.


From the author’s website comes this synopsis:

For almost three decades, Georgia Tann was nationally lauded for her
work at her children’s home in Memphis, Tennessee. In reality she was
selling many of the boys and girls – often stolen from their parents –
to wealthy clients across America. While building her black market
business Georgia also invented modern adoption, popularizing it,
commercializing it, and corrupting it with secrecy by originating the
policy of falsifying adoptees’ birth certificates – a practice that
continues to this day.

Not only did Georgia Tann exploit women and children, she also capitalized on the zeitgeist of the times in post-WWII America and essentially "created" the adoption "market" as it is today. Anyone interested in adoption history should read this book. As I read this book I was continuously surprised by how much of the current practices in the adoption industry today is direct descendant of Tann’s unethical adoption work, and how both the courts and society still pretend that closed records are for the "protection of the birth mother" when it’s evident that no one ever really cared a damn about birth mothers.

Author Barbara Bisantz Raymond is an adoptive parent who investigated Georgia Tann. This is the story of America as well as the individual person; without a society that turns its back on the most vulnerable, a single woman – no matter how evil – could not have accomplished such horrific acts alone. This book implicates us all.