KAAN 2016


I’m looking forward to being at the Korean Adoptee Adoptive Family Network (KAAN) conference coming up this weekend in Pittsburgh. KAAN was founded in 1999, and serves  Korean-born adoptees of all ages,their families through birth, adoption or marriage, other Koreans and Korean-Americans, social workers, adoptees from other backgrounds, community leaders, and more. Each year the conference is located in a different place so that local Korean adoptee-affiliated community members can participate.

The sessions I’ll be participating in include:

Luncheon and Midday Keynote: Legacies of Korean Adoption on Global Child Welfare with Oh Myo Kim PhD.

  • By 2004, it is estimated that the number of intercountry adoptions had reached almost 45,000 adoptions per year (an increase of 42 percent from 1980). While the establishment of a global adoption network has no doubt reshaped the demographics of receiving countries, it has also had often overlooked implications for sending communities. Through three case studies (South Korea, Guatemala, and Uganda), this presentation will explore the following questions:
    1) What cultural, social, and economic factors allowed for the movement of children across national borders?
    2) What has been the impact of international adoption on local sending communities?
    3) Lastly, what support can Korean adoptees offer as members of a larger international adoptee community?



Am I Ready To Search for My Birth Family? With Aeriel A. Ashlee M.Ed.Jannie Kruse, and Hollee McGinnis MSW, PhD candidate
  • Beginning the search for your birth family is a big step. How can you tell if you are ready for the range of emotions and answers you might find? Join in this frank conversation with other adoptees. Leaders will share some of their experiences and give advice on how to prepare.


Re-centering Our Conversations About Race with Erica GehringerKatie Bozek Ph.D., LMFT, and Susan Harris O’Connor MSW

  • Many mainstream conceptions and narratives of race focus on white people’s feelings and experiences. Intended for more €œintermediate€ and €œadvanced audiences, this session aims to challenge these narratives by recentering our conversations around people of color, the people most negatively and directly affected by race-relations in the United States. Comprised of adoptees from different professional angles, we will discuss behavioral, educational, and media techniques that can be used to “retrain” ourselves to not allow the conversation to derail back to a white audience.


Author: JaeRan

Assistant professor at UW Tacoma, writer, and researcher.

Share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s