Adoptee artist Amber Field

Amber Field explores race, gender and adoption in Jagadamba, Mother of the Universe. From an interview with Ed Moy.

In Amber Field's documentary short film Jagadamba, Mother of the Universe
(2008, 10 min), she invites viewers into her life as a queer
transracial (Korean) adoptee who grew up in Korea, Nepal, and Liberia
and then moved to Illinois when she was 12-years-old.

The film
explores her childhood growing up in the Midwest, adoption, race,
sexuality, and her life-long healing journey through music.

Her website is

Two perspectives from Korean American adoptees

Poet Jennifer Kwon Dobbs "Home as the direction of search" from the IWP's New Symposium Home/Land.

These are my hands unfolding nothing with care. I am one of 200 thousand – each one different but part of an overseas Korean Diaspora – first created by the aftermath of Hanguk Jeonjaeng, or the Forgotten War as it’s remembered in the United States. Our search for meaning is always in the direction of home (Korea and the North American, European, or other receiving nation that adopted us), not because blood calls to blood or nature versus nurture, but because the human need for narrative requires a beginning for – if Horace is right – “men can do nothing
without the make believe of a beginning.”

Academic Kim Park Nelson's Mapping Multiple Histories of Korean American Transnational Adoption from the U.S. Korean Institute at SAIS.

In this paper, Prof. Park Nelson examines the
socio-political history of Korean American transnational, transracial
adoption, including the pull factors of America's demand for adoptable
children and the social conditions and immigration policies which
facilitated this exchange, as well as the relevance of this growing
community of Korean Adoptees.

The Adoption Show – Sunday May 25, 2008

Sunday May 25, 2008

9:00 PM (EST)


Kali talks with Kevin Minh Allen about current and past adoption
practices in Vietnam. Few know or understand what’s going on in
Vietnam, such as its 42 operating adoption agencies. What’s disturbing,
but not surprising, is that no one is consulting the daughters and sons
adopted out of this country: the true voice and perspective of
international adoption.

About Kevin: Born Nguyên Ðúc Mînh in Gia Ðịnh district of Sài Gòn on
December 5, 1973, Kevin Minh Allen was adopted at 9 months and flown to
the U.S. in August 1974. He grew up in a suburb of Rochester, NY, until
at 27 years of age, he moved to Seattle, where he is currently enjoying
the view. He has written and published poetry, book reviews, news
articles and information panels for a museum exhibit.  His work can be
found online in Tiếng Magazine, Asian American Movement Magazine, The
Fighting 44s and the Poetry Superhighway, and in print as well, such as
The Northwest Asian Weekly, The International Examiner and HazMat

Check out the blog Misplaced Baggage: run by Vietnamese adoptees: Kevin Minh Allen, Sumeia Williams and Anh Dao Kolbe


Famous adoptee

After seeing pictures of accessories designer Joy Gryson and reading that she was born in Korea, I did some on-line searching and lo and behold my suspicions were right. According to Target’s press release:

Born in Korea, Gryson was adopted at the age of three and a half and
has been a New Yorker ever since. After graduating from the Fashion
Institute of Technology, Gryson traveled the world designing and
developing some of the most recognized handbags in the industry.

Joy is married to Peter Gryson, who is also her business partner, and
they have a five-year old daughter named Olivia. Having been adopted,
Joy dedicates much of her time to help raise awareness and funds for
the not-for-profit adoption agency, Family Focus Adoption Services,
where her mother is the Executive Director.

The OAK – 2008 Spring Edition Now Available

With a focus on perspective, the 2008 Spring edition of The OAK
features stories by adoptees reflecting on their personal evolution in
Korea, a recap of recent and upcoming GOA’L events, how to register for
the Korean National Health Insurance plan, as well as a section on
adoptee artists.

And remember, GOA’L will be celebrating our 10th Anniversary &
Annual Conference, August 1 – 3, 2008 at the Seoul Olympic Parktel.

Check our website for more info:

Facebook Invite:

Daniel Henney and the Real Man Behind His Role in Interview

From the Chosun Ilbo comes this story about the Korean drama, "My Father" in which actor Daniel Henney plays a Korean adoptee who returns to Korea to find his birth father, only to find he is on death row. In real life Henney is the son of a Korean adoptee and the movie is based on a true story. The real man behind the movie, Eron Bates and Henney speak about the movie in this interview. Some excerpts:

Eron Bates/ Born in 1973, he was adopted by an American family when he was six. He joined the U.S. Army in college and came to Korea in 1996 in an attempt to look for his biological father, whom he was reunited with in July 2000. His father has been held on death row at Gwangju Penitentiary for 10 years.

Daniel Hanney/Born in 1979. His mother was adopted by an American family when she was three, his father is British American. He made his debut in the MBC drama “My Name is Kim Sam-soon” in 2005. He also starred in “Seducing Mr. Perfect” in 2006.

Henney: ‘Yes, because my mother was adopted too. If I understood my mother about 75 percent before, now with this film I understand her 100 percent. She can barely speak Korean, so these days, I teach her Korean.’

Small Size, Big Voice

by Chris Roberts, Minnesota Public Radio
December 14, 2007

Larger view
Mayda Miller is a St. Paul pop rocker with a new cd, "Stereotype." (Photo courtesy of Michael Bland, Sonic Matrimony)

If you’re a songwriter, being a Korean adoptee, a woman and only four-feet-ten inches tall gives you a lot to talk about. St. Paul musician Mayda’s big sound belies her diminutive size.

St. Paul, Minn. — In a crowd, it’s easy to overlook Mayda. But on stage, it is hard not to notice her. "Just look at me," she says. "There’s not a whole lotta Korean artists out there playing and writing their own material. And I’m teeny."

Listen to the podcast and read the rest of the transcript here.

Mayda’s myspace page here.