Monday, November 19, 2007

Ask A Korean! News: Transplants

Another series in the New York Times that the Korean has been following carefully is Relative Choices, a blog dedicated to the topic of adoption. At some point, Korea was the leading exporter of adoptees, mostly to the U.S., and that fact is strongly reflected in the blog. It's a nice window to look from the perspective from an unusual set of Korean Americans.

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  1. it's cool to hear from the adoptee's side, but i also notice that most (if not all, i'm not sure as i didn't read every single one) seem to express contentment, satisfaction, or happiness with being adopted. for a vastly different view, look up "transracial abductees"... apparently there are some adoptees who aren't so happy, but they don't get a blog on nytimes.

  2. Not with that potty mouth they won't.

    My take is this: Being a parent in and of itself is difficult. Significant percentage of us would fail being a good parent no matter how hard we try, even sans extra layer of difficulty presented by interracial adoption.

    And that layer indeed will be thick, and truth is most adoptive parents would not have known how to deal with it -- they only do the best they could. It's not a winning proposition for them, really, because at best their will leave their adopted child with deep-seated, unsatiated sorrow, and at worst they will end up raising a bitter person who writes the things that shatter their hearts.

    Race relation is an incredibly difficult and delicate topic. Dealing with race question is like navigating through a brain surgery -- everything is so raw, so very subtle, and something goes terribly wrong with one miscue. And like brain surgery, most laypersons will not get it right, and will prefer to avoid it at all cost.

    I'm just here trying to help that.

  3. I think Americans are to be commended for adopting so many children from throughout the world. I have known several adoptees, and I can say from personal observation that the good intentions of American parents unfortunately don't always lead to good results.

    What's really tragic, however, is that for so long Koreans were just exporting their unwanted babies as if these were undesirable outcasts. The mark of a truly advanced society is not measured by how many semiconductors and ships and cars it produces, but by how it treats its weak and vulnerable. I think more Korean families are now adopting Korean babies, but you can be sure that such a thing is probably kept secret and that a real stigma still attaches to a child who is known to be adopted.

  4. Good piece from the same blog:

    The Korean was shocked to find out that roughly 1 out of 10 Korean Americans are adoptees. The Korean figured there were many, but not that many.

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