Session D room
Mar 25, 2022 09:00 AM - 10:30 AM(America/New_York)
20220325T0900 20220325T1030 America/New_York Friday Morning, Session D

Welcome to the 10th Biennial Adoption Initiative Conference 

The Evolution of Adoption Practice: Activist and Community Perspectives

CE Eligible: On 'Contingent Anonymity': Korean Adoptee Experience of 'Blending In'

Password for the Vimeo Videos: AIC2022PAID

AM Friday Session D Pt.1 with Ryan Gustafsson https://vimeo.com/710920181

AM Friday Session D Pt.2 with Boon Young Han & Kim Stoker https://vimeo.com/710972478

On 'Contingent Anonymity': Korean Adoptee Experiences of 'Blending In'

Transnational adoption – in the rare instances it is viewed as a type of migration – is imagined as a linear, one-way movement. It has often been remarked that South Korea did not expect transnational adoptees to desire to return. However, adoptees started visiting in significant numbers in the 1990s and by the 2000s, an estimated 3,000 - 5,000 Korean adoptees were visiting each year (E. Kim 2007). In this paper, I focus on a key theme that emerges in adoptee writings and interviews: the phenomenon of 'blending in.' 

I start by briefly outlining the contours and impacts of what is known as the "transracial adoption paradox" (Lee 2003), which describes the complex experiences of adopted people of color navigating predominantly white communities and social worlds. Second, I provide some social and historical context for my analyses of adoptee experiences in Korea. Then, I develop a phenomenological account of 'blending in', drawing on the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Alia Al-Saji, and Gayle Salamon. Rather than retreat, I argue 'blending in' is a contingent anonymity, a provisional way of being seen. It can also serve a critical function, illuminating the ways in whic ...

Session D room Adoption Initiative Conference 2020/2022 adoptioninitiative@gmail.com
25 attendees saved this session

Welcome to the 10th Biennial Adoption Initiative Conference 

The Evolution of Adoption Practice: Activist and Community Perspectives

CE Eligible: On 'Contingent Anonymity': Korean Adoptee Experience of 'Blending In'

Password for the Vimeo Videos: AIC2022PAID

AM Friday Session D Pt.1 with Ryan Gustafsson https://vimeo.com/710920181

AM Friday Session D Pt.2 with Boon Young Han & Kim Stoker https://vimeo.com/710972478

On 'Contingent Anonymity': Korean Adoptee Experiences of 'Blending In'

Transnational adoption – in the rare instances it is viewed as a type of migration – is imagined as a linear, one-way movement. It has often been remarked that South Korea did not expect transnational adoptees to desire to return. However, adoptees started visiting in significant numbers in the 1990s and by the 2000s, an estimated 3,000 - 5,000 Korean adoptees were visiting each year (E. Kim 2007). In this paper, I focus on a key theme that emerges in adoptee writings and interviews: the phenomenon of 'blending in.' 

I start by briefly outlining the contours and impacts of what is known as the "transracial adoption paradox" (Lee 2003), which describes the complex experiences of adopted people of color navigating predominantly white communities and social worlds. Second, I provide some social and historical context for my analyses of adoptee experiences in Korea. Then, I develop a phenomenological account of 'blending in', drawing on the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Alia Al-Saji, and Gayle Salamon. Rather than retreat, I argue 'blending in' is a contingent anonymity, a provisional way of being seen. It can also serve a critical function, illuminating the ways in which adoptees are hyper(in)visible in their adoptive countries. While 'blending in' is inextricably tied to experiences of racialization, there are adoptee-specific aspects to this phenomenon as well


Activism and Advocacy by Overseas Adult Adoptees in South Korea

 This presentation offers an account of overseas adult adoptees' returning and resettlement experiences, focusing on the decades of activism and advocacy carried out by adult adoptees in efforts to advance their own rights as well as those of their original families.

The modern Korean social welfare delivery system has a unique history. Indeed, the State has traditionally not been involved with direct services; rather the system has largely been shaped by foreign aid provisions and privately-run initiatives established in the immediate post-war era (Korean War 1951-1953). Despite, increasing investment in welfare South Korea's social spending remains only roughly half of the OECD average (23.1%). In 2017, public social spending amounted to 10.1 % of GPD and private social spending to 2.7%. In the absence of public and private spending, community work has been and remains of great importance to minority groups. 

Committed individuals have since the early- and mid-1990s worked to promote adoptees' rights in South Korea. Among the most valuable achievements to date is adoptees' eligibility for the F4 visa in 1999, allowing multiple entries and up to a 3 year sojourn period, with unlimited renewal. This has been followed by eligibility for dual citizenship in 2011. The community has also provided and ensured funds for mental health services and support for incarcerated individuals. 

For this presentation, the presenters will provide a brief historical overview of adult adoptees' various contributions to changes in legislation, policy, and practice, focusing on efforts to revise the Special Adoption Law in 2011 and their ongoing work during the current administration. The 2011 revision was unique in that it was spearheaded by stakeholders such as adult adoptees, at-risk families, and original families. Their collaboration was historic as they challenged a prevalent adoptive parent-focused adoption paradigm.

On ‘Contingent Anonymity’: Korean Adoptee Experiences of ‘Blending In’
Papers/Presentation 09:00 AM - 09:30 AM (America/New_York) 2022/03/25 13:00:00 UTC - 2022/03/25 13:30:00 UTC
Transnational adoption – in the rare instances it is viewed as a type of migration – is imagined as a linear, one-way movement. It has often been remarked that South Korea did not expect transnational adoptees to desire to return. However, adoptees started visiting in significant numbers in the 1990s and by the 2000s, an estimated 3,000 - 5,000 Korean adoptees were visiting each year (E. Kim 2007). Some decided to relocate for extended periods of time. 



In this paper, I focus on a key theme that emerges in adoptee writings and interviews: the phenomenon of 'blending in.' I start by briefly outlining the contours and impacts of what is known as the "transracial adoption paradox" (Lee 2003), which describes the complex experiences of adopted people of color navigating predominantly white communities and social worlds. Second, I provide some social and historical context for my analyses of adoptee experiences in Korea. Then, I develop a phenomenological account of 'blending in' as respite, drawing on the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Alia Al-Saji, and Gayle Salamon. Rather than retreat, I argue, 'blending in' as respite is not a somewhere to go, but rather contingent anonymity, a provisional way of being seen. It can also serve a critical function, illuminating the ways in which adoptees are hyper(in)visible in their adoptive countries. While 'blending in' is inextricably tied to experiences of racialization, I attempt to demonstrate how there are adoptee-specific aspects to this phenomenon as well.
Presenters Ryan Gustafsson
Researcher, The University Of Melbourne
Activism and Advocacy by Overseas Adult Adoptees in South Korea
Papers/Presentation 10:00 AM - 10:30 AM (America/New_York) 2022/03/25 14:00:00 UTC - 2022/03/25 14:30:00 UTC
This presentation offers an account of overseas adult adoptees' returning and resettlement experiences, focusing on the decades of activism and advocacy carried out by adult adoptees in efforts to advance their own rights as well as those of their original families.
The modern Korean social welfare delivery system has a unique history. Indeed, the State has traditionally not been involved with direct services; rather the system has largely been shaped by foreign aid provisions and privately-run initiatives established in the immediate post-war era (Korean War 1951-1953). Despite, increasing investment in welfare South Korea's social spending remains only roughly half of the OECD average (23.1%). In 2017, public social spending amounted to 10.1 % of GPD and private social spending to 2.7%. In the absence of public and private spending, community work has been and remains of great importance to minority groups. 
Committed individuals have since the early- and mid-1990s worked to promote adoptees' rights in South Korea. Among the most valuable achievements to date is adoptees' eligibility for the F4 visa in 1999, allowing multiple entries and up to a 3 year sojourn period, with unlimited renewal. This has been followed by eligibility for dual citizenship in 2011. The community has also provided and ensured funds for mental health services and support for incarcerated individuals. 
For this presentation, the presenters will provide a brief historical overview of adult adoptees' various contributions to changes in legislation, policy, and practice, focusing on efforts to revise the Special Adoption Law in 2011 and their ongoing work during the current administration. The 2011 revision was unique in that it was spearheaded by stakeholders such as adult adoptees, at-risk families, and original families. Their collaboration was historic as they challenged a prevalent adoptive parent-focused adoption paradigm.
Presenters
BH
Boon Young HAN
Presenter , Seoul National University
Co-Authors
KS
Kim Stoker
Speaker
Presenter
,
Seoul National University
Researcher
,
The University of Melbourne
Post Adoption Programs Lead
,
Holt International
Camp Director
,
Holt International
+ 1 more speakers. View All
 Amy Strickler
Attendee
,
Rutgers University School of Social Work
Attendee
Professor of Psychology
,
Mount Saint Mary College
Attendee
,
Bridgewater State University
Attendee
+6 more attendees. View All
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