Although there may be up to 1 million Korean family members directly affected by international adoption, these family members are rarely heard from; the adoption program that presumably “saved” children from miserable lives in Korea and that now “saves” unwed mothers from raising their own children has also rendered them socially dead in the process. These social deaths, accomplished by dis-embedding children from their families, exiling them from their country, and changing their names, birthdates, hometowns, and social histories, have been facilitated by the “justice” ministry and the ministry of health, welfare and “family,” as well as the adoption agencies’ web of orphanages, unwed mother’s homes, and the Korean healthcare providers who pressure women into relinquishing children and who have the power to cover up the adoptions.Part 1 and Part 2 are already up, Part 3 just went up, and finally here's Part 4.
How sad is this in a culture where a woman was traditionally called not by her own name, but by the name of her child — not “Pil-rye” or “Anne” but “Joo-seob’s mom” or “Danny’s mom.” With the few exceptions of those of us who have returned to Korea, the international adoptees have literally disappeared from Korea, and it seems that the identities of our mothers are lost in a sea of shoddy paperwork and excuses about “mistranslation.”
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Structural Violence, Social Death & International Adoption
That's the title of a 4-part series by Jane Jeong Trenka, published in Conducive Chronicle, the blog of Conducive Magazine: