THIS THING OF OURS-ADOPTION

THE KOREAN WAR BABY

My name is Don Gordon BELL and I am one of the earliest of the first generation of KAD's (Korean ADoptees). The Korean War had been settled by Armistice three years before I left war-torn Seoul, Korea, on May 21, 1956. It was the first plane of twelve 'war babies' processed thru the Harry Holt Adoption Program. Read more of MY STORY on My Pages.
I grew up in a typical middle-class family of English-Scottish roots in greater Los Angeles, Ca, USA. Memories faded, Korean language was 'lost' and I did not know anything about the country of my birth until I met Korean Marines in Vietnam while serving with the US Marines. It was my first exposure to real Korean people. I was not completely aware of how prejudiced most Koreans thought towards a Half-Breed like me. I learned what "Tuigi" meant, a Korean word for a "Child of a Foreign devil". Oh, wonderful.


All my life I always had to answer the question: "What ARE you?" and I simply would tell 'my story'. It was not a big deal for me, for my Adoptive Parents had taught me that being an American meant that WE were from many countries. I never 'wished to be White' and just learned to stand up for my own identity. MY Identity was as an American, with mixed heritage. I did not know what being "Korean" meant but often wondered about my roots, and what my birth father's ethnicity. Mexican, Native Americans, and Spanish people would tell me that I had their 'genes' for sure. Little did I know they were right!

After college, I traveled to Manila and for ten years I lived in the Philippines. I was excepted as a 'mestizo' and fit into the former Spanish colony. I was a B-movie Character Actor,
working on international and local films, enjoying a 'crazy and wild' abandonment. Then a life changing experience gave me faith in a personal Higher Being. After walking away from the film business, I lived back in the USA, not sure of my direction in life finding work in construction, finish carpentry, door hanging, and many other jobs I'd like to forget.

In 1991, at 38, I attended a Holt Heritage Camp that was a great experience and really began my own journey of Adoption Identity search. I had never thought much of my Korean culture, though I always felt proud of being "HALF-Korean" and "half-Something".

In 1994 I came back to Seoul, Korea, with my church Vineyard Christian Fellowship, and was invited to stay with a church in East Seoul, for one year. I have lived here since late 1995- re-discovering my "Korean-ness", teaching English and telling my Adoption Story to thousands of Korean students of all ages, helping their understanding of Korean Adoptees. It is one of the issues that Korea is now facing, even for its own secretly adopted children, those who were adopted IN-Country by Koreans who desired a family but due to problems with Infertility secretly adopt.

I was a charter member in 1997 (first dozen members) of GOA'L (Global Overseas Adoptees' Link, founded by Ami Nafzger) and continue to be involved with the complex issues of This Thing of Ours-Adoption. Thousands of KADs have visited Korea over the years, searching for their culture and Some search for birth family. Seventy-five thousand have come, yet only 2,400 plus have found Reunion with Birth family, often with varying results. There are many complexities, many don't want to search concerned about offending their Adoptive Families. Each KAD must decide what they want to do, when to do it, etc.


At 61, I am still 'working thru' my Adoption Identity. Each of YOU need to 'work through' your own understanding and hopefully find forgiveness and healing. Read many different accounts and compare before coming to conclusions. I hope that you will learn what IS happening NOW, in the land of your birth, the Rep. of Korea (South Korea). (See Report Links).

Times are changing, the reasons for 'relinquishment for adoption' have shifted, but there continues to be a need for a multi-tiered approach and understanding of Adoption issues. Slowly, attitudes of Korean society ARE changing for the better. But, the majority continue to feel embarrassment and shame. Thus, Adoption is still shrouded in secrecy even for those who are adopted In-country. There ARE positive signs and movements of NGO's and KAD groups are advocating for the Unwed Mothers. However, two-thirds of pregnant women each year, continue to give up their babies for adoption. One out of four are sent overseas, YET three are secretly adopted in-country. The Myth that "Koreans don't adopt" is false, but they need to open up and hopefully change their shame to pride.


This blog is for EVERYONE, whether you are an Adoptee, Adoptive Family, Birth Family or involved in Adoption in ANY way as a professional, social worker, official, etc, from Korea or the world. We examine the complex issues and personal journeys that we, domestic and overseas adoptees, have to face and sort out in This Thing of Ours-Adoption. (Use the Ligit Search function (Left Column) to check for Posts on various topics, TransRacial, TranCultural, MultiCultural families, Domestic, Civil Code Law Adoptions, InterCountry Adoption, etc.)
I personally have come to a compromised, nuanced position on this thing of ours-adoption. I advocate a Multi-tiered Plan that tries to be balanced, realistic, fair to all.

UPDATE: Living in the Philippines since 2010, at first teaching students from several countries as an Online Tutor, based in Makati, Metro Manila. I was working on a Digital Library for Online Tutoring or ELearning; developing an agritourism farm; and Overseas Retirement Care for foreigners needing 24/7 health care.

Then some 18 months ago, in July of 2012 I met with Andrew Leavold, a crazy film obsessed Aussie who helped "pull me back into film making".

WHEW! Lot on my plate. I have also been learning much about the Filipino society's very different viewpoints on unwed motherhood and adoption.

Latest: As of Sept. 2012, I worked on an Indie Film, "Baybayin, the Palawan Script", directed by Auraeus Solito, and international award winning Filipino director. I had a role in the film and explored my hobby as a STILLS Photographer. Currently I have quit all teaching, co-writing on an international film that will be done in 3D and CGI effects. I am back in the film-making business and I love it.

Adoption Discourse needs to hear YOUR VOICE. Every opinion, even opposing viewpoints will be posted and interaction invited by email and Comments have been activated again with spam filters!)
. Welcome, come learn, and share your thoughts.


February 17, 2010

Doctors Performing Fewer Abortions-OH NO!


Doctors Performing Fewer Abortions


Joong Ahn Daily

February 12, 2010

"Due
to the recent media reports and actions by a group of doctors, many obstetricians in Korea have stopped performing abortions. A clinic in Suwon, Gyeonggi, said that until this year it had performed 50 to 100 abortions a month, making up to 40 million won ($34,572). 


Starting this month, however, it stopped altogether.


The nation is locked in a heated controversy over abortion after an obstetricians’
group, Pro-Life Doctors,


reported three hospitals to prosecutors for allegedly conducting illegal abortions.

Abortion under Korean law is illegal except for in special circumstances including pregnancy by rape and for mothers with a contagious disease or mental or physical
illness
. Even so, illegal abortions have long been swept under the rug,
widely performed in hospitals throughout the country
.



Women who want abortions say that they have
been left with no choices. “Is the government saying that I should have
a baby, no questions asked, even though I can’t support myself or don’t
want a baby
?” said a woman in her 20s at a hospital." 
     

The KWB comments: We reported on this development last year as Joong Ahn Daily and Korea Times led the English daily papers to report on these facts. The government worries about the declining birth rate and seeks to encourage more births, even giving 'incentives' and 'bonus' to families that have a 2nd or 3rd child. The Pro-Life Doctors are making their moves after little action by the government. That is par for the course for the government, such as the Dogmeat Restaurant Laws passed immediately after the French expose' during the 1988 Olympics created quite a fuss about Korea. The other issue was the exporting of children for adoption, with many voicing the argument "Korea is no longer poor, why do they send their children abroad" (This will be a separate post as well).

The KWB noted back then, Here and There  that it was only a step away that the government would make it difficult or even outlaw women having abortions. WELL Here we are:



Pro-Life/Pro-Choice/Don't have Sex?/What will happen NOW? YOU just watch...The KWB predicts, no HE Prophesies (He KNOWS) that the numbers of "Babies Born to Unwed Mothers" WILL INCREASE  for the year 2010. All figures will increase, Hopefully the number of Mothers Who Keep Their Babies will stay at roughly 33% but the other 2/3 will go off the charts. SUPPLY of LIVING Korean Babies will go up like a 4th of July Rocket!!



Does this mean the Daily Death Details (the 3D's) might go down? Will women be forced to find illegal and potentially dangerous "Coat Hanger" operations? NOTHING to worry about folks, there are lots of doctors and clinics who will RAISE the PRICE and keep on doing business.



Remember the estimate of the government is ONE Thousand per DAY that are 'terminated' or 'ended', you know the 'UNWANTED Pregnancy' that is just SO inconvenient. The Pro-Life Korean Doctors know the facts, because they have the numbers of doses of medicine and operations, estimate FOUR thousand per DAY.

 
Oh, and according to the latest figure, 21 Babies were born each day, (7) seven were KEPT by their mothers (Report by Korean Women's Development Institute and KUMSN).
 

Domestic (official and CIVIL) accounted for (SECRETLY)   (11) eleven, and the LEFT OVER 3 (Three)  were adopted by "RICH WHITE ELITIST LIBERALS WITH WHITE PRIVILEGE" OR so some people say. Uh, this is NOT true as quite a few Korean Adoptees are adopting and the Race of most Adopters is not ALL white. PLUS-The government figures sorta hides the SPECIAL NEEDS children who are adopted because they are UNWANTED by 97% of the Korean people. Oh, and we are not even looking at the Abandoned that go into the Foster Care then Institutions until they grow up, with NO FAMILY. 


The number of Unkept, Undomestic/civil adoptions, will likely NOT be able to handle the SURGING numbers of Babies that will not be murdered but BORN ALIVE and THEN WHAT? Domestic (official numbers) adoptions actually dropped last year and Civil adoptions increased since now they can Keep it a dirty secret. Late Discovery Adoptees in Korea will becoming a common shock and awe for many, though they are being careful to MATCH THE BLOOD TYPE of Adoptee and SECRET ADOPTIVE PARENTS. Gotta keep it hidden, don't want the neighbors to know!

This is SUPPLY AND DEMAND pure and simple folks. The Supply continues to outdo the Demand on the home front, as the "Real" Korean people, For whatever reasons they have, simply do not support unwed mothers enough. Will many inconveniently pregnant women be faced with 
"Is the government saying that I should have a baby, no questions asked, even though I can’t support myself or don’t want a baby?"



INDEED, You saw it here first on the Korean War Baby, who accurately foretold in the
future that the Government WOULD make it DIFFICULT to 'terminate with extreme prejudice' all those UNWANTED PREGNANCIES
LORD help us, and our future brethren in
THIS THING OF OURS-ADOPTION!!!


Capt. Williard (played by Martin Sheen)


"With Extreme Predjudice" (CIA Agent-Apocalypse Now)
 












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