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 6, 2010

Finding Families For African-American Children

The KWB points to this report from May of 08 with a focus on TransRacial adoption in the USA. It can also apply, according to their experts, to TranRacial InterCountry Adoptions. For those who ‘want it all for research’ look here for:

“Finding Families for African-American Children”
Evan B. Donaldson's Adoption Institute

PDF link for entire report
The KWB wishes to note these sections:
Finding Families for African-American Children
Many children adopted in this country come from social, economic, racial and cultural backgrounds that differ from those of their new parents. Transracial adoption – defined as occurring when a child’s race/ethnicity is different from that of both parents when a couple adopts, or from that of a single parent when only one adopts – adds an additional layer of complexity to the issues faced by many adoptive families. While transracial adoptions can provide much-needed homes for boys and girls who may not otherwise have them, it is important to address the potential challenges in this growing practice in order to best serve everyone involved, especially the children.
At the federal level, three laws apply:
International adoptions into the U.S. are governed by an international treaty, the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, and the U.S. legislation to implement the Hague Convention, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000. The State Department issued implementing regulations that address children’s racial and ethnic needs, requiring that prospective parents receive training related to transracial adoption, as well as counseling related to the child’s cultural, racial, religious, ethnic, and linguistic background. The Convention took effect in the U.S. in April 2008.
Adoption of Native American children is governed by the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA), which was enacted after decades of child-welfare practices that included removing large numbers of children from reservations and sending them to institutions or non-Indian homes. ICWA sought to protect the best interests of Indian children and to promote the stability and security of Indian tribes and families by keeping children with families of their own ethnic heritage and through continued involvement with their tribes.
Adoption of children from foster care (other than Native Americans) is subject to the Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994 (MEPA), which:
1) prohibits the delay or denial of a child’s foster or adoptive placement solely on the basis of race, color, or national origin;
2) requires that state agencies make diligent efforts to recruit foster and adoptive parents who represent the racial and ethnic backgrounds of children in foster care.
In 1996, MEPA was amended by the Removal of Barriers to Interethnic Adoption Provisions (IEP), which deleted the word “solely” from MEPA’s prohibition against delaying or denying an adoptive placement on the basis of race. IEP prohibits agencies receiving federal funding from considering race in decisions on foster or adoptive placements, except in exceptional circumstances.
Research on transracial adoption has progressed over the past 35 years in methodological rigor and complexity. Overall, the current body of research on this issue supports three key conclusions:
1. Transracial adoption in itself does not produce psychological or social maladjustment problems in children.
2. Transracially adopted children and their families face a range of challenges, and the manner in which parents handle them facilitates or hinders children’s development. 3. Children in foster care come to adoption with many risk factors that pose challenges for healthy development. For these children, research points to the importance of adoptive placements with families who can address their individual issues and maximize their opportunity to develop to their fullest potential.
WELL, sorry for shouting but HEY! Look at these finding!!
Transracial adoption in itself does not produce psychological or social maladjustment problems in children.
Good Lord, does this mean that Korean adoptees, like half-breed and full-blood Korean Adoptee MAY NOT ALL BE messed up in the head or Social misfits? We face a range of challenges but according to this study,  many KAD may actually be NORMAL.
What happened to the ‘poor things’ that were adopted into ‘rich white families’? You know the ones who were kidnapped, stolen, and sold to greedy INFERTILE couples.
Hmmm, according to This link
The Gathering of the First Generation
of Adult Korean Adoptees:
Adoptees' Perceptions of International Adoption
This chart on page of “FINDINGS IN DETAIL
Respondent Was the Only Child
Biological Children of Adoptive Parents
Other Adopted Korean Sibling(s)
Domestically Adopted Sibling(s)
Internationally Adopted Sibling(s) (Not Korean)
“Excuuuuse ME” for shouting, but only 13% of adoptees from Korea were only Children. Possibly to Infertile Parents.
Then 26% were adopted and had biological sibling who were children of Adoptive Parents.
AND a whopping 52% had other ADOPTED Korean Siblings,
Plus 7% Domestically plus 3% ICA adopted (Not Korean)
52 + 7 + 3 =  62% of the 400 participants of the 1st Gathering had OTHER ADOPTED SIBLINGS!!!
DOES ANYONE SEE WHY THE KOREAN WAR BABY IS SHOUTING? This survey of the 400 participants of the 1st Gathering is quite enlightening.
Some people wrongly think that Infertile Couples are the only ones Adopting Korean Adoptees. Some use language that suggest that they believe that ICA adoptees are going to families who CAN’T have children.
WRONG! Not accurate at all. Seek the truth from many sources, the KWB asks "Please if you have a link to documents that show that MOST InterCountry Adoptions go to ‘greedy rich white privileged Infertile(?) Adoptive Parents’, then"-

SHOW US FACTS or stop whining!! Enough with misinformation and outright lies!

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