September 27, 2010
Of all the publicly-told adoption stories I have heard since adoption from Korea became a part of my life (apart from Julia's, which holds a very different place in my heart and mind), it is Deann Borshay Liem's that has touched me most deeply. In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee, which can be viewed online at PBS' POV through Octobrer 15th, picks up where First Person Plural, which can also be viewed online at POV through November 20th, leaves off. Both films document how Deann Borshay Liem refused to let the dismissal of those around her deter her from finding out the truth about her adoption, her identity and the woman whose name she brought to the United States when she was sent for adoption in her place.
A couple of weekends ago, I watched In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee, then reprised First Person Plural before watching Cha Jung Hee a second time. There are some similarities between Ms. Liem's story and that of one of my children, and I wanted to watch the film very carefully to understand why and how it was so easy for everyone involved in Ms. Liem's adoption to ride roughshod over her identity and history.
Read the rest and the Comments.
Third Mom says in one comment this:
“I think an ethical adoption is an adoption in which every possibility to keep the original family together has been exhausted, where coercion is absent, where trafficking is absent, where families have not been enticed with money or lies to surrender a child, where the child's identity and existing family connections are preserved, where the child has access to all information pertaining to his or her history and original family, where adoptive parents recognize and respect the child's identity and connections, where adoptive parents honor their commitments to original families regarding communication, visitation and connection, where adoptive parents accept their responsibility to connect their child with his or her racial and ethnic community and make its support a parenting priority, where original birth certificates are not sealed from adoptees, and more and more.
We have failed in the U.S., for sure, and adoption from Korea has certainly failed. I think that leaves society with a couple of options: stop adoption altogether (absolutely a possibility; from my point of view, that would leave kids whose only chance of growing up in a family environment in the lurch) or for people to start speaking up and demanding better. I'd like to see the latter before throwing in the towel altogether.
INDEED, Third Mom, “people to start speaking up and demanding better. I'd like to see the latter before throwing in the towel altogether” . Hopefully that will happen, for the hundreds even thousands each year RIGHT NOW in Korea (Rep. of Korea also known as South Korea). For there are children being given up for adoption DAILY.
They escaped being aborted, 4,000 daily aborted to 21 Born Alive, and of the 21 SEVEN ARE kept by their mostly Unwed Mothers. BUT daily 14-15 babies ARE given up for ADOPTION, with In-Country Adoptions and InterCountry Adoptions at a Three to one ratio. This means that for every child allowed to be adopted overseas in InterCountry Adoption that THREE are adopted IN-Country.
This is not counting tens of thousands Unadoptable because of their older age, left in 280 crowded institutions, abandoned by their Korean ‘families’. When they are 19 they will be forced to go out on their own.
“Stop adoption altogether?” NOT POSSIBLE, because even in this country there are INFERTILE Korean COUPLES or those wanting a “sure thing of an opposite sex sibling” (65% are now female for Domestic/Civil Code Law adoptions). THIS IS THE DEMAND, and the SUPPLY of newborns continues daily. COLD HARD UGLY FACTS but the TRUTH.
Can we do it better? BY GOD Hopefully YES!! Let activists and advocates both FOR AND AGAINST work together to IMPROVE the LAWS to prevent abuse. Agree to disagree on some things but for the sake of innocent children, Let’s work to DO IT BETTER.