‘An Adoptee Returns to South Korea, and Changes Follow’

This is a NY Times article about Jane Jeong Trenka’s work in Korea.  Go read it.

By then, South Korea was beginning to change its stance on adoption. As the country became the world’s latest economic miracle, the government slowly began to whittle down the number of international adoptions that many saw as a national shame. Still, experts say the government was unwilling to take steps many felt were needed to shift the country’s mind-set until it was forced to by Ms. Trenka and her fellow adoptees, who were joined in their campaign by unwed mothers. They tirelessly lobbied lawmakers, wrote blogs, held protests and filed complaints with the human rights commission.

*                                 *                                 *

The returnees’ leadership was instrumental to changing the way South Korea viewed adoptions,” said the Rev. Kim Do-hyun, director of KoRoot, an advocacy group for Korean adoptees.

[I was taken aback by the contrast between the great head on this article (“An Adoptee Returns to South Korea, and Changes Follow”) vs. the head on the letters to the editor (“A South Korean Adoptee, Caught Between Two Worlds”). Personally I think the “caught between two worlds” thing is cliched and overdone to death, and is reflective of the way white people think about folks of color. Additionally I was greatly annoyed by the letter writers (adoptive parents all) and their bullshit, and you are therefore warned that this link may cause extreme aggravation.]

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The adoption edition.

Death of adopted Russian child in U.S. spurs anger in Moscow:  Three-year-old Max Shatto’s death is still under investigation.  It appears he had been beaten.  This article mentions that twenty American children adopted from Russia have died [at the hands of their adoptive parents].  However, it goes on to note “Russia, however, is not an easy place for children.”

Ukrainians outraged as US dad shoots adopted Ukrainian boy:  Andrew Arthur Butler was thirteen, and his 73-year-old adoptive father was allegedly trying to teach the boy how to use a gun.

‘”He said he heard a gunshot and felt like the boy was shooting at him so he spun around and fired a shot back,” Link said after Saturday’s shooting.’

He shot the boy in the head.

Ohio child rape case unusual and haunting:  I’d agree with “haunting,” but I’m not sure how “unusual” it is.  The Frank Lombard case wasn’t that long ago.  The agency apparently used interns to perform some social worker functions.  Another Ohio man who raped the child pleaded guilty.

Indian woman wants adopted daughter back:  She was abducted and has been living in Australia with adoptive parents.

‘”She’s a complete Australian and we don’t think she should be forced to go back into a situation where she doesn’t speak the language, she doesn’t understand the culture and she doesn’t know any of the people,” her father said.’  Oh, okay then!

Widow owes rejected adopted daughter millions, court rules:  A little girl was adopted from China.  And her megabucks parents set up a trust for her as well as their biological kids.  Then the dad kicked off.  About six years later, the adoptive mother un-adopted the kid.  She then claimed the kid had no claim to the estate.  Makes sense, because $250 million really isn’t enough to share.  But the court thought different.

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The Friday mishmash edition.


I was glad to see this headline about the #racistrager was “Duke Students Protest ‘Racist Rager’ Frat Party” and not “Asians Protest ‘Racist Rager.'”  Although it was somewhat demoralizing to find this party came on the heels of a blackface party.  Hey, what better place to learn about privilege in action than one of the top schools in the country?  Shades of Mike Randazzo!

Because racist theme parties are not enough, now universities apparently have “spotting websites.”  Looks like there weren’t enough outlets to be racist on the internet.  Shades of Anna Langevin and Chelsie Palbicki!

And if it isn’t enough to endure discrimination in hiring because of your name, search engines also suggest you’re a criminal to boot (pdf link)!  The survey found “statistically significant discrimination in ad delivery based on searches of 2184 racially associated personal names across two websites.”

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is starting a series of video interviews with Japanese Americans who were imprisoned in U.S. concentration camps during the war.  See Sam Mibu’s interview here.

And in Illinois, lawmakers are moving towards marriage equality.  Of course, Cardinal George had to poke his nose into it and call upon his supporters to fight against equal rights.  This despite the fact the law has specific provisions allowing churches to approve or not.  Because it’s about civil rights.  And because believe it or not, some people do get married outside of the church.

Marriage equality matters.  Because if your wife dies, your loss should be recognized.  Equally.

And in the “Finally got it right” category, Julia Pastrana has been returned home to be laid to rest.  Story here and here.  Totally creepy that her body was exhibited a hundred years after her death.  She was reportedly a beautiful singer and a philanthropist.  It’s like we never learned from Saartjie Baartman’s story.

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JaeRan Kim edition <3

Social worker and blogger JaeRan Kim was on MPR News last month as part of the Friday Roundtable.  You can read what she has to say about it here.

Kim also has a chapter in the new book “Parenting as Adoptees,”  edited by Adam Chau and Kevin Ost-Vollmers.  She’s joined by fabulous people like Shannon Gibney.  I first became aware of Gibney when I read an exceptionally smart and insightful (possibly inciteful) comment of hers on a news site.  Like Kim, she’s one of those thinkers who will blow you away.

Anyway, go read and listen.  You can thank me later.