JD Carter – The Long Way Home

60 Minutes – Link

4th June 2017

Joel de Carteret’s remarkable journey proves the power of love can overcome truly impossible odds. There’s an extraordinary ending to this story, but it begins with heartbreak. As a five year old Joel got hopelessly lost from his mother when he wandered away from the family home and into a bustling city market in the Philippines. He searched and searched but couldn’t find her, and eventually was taken to an orphanage. Imagine his despair as for the next 18 months this little boy contemplated a future with little hope. But Joel is plucky and also lucky. He’s adopted by a caring and loving Australian family. He goes on to lead a happy and successful life here, except something is always missing. Six months ago, 30 years after getting lost, Joel de Carteret couldn’t ignore the pain any longer. He had to find his birth mother. But in a country of one hundred million, where would he even start to look?

Reporter: Liam Bartlett 

Producer: Jo Townsend 


The Perks Of Being An Adoptee

 The Perks Of Being An Adoptee By Mae Claire

Adoption is complex and each adoption is unique. There is something that unites all adoptees though, and it is loss. Many find happiness, joy, understanding, and their birth family while at the same time experiencing great pain. There are also adoptees who have had less ideal experiences. What they do with their life is up to each individual and many choose to write to make light of their lived experience. One of the perks of being an adoptee is realizing that we are powerful beyond all measure and the way we tell our stories is beautiful, thought-provoking, painful, insightful, humorous

Beyond Infantilizing Portraits: South Korean Adoptees Speak Out

Korean Expose – by

Perhaps the world’s best-known Korean adoptee today is Adam Crapser. After living in the U.S. for almost four decades, Crapser was deported to South Korea late last year because his adoptive parents had never filed for his American citizenship.

The twists and turns of Crapser’s story were splashed all over the news: his traumatic childhood and abusive adoptive parents; his criminal history and earnest attempts to turn his life around; his legal battles to stay in the U.S.; and, ultimately, his deportation to South Korea, where his birth mother struggled to learn English as she waited for her son.

Crapser’s tale is certainly dramatic, and it is important to recognize the reality of struggles like his. But the media’s dramatization of such cases can create a one-dimensional narrative of adoptees, often as helpless victims without a clear sense of identity. Others portray adoptees as eternal children, fixating upon grainy black-and-white baby photographs from orphanages or adoption agencies.

More than 200,000 Koreans have been sent overseas for adoption since the 1950s. Because the roots of adoption lie in the post-Korean War humanitarian effort, there is still a common perception of adoptees as orphans who should be rescued, pitied or regarded with guilt.

“When you tell [Koreans] that you’re adopted, they immediately say they’re sorry, speaking collectively for the country,” said adoptee Hojung Audenaerde.

Read the full article by clicking here

The Colour of Time – A Longitudinal Exploration of the Impact of Intercountry Adoption in Australia

A new book, The Colour of Time: A Longitudinal Exploration of the Impact of Intercountry Adoption in Australia is to be released in June this year.

This is the sequel to The Colour of Difference: Journeys in Transracial Adoption by Federation Press, 2001 (no longer available in print but can be purchased as an ebook at Google Play).

The Colour of Time follows the journeys of 13 of the original 27 contributors from The Colour of Difference.  Reading about their experiences 15 years on, you will gain a greater understanding of how the adoption journey is navigated over time as adoptees mature and age.  The book looks at whether things change, and if so, how?

Included in The Colour of Time is a new younger generation of 15 intercountry adoptees, some as  young as 18 through to others in their early 30s.  They shed light on whether the issues they’ve experienced mirror the complexities raised by the older generation in The Colour of Difference.  Has the mandatory education for prospective parents made a difference?  Has racism been an issue compared to those raised in the 70s and 80s, post White Australia Policy era?  Has greater awareness of the complexities highlighted in The Colour of Difference made any impact?

Overall, the book The Colour of Time includes 28 intercountry adoptees raised in Australia and adopted from 13 birth countries.  The book provides a snapshot of some issues faced over the life long journey of being adopted, specific to intercountry adoption.  These range from being young adults finishing high school wrestling with identity issues, searching and reuniting, navigating dating relationships, becoming parents, chosing to remain single, navigating post reunion relationships, losing adoptive or biological parents through age, resolving or learning to manage traumas and mental health issues long term, and much, much more …

The Colour of Time is a must read for those interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the life long journey of intercountry adoption, whether an adoptive parent, an adoptee, an adoption professional, or anyone interested in adoption.

The Colour of Difference: Journeys in Transracial Adoption

The Colour of Difference: Journeys in Transracial Adoption

Accounts of the experience of cross-cultural adoption, by adoptees. These accounts are introduced by Sarah Armstrong, who introduces the project, the issues around cross-cultural adoption, themes arising through the first person accounts and provides statistics on the scale of cross-cultural adoption. “The aim of the project was to draw together the experiences of both Australian-born transracial adoptees and intercountry adoptees … Of the nine Australian-born adoptees, there were those of Aboriginal, Chinese, Maori, African, Spanish descent. The countries of origin for the 18 intercountry adoptees were Vietnam, Bangladesh, Fiji, New Zealand (Maori), Burundi, Korea, Colombia, Sri Lanka, India and Canada (North American Indian). The writing of The Colour of Difference has been about discovery and openness and not about blame. The adoptees who gave their stories to us so generously and honestly, with all their various experiences of adoption, wanted the book to be a positive and true reflection of their lives in Australia. Some of them, as you will read, had experienced unkindness or abuse in their adoptive families. The majority had been treated with love and real efforts had been made to incorporate them and their culture into the adoptive family. The participants, as a group, said that they were ‘just trying to be honest’ in writing their stories, not trying to blame their adoptive families, who were generally perceived to be ‘doing their best’. … The participants of this book are keenly aware of how their lives might have been. They bear the burden of gratefulness, often to parents who would be appalled to think that their children feel such an emotion. In the public eye, this kind of adoption was, and perhaps still is, a ‘good thing’ to have done, an altruistic gesture. The New South Wales Law Reform Commission, in their Report 81: Review of the Adoption of Children Act 1965 (NSW) state: Approaching intercountry adoption as a form of aid carries with it a danger of placing on the child an implied burden of being grateful for having been ‘saved’. This can lead to a situation in which the child may feel that his gratitude can never equal what has been done for him and the debt becomes impossible to repay.”– Taken from the Introduction. Post Adoption Resource CentreThe Post Adoption Resource Centre (PARC), a service of The Benevolent Society, is a Sydney based counselling and information service for people affected by adoption in New South Wales, throughout Australia and internationally. PARC was established in 1991 to coincide with the implementation of the New South Wales Adoption Information Act (1990), which gave rights to information and contact to adoptees and birth relatives. Since that time, PARC has conducted more than 43,000 telephone counselling calls and has provided direct counselling, intermediary and groupwork services to a further 13,000 people. PARC’s services are available to anyone affected by adoption.