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.


Aussie director Jet Wilkinson: From an orphanage to Hollywood

The Daily Telegraph MEG MASON April 9, 2017 12:00am

From a Vietnamese orphanage to a Sydney suburb to Hollywood, Australian TV director Jet Wilkinson tells Stellar how she made the big time.

FOR a pair of hard-working parents, an accountant and a secretary-turned-housewife from a down-to- earth suburb like Dundas in Sydney’s north-west, to have their teenage daughter announce that she is planning to become a Hollywood director isn’t necessarily welcome news.

“They said, ‘The worst thing you can do is an arts degree,’” laughs Jet Wilkinson, that teenage daughter, now 43. “I ended up doing an arts degree.”

And instead of pursuing their suggested career in teaching, Wilkinson did become a Hollywood director and producer – one of the relatively few Australians to make the notoriously difficult leap from the domestic television industry to the American big leagues.

Click here to read the full article

Adoption Disruption/Displacement Experiences of Intercountry Adoptees USA

Are you an intercountry/international adoptee 18+ years or older?

  • Did you spend time (30 days or more) in foster care, group home, residential treatment, wilderness treatment camp, treatment ranch, or long-term hospitalization program before you turned 18 years old?
  • Or did your adoptive parents kick you out of the house, leading you to couch-surf, stay in shelters or live without secure housing?
  • Were you “re-homed” or placed in a formal or informal adoptive home with someone other than the parents to whom you were originally adopted?

My name is JaeRan Kim, and I am an assistant professor at the University of Washington Tacoma. I am conducting a research study on intercountry adoptees who, after their adoption by U.S. parents, experienced an adoption disruption, dissolution or displacement. Participation in the study would include completing a survey and an interview.

If you would like more information about this study, or would like to participate, please contact me at for more information. This study has been approved by the University of Washington Institutional Review Board. Thank you for your consideration.

Click here to the page link

An Iranian Intercountry Adoption

InterCountry Adoptee Voices (ICAV) 2017

I am an Iranian intercountry adoptee born in 1969 and adopted by my American adoptive family in 1976. They lived and worked at a small shipping port town called Bandar-e-abbas, not far from Tehran for a number of years. My adoptive father worked in a British ship building company, contracted to the Iranian Navy. My adoptive family had 5 older siblings, all biologically born to them. I joined my family as the youngest and I also suffer from limb deformities caused by parts of the amniotic sac wrapping itself around my fingers and foot in utero, this syndrome is called Amniotic band constriction.

My birth date is unknown and I came to be placed for adoption because I was dropped off at the police station north east of Iran at approximately 3 days old. I was placed on a blanket with a note saying “take good care of him” and nothing else to identify who had left me there. In Iran in those days, there was no support for a child born with deformities and it was considered a stigma. I was then taken to an orphanage in Tehran for 6 and 1/2 years and raised there until my adoption. My orphanage for children with deformities had been established by the Iranian queen but once the revolution took place, children like me were used for lowly roles like walking through landscapes searching for unexploded landmines ie., we were just throwaway kids, not valued or considered as worthy of any type of life.

Click here to read the full article.