Adoptee Reunions: A Happy Ending Can Be Elusive

Korean Expose, by Katelyn Hemmeke

When I tell South Korean nationals that I’m a Korean-American adoptee, their reactions vary from a kind of backhanded recognition (“Oh, so that’s why you can’t speak Korean”) to profuse apologies (“I’m so sorry that happened to you”) to expressions of jealousy (“You’re so lucky; I want to go to America, too”). There’s one question, though, that they almost always ask: “Do you know your Korean family?”

The follow-up to that question often includes eager suggestions of how to find my birth family. “It’s easy,” one South Korean woman told me. “All you have to do is put your Korean name on TV. People do this all the time. Your Korean mother will be watching the news, and she’ll see your name, and she’ll cry and cry and cry, and then she will find you and you can meet her. Don’t you want to?”

Her idea was not too far-fetched. Throughout the 2000s, television programs such as I Miss That Person (later re-titled as Missing Person) aired segments featuring transnational adoptees searching for their birth families.

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Adoptees advantaged by birth language memory

Science Daily, Date:January 18, 2017, Source:Radboud University

anguage learning very early on in life can be subconsciously retained even when no conscious knowledge of the early experience remains. The subconscious knowledge can then be tapped to speed up learning of the pronunciation of sounds of the lost tongue. A paper describing these results of language scientists from Radboud University, Western Sydney University and Hanyang University has been published in Royal Society Open Science on January 18.

Decades after their adoption, Korean adoptees are better in pronouncing Korean sounds than control participants, even if they were only a few months old at the moment of their adoption. That is shown in a study of international adoptees by Mirjam Broersma, language scientist at Radboud University and the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics (MPI), Anne Cutler (chief investigator at the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language — CoEDL — and Western Sydney University) and Jiyoun Choi of Hanyang University (previous postdoc at CoEDL). Their results show that babies start with the learning and storing of speech sounds much earlier than was hitherto known.

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Age Exclusive: Adoptions to get boost as fee for foreigners waived

The Asian Age, SREEPARNA CHAKRABARTY Published : Jan 15, 2017, 12:38 am IST

New Delhi: In a move that will encourage adoptions in a big way, the government has decided to do away with the adoption fee for foreigners which they had to pay if they wanted to take their adopted children abroad with them.

Prospective adoptive parents earlier had to submit an investment plan and also invest a certain amount of money in the name of their child. The women and child development ministry brought out fresh regulations last week, according to which the requirement for any kind of fees has been done away with.

Apart from this, the ministry has also decided to form a special tribunal to resolve adoption-related cases as child welfare committees — which were entrusted with this job — sometimes take too long, sources said.

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Daniel Drennan ElAwar

A personal blog from an adoptee who returned to his birth country, Lebanon

We are as splinters, expelled from the body. The corpus surrounds us, englobes us, and drives us out; it then returns to a state of “as if” we had never existed. Should we attempt return, we do not notice that the immune response starts yet again. Only at this point we are incapable of understanding its reasonings and explanations. Ô Lebanon! Shall I be sorry that I wished not to return to you as an “American”? Had I done so, I know I would have been embraced with open arms, as the colonized always greet their oppressors. There is no comfort here. No, I sought something more from you: an origin, a sense of source, an acknowledgement of belonging, a claim to place—a wish shared by many also discounted as not being “of” this place. None of which you deemed worthy of offering. In this regard, I was naive to an extreme, no doubt. But things have changed. Following my latest visit to what I understand now is a neighboring familial village, my story was revealed to me by my cousin Jamal. Two weeks ago we met with the father of my top DNA match, as well as a family friend who saw my BBC interview years ago. Like a frozen river come springtime, a great unblocking took place as word got round, as the who and the what and the why made the rounds. And an elderly man plagued by his memories of a child absconded with half a century ago came forward, and revealed a secret to the only man he says he trusts with such information, Jamal’s father. And with that the Sisyphean task, twelve long years later, is accomplished.

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Deepa and the Mothers of Silence

Al Modon – Zeina Allouche

Article Translated to English by Yara Zalzal  

The quest for finding Deepa Darmasiri was poignant, indeed. What a sad picture it was, seeing her eaten up by all her hesitation, to finally gather the strength to reveal what she lived through. Her startled eyes, which talked about the sad event without even speaking, came in contradiction with her actual reluctance to uncover that old secret of hers. Carrying and feeling her newborn baby inside her womb for 9 consecutive months only to have her barbarically ripped away from her, was her big secret. All that silenced pain and repressed suffering invited cancer in, which ate up all of her life. Zeinab perceived, in all certainty, her mother Deepa as a victim and was so eager to search for that missing puzzle piece. If one were to ask questions pertaining to the reason why Zeinab went searching for her mother and to the behavior of her abusive and monster father, the answer would be simple. Did she or did she not experience the torture her mom experienced when she was in her womb? Did she or did she not feel her mom’s fear and perturbation during her dad’s multiple attempts to possibly abuse and rape her during pregnancy? She certainly did. She did witness, and let alone feel, the atrocities that her mom must have gone through. She did indeed experience oppression, humiliation, and helplessness whilst in her mother’s womb. Indeed, Deepa Darmasiri was left all alone, submerged with streams of unfairness and trapped within an ugly system.

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