Holt adoption baby

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Hope they will search

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These days, that’s what unwed mothers giving their babies all seem to say. They give up their babies because they have no options and they hope the babies will grow up, come back, and search for them.

Now, what are the odds they will be able to do that?

Also, the unwed moms are telling us that the adoption agencies are telling them that they will have a better chance of reuniting with their children if they give up their babies to international adoption.

Better chance. Does Holt tell them about the 2.7% reunion rate?

I just had the privilege of viewing some photos for a future exhibition of unwed mothers who gave up their babies. They agreed to have their face photographed to improve the odds that when their children search one day, they can more easily be found.

How brave and sad and fucked up is that?

A few months ago Jane translated my on-line Holt family registry at Holt Korea. Because, you know, you post your photo and bio in your native tongue and they don’t translate it. So these moms had better learn English, French, Dutch, German, Danish, and Swedish…’cause who knows which country their child was sent to. Most adopees don’t even know an on-line registry exists at Holt Korea’s website, or that there is a difference between Holt Korea and Holt International…

Even the adoption agencies can’t keep track. Supposedly Jane was sent to the Netherlands…

What gets me is – how can anybody see any of this and still justify international adoption? How?


Written by girl4708

February 12, 2011 at 12:53 am

Posted in Uncategorized

What would Harry Holt Do?

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Here is the awesome spoken word, by permission of the author, poet Christy Namee Ericksen.

Please support the work of Christy and other poets of color by purchasing their collective CD, of which this poem is part of. You can purchase it here.

(You can listen to her spoken word by following the link below which takes you to another page)

What would Harry Holt do?

(or, you can try wordpress’s audio player below so you can read along, but it takes a year to load)

And here’s my transcription:

What Would Harry Holt Do?

Everyone knows what Harry Holt would do:

as a businessman

who wanted to be a hero,

as a father

who wanted more;

as a Christian

with connections.


Well I want to know:

What would Harry Holt do

if he knew about all the good Korean adoptee Christians

that are hooking up all over this town?


What would Harry Holt do

if Buddhist black people started to adopt in thousands?

Or if suburban white babies were being left at Lunds & Byerlies?


What would Harry Holt do

if all the adoptees knew a song,

and the song was, “How much is that baby in the window?”

and at night we could look through our story on the bookshelf —

see the letters, see the bills; see how much it cost our parents

to buy us.


What would Harry Holt do?


What would Harry Holt do

if Korea had to shut down general operations in the summer,

just to handle the influx of adoptees —

the migration of Koreans from all these continents —

back to the land they were taken from:

looking for their roots, looking for their mothers; looking for their answers?


What would Harry Holt do

if our birth-mothers wanted to write us a letter,

but they didn’t know what Korean name the orphanage gave us,

or they didn’t know how to spell the American name they heard about,

or they didn’t know how to write Roman letters?

How would they start?

How would he start to tell them?


What would Harry Holt do

if all the Korean mothers started to cry one night,

beginning at sunset and ending at sunrise,

in the corner of each of their homes,

in the quiet of each of their secrets,

under the floors of the floors of the floors of their stories?

And their tears were so many

that they began to flow into the streets

of Seoul, of Busan, of Daegu.

And the country woke up to a new river

that everyone saw,

but no one talked about;

that sparkled like wishing stars

but filled everyone with sadness.

What would Harry Holt do?


What would Harry Holt do

if a Korean mother

and a Korean daughter

could only understand each other

if a white woman missionary from Utah translated?


What would Harry Holt do

when the only thing adoptees can really call their own from Korea

is their Korean name,

tattoo’d on their bodies somewhere,

and they can’t even read it?


What would Harry Holt do

if Korea made a new reality t.v. show,

still about Korean adoptee reunions,

but this time all the adoptees

are reunited — with him?


What would Harry Holt do

with the stress of 200,000 questions?


What would Harry Holt do

with the results of a customer service survey?


What would Harry Holt do

if we started to write our own research?


What would Harry Holt do

with all the prayers

young adoptees whisper

to Harry Holt’s God?

With all the wishes burnt on birthday candles,

all the letters sent to Santa

asking, requesting, begging for

whiter skin or bigger eyes or less flat face or

to be Megan Nelson or Camile Jarvis or

Heidi Farrington, who’s a little chubby

but everyone still likes her.

That’d be all right.


What would Harry Holt do

about love?

When money turns to shame

and an Iowa man beats his four Korean adopted children to death

with a baseball bat.


What would Harry Holt do

about love?

When things change

and a child loses their shine,

when a Dutch couple visits Korea,

picks up a daughter,

and returns her to the orphanage seven years later.


What would Harry Holt do

about love?

When adoptees are saving their allowance

for surgery to cut a fold in their eyelids,

when they’re only dating color-blind white men

who have a thing for Asians;

when they’re holding their own



in their arms,

as she breaks?


What would Harry Holt do

about love?

When their families

don’t want to hear about it anymore?

Don’t want to hear about it anymore.

You were never our Korean child,

you were just our child.


What would Harry Holt do then?


And what would Harry Holt do now?


To save us?


Written by girl4708

December 15, 2010 at 3:16 am

Posted in Uncategorized

must’ve been destiny

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I think the following poem should be required reading by anyone considering international adoption, and it’s a fine companion piece to John Raible’s spoken-word piece on transracial adoption, Better Off, Better Smile.  It was written by my KAD sister, Myung-Sook, from her unapologetic and profoundly heartwrenching blog, Holt Adoption Product.

It was Myung-Sook who heard my small scared voice three years ago and comforted me, and it is Myung-Sook who holds my hand today when I am frightened or alone.  If I hold your hand too, it is because of her.

Please read her blog, but as an intro, please enjoy this poem presented in the same manner she did and be sure to start the music while you are reading.

Because 사랑해요 means I love you

November 30, 2010 by myungsook

당신은 사랑받기위해 태어난 사람 means
You were born to be abandoned,
because 사랑해요 means I love you.

You were born to be abandoned
Because you were born to a wrong father
You were born to be rejected
Because 사랑해요 means I love you

Do not worry
There is a married woman whose womb has been closed by God; her name is Hannah.
Hannah has great faith in God and she is praying hard to have a child

You were born to be abandoned
Because your were born to a poor parent
You were born to be tagged with a price
Because you were born in a poor country

Do not worry
Hannah lives in a rich country.
And she’ll pay any price to have a child

You were born to be abandoned
Because you were born to a sinner
You were born to be sold
Because you were born in Korea

Do not worry
There is man who heard Hannah’s prayer; his name is Eli
Eli will fix your mother’s mistakes in the name of Jesus

You were born to be abandoned
Because God placed you in the wrong womb
You were born to be shipped off to strangers
Because you were born in the wrong country

Do not worry
The followers of Jesus will fix God’s mistakes.
And the followers of Confucius will send you off with an escort

Be grateful that you are not useless
Hannah’s is happy now, because of your existence in this world.
Followers of Jesus made huge sum of money, because of your existence in this world.
And the followers of Confucius will be happy, the day you’ll visit your birth country to spend your money.

당신은 사랑받기위해 태어난 사람…

The Contemporary Christian use of adoption for personal gain obliterates the fact that we international adoptees are a product of social injustice, and both Myung-Sook and John Raibel’s pieces give voice to the children who were silenced during this process.  International adoption capitalizes on social injustice and benefits from its continuation:  it is no charitable act.

Written by girl4708

December 1, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Lost and Found

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But being able to recover your identity and finding your real family?  It’s worth it all…

Written by girl4708

November 11, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

It’s a beginning…

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Adoption to require approval of court

2010-09-27 17:57

A 43-year-old father surnamed Hong gave up his three children for 5 million won ($4,300) per child last year. Each child was adopted to individual families who hoped to have additional points in bidding for a new apartment. After the draw, regardless of whether they won the ownership or not, the children were sent back to their father.

In 2006, a six-year-old Korean girl who spoke English, Chinese and Dutch but not Korean, was found in foster care in Hong Kong. Seven years after adopting her during their stay in Korea, a Dutch diplomat couple abandoned her and explained belatedly she suffered from “a severe form of fear of emotional attachment.” The girl found a new Korean family residing in Hong Kong in 2008.

Under the nation’s current law on adoption, children can be adopted when there is agreement between “two parties” involved. When they are orphans, such basic consent is not needed.

Aimed at settling a new adoption policy is good not just for parents but for children, the government has decided to revise the related law, which will include the introduction of a “legal permit system.”

According to the Ministry of Justice on Monday, adoption of underage children would be allowed by the family court after examining potential parents’ intention of adoption, financial reliability and criminal records. The new measure will be implemented regardless of the parents’ or children’s nationality, officials said.

The ministry plans to finalize the revision within the first half of next year for a parliamentary approval, they said.

Along with the revision, the government is also considering joining the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption, an international resolution aimed at ensuring the best interests of adopted children and prioritizing encouraging birth mothers to raise their children over domestic and international adoption.

While some 70 nations in the world have already signed the treaty, Korea is one of few countries yet to join.

The government’s move came after the repeated demand from civic groups, especially those of adopted people in recent years.

Korea, sometimes mocked as a “baby exporting country,” has sent more than 200,000 children abroad since the 1950-53 Korean War. Still, some 1,200 children find a new home in other countries every year.

Due to the current lax law, some brokers force young single mothers to give up their child for adoption. The welfare of children is sometimes less considered, with abuse cases reported frequently.

And such covert dealings make it difficult for adopted people, especially those taken into foreign families, to seek their birth parents when they are adults.

By Lee Ji-yoon (jylee@heraldm.com)

Written by girl4708

September 29, 2010 at 9:41 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Yes, we can!

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Chosun.com article translated into English by http://www.asiancorrespondent.com/ Korea Beat

“Our A is so cute with such a white face, no? She tells me that what she wants to do here the most is study really hard.”

On the morning of August 23, 15-year-old A, a third-year middle school student, was bashful as she introduced herself in jeans and a white t-shirt after being introduced by Lee Chan-mi, a social worker.

That was the scene in class on the first day of operation for the Narae Alternative School (나래대안학교), the first alternative educational institute for unmarried students in the entire nation. It was a time for them to see one another’s faces and introduce the school members sitting with them.

The students in the first day’s class included A and one other, a first-year high school student. The two attended regular schools until it was found they were pregnant. The students now receive regular lessons here, and when they graduate they will receive diplomas from their original schools.

The Seoul Office of Education (서울시교육청) chose Ae Ran Won (애란원), an organization for unmarried mothers, to be the site of the education facility, and the Narae School now operates from the same building and protects the educational rights of unmarried mothers.

On August 23 the Ministry of Science Education, and Technology (교육과학기술부) published a report, titled 학생 미혼모 실태조사 연구, according to which there are 73 unmarried mothers living in the 35 facilities for them nationwide and 85% of them are not attending school. Many of them were forced to drop out when their schools discovered their pregnancies or else put their schoolwork on hold to give birth and take care of their babies.

17-year-old B, a second-year high school student who sat in on a class at the Narae School and hopes to attend, has the same situation. In May her school forced her to drop out when it discovered she was pregnant. “The other students will be harmed,” was the reason.

Due to give birth in December, B said, “I guess I would have had to study by myself and just get a GED, so I’m extremely happy there is this place where I can graduate and a diploma from my old school… my dream is to study hard and become a hair designer.”

The unmarried mothers who enter the Narae School live in Ae Ran Won and study five subjects (Korean, English, math, social studies, and science) for two to three hours per day, and then take courses in preparation for parenthood and vocational licenses. Ae Ran Won contains a nursery and after givign birth the mothers can study while living with their babies. After giving birth they may go back to their original schools if their health permits and if the school accepts them.

Seoul and Incheon are the only areas with education institutes for unmarried mothers. The Ministry plans to have the 16 city and provincial offices of education each establish at least one such institute next year.

Of course there is no such facility for the miserable screw-up fathers, who are not expelled and will graduate as if nothing happened.

Written by girl4708

August 27, 2010 at 10:01 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Questions to ask about adoption from S. Korea

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Why are the adoption agencies against improvements to social services for unwed mothers?  Shouldn’t an institution that purportedly cares about children be enthusiastic about preserving original families whenever possible?

Why does Holt International say they comply with the Hague Convention when they source babies from Holt Korea, and Korea does NOT comply with the Hague Convention or the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child?  Isn’t that deceptive?

Why does Holt continue to say children will die if they are not adopted from S. Korea?

How can Holt say there is no conflict of interest operating unwed mother’s homes when their primary operation is exporting infants?

Why does Holt have associations with over 22 hospital maternity wards?

Why does Holt call infants motherless and homeless when the children were not abandoned or found on the street?  When the reason they are orphans is because the majority of the children’s mothers were counseled into giving up their children.  And the mothers comply because with inadequate social services they have no real options left them.

Why does Holt spend government grants for Post adoption resources on adoption advertising campaigns?

Why do adoption industry CEO’s make six figure incomes?

Why does Holt continue to portray Korean children as products of a war-torn country?

How can Holt afford to support a touring rock band promoting adoption?

Why does Holt spend $600,000+ each year on adoption advertising when there are wait lists for adopting?

Why has Holt never had an exit strategy after their war relief efforts (their rationale behind starting international adoption in the first place) after the war ended?  It’s been 56 years intervening in Korean society…


Why does the government not have access to the identity papers of all Korean adoptees?

Why are those papers left in the hands of private agencies?

Why is there no third party oversight of adoption practices?

Why won’t S. Korea comply with international conventions concerned with ethics in adoption?

Why is the 13th ranking member nation of the OECD unable to provide adequate social services to its own people?

Why do Korean companies pay millions for cosmetic surgery for disfigured children in third world countries while disfigured Korean children sit in orphanages?

Why is disfigurement grounds for becoming an orphan in Korea?


How can there by any honor in preserving family honor by forcing your daughters to relinquish their flesh and blood?

What is more valuable, denying indiscretions and their outcomes?  or preventing the outcomes of indiscretions?


Why do adoptive parents (AP’s) and potential adoptive parents (PAP’s)  ignore all of the questions above?

How can Korea ever hope to establish their own social programming when international adoption agencies remove the government’s responsibilities?

Why do most AP’s not bother to even come to investigate the conditions and culture of the country their orphan came from?

Would you want to be raised a Caucasian minority by an all Korean family in Korea?

Can you not see that for each of the 200,000 children that have been sent out of the country, at least that many Koreans live with the grief of losing a child?

Do you really believe that many children were intentionally forsaken???

Shouldn’t the need for adoption programs in any country eventually become obsolete?  With Korea being the first and oldest source country, and model for all international adoption programs to follow, what does its long established institutionalization say about the marriage of charity and adoption?


This adoptee is constantly accused of not being objective, which is ridiculous, because it is impossible for an adoptee to be objective about adoption.  Objectivists merely report.  Subjects understand on a deeper level, and history shows us that major shifts of consciousness have followed policy changes instigated by those who have been subjugated to injustice.

Despite whatever bad and good feelings/experiences this adoptee has had, this adoptee is still a rational / logical being, and logic tells this adoptee that the adoption solution is no solution at all.

Until adoption industry pressure on this society is curtailed, and until law is enacted to preserve families and the civil rights of adoptees, and until PAP money stops perverting politics and driving market forces, the Korean people will never get a real opportunity to evolve or grow into their civilized potential.

Written by girl4708

August 17, 2010 at 5:35 pm

Posted in Uncategorized