Monday, August 06, 2007

On Dandelions and Thorns by a Flea

Several hundred Korean adoptees met for the fourth International Korean Adoptee Association Gathering was recently held in Korea. Coinciding with the Gathering is a petition drive to collection 1 million signatures calling for an end to international adoption in favor of better solutions for single mothers.

What’s unusual about this petition drive is that it was launched by a group of mothers whose children were adopted abroad.

The mothers call their group Mindeuelae – Dandelions – as in dandelions whose seeds may have been blown far away, but who won’t be done away with.

Their children who return as grown adults, “a thorn piercing Korea’s conscience,” says this editorial.

I appreciated this quote by Jae Ran Kim who joined the Dandelions in protest:

It is not a matter of whether you had a good experience or bad experience as an adoptee. The adoption system goes way beyond that. It works within a political, institutional structure of society.
This sentiment is very similar to differentiating between individual acts of racism and the deeply entrenched, yet more difficult to identify aspects of institutional racism. It’s the need to recognize that problems in adoption do not rest in how “successful” an individual’s adoption is, but that the problems are part of a larger system that trades children for dollars, favors the wealthy over the poor and preys upon the vulnerable.

Jane Jeong Trenka was a leading organizer of the protest and has a moving video about the Dandelion group on her blog.

May this event of the Dandelion mothers signal the door opening to the voices of mothers the world over.


Adoptee seeks end to overseas adoption, JoongAng Daily, August 4, 2007

Jane’s Blog, Korean birthparents against intl adoption, August 6, 2007

[Editorial] Stop intercountry adoption, The Hankyoreh, August 4, 2007

Korean adoptees from abroad and birth mothers protest overseas adoption, Yonhap News Agency, August 5, 2007

1 comment:

  1. I'm the adoptive mothers of two Korean children. My family has had first-hand experience with unethical adoption practices. It's incredibly painful to acknowledge that this has been the case for my family, and overwhelming extrapolated across the hundreds of thousands of transnational adoptions that have taken place in this century.

    I hope to meet David Smolin at the adoption ethics conference in DC in October. Glad I found your blog - will link, and will be checking back to read more.