Bring Your Own Doc : “Somewhere Between,” Adopted Chinese Girls Finding Identity in the US w/ Linda Goldstein Knowlton
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This is a piece I made about my reunion with my biological family in Seoul a year ago. I found inspiration from Deann and other adoptees who had searched for their Korean families and had shared their experience with the adoptee community. I’m not sure I would have had the courage to search and share my experience without knowing about those who had done so before me. I hope we all continue to share our stories and inspire new generations to explore their identity and relationship with Korea. —Schuyler
November is National Adoption Month
by: JB. Wilson
Edited by: A. Duenas
The month of November is recognized as National Adoption Month.
In 1984, during the presidency of Ronald Reagan “Adoption Awareness Week” became National Adoption Week celebrated in the week of Thanksgiving. President Reagan highlights the adoption of children and giving care to them with the help of the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980. The acknowledgement of Adoption Week has given rise to many communities such as adoption, parent groups, and agencies whom serve as advocates and supporters for adoption and reinforce a positive light on it.
Since then in 1995, President Clinton has opened up the entire month of November to be approved as National Adoption Month. During Clinton’s term, his signing of the Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994 has shifted adoption and foster and adoption regulations and understood the ‘racial background’, ethnicity and culture of adoptive and foster placement.
And now most recently, National Adoption Month under Barack Obama’s presidency in 2011 has revolutionized against many barriers within the adoption programs. These barriers which once had discriminated towards race, religion, sexual orientation and marital status has shifted allowed caregivers and possible adoptive parents opportunities . The signing of the Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act has reduced the amount of time that waiting children are to be placed in permanent homes and of the International Adoption Simplification Act which has taken away unnecessary restrictions that regarded with trans-national adoption.
Pathos of Asian Adoptees, which is a submission blog, would like to share and celebrate with its writers and its readers, the brief history and acknowledgement of National Adoption Month.
I think framing the discourse about transracial adoption as a “well do you think you’d better off if you weren’t adopted?!”… or “at least you got a home rather than living in poverty/the slums/an orphanage/foster care!”… type discussion is really fucked up, as it places the onus for reconciling children needing homes with the inherent problems of white people adopting POC kids on the adoptees. It completely lets the white people who actually make the choice to adopt POC kids off the hook and absolves them of any responsibility to do so in a way that causes the least amount of harm to the child.
No discussion about transracial adoption should be centered on whether or not I’m sufficiently grateful for having been adopted. It’s completely irrelevant & parents who expect their adopted children to feel some sort of gratitude toward them shouldn’t be adopting in the first place.
The discussion that we should be having is why are white folks allowed to adopt POC children regardless of whether they’re sufficiently educated/prepared to rear the child in a way that won’t do lasting harm. Why is it that when actual transracial adoptees and other POC attempt to highlight the problems with white people raising children of color, the first response of most people is to essential tell us to “shut up & be grateful for what you got!”
I’m glad I was adopted because if I wasn’t I more than likely would have ended up in foster care going in and out of white peoples’ homes anyway. I would have been better off, though, if I’d had parents who didn’t ascribe to color-blind racist ideology (as do 90% of white people in the U.S.) but rather chose to educate themselves about the struggles inherent of brining up a child of color in a deeply white supremacist society.
Opening The Bird Cage
This is an experimental short documentary about my adoption and reunion in the Philippines. I made a lot of it poetic, as I use my mixed media as a metaphor of a “cathedral” I built inside myself when I felt broken in the past, with a placement of facts of my adoption, photos of my baby files/photo albums, and personal comments before and after the reunion.
For more about her story, follow the link above.
A Korean woman raised in the US finds out she isn’t who she thought she was. An adopted man in the UK decides never to find out who his biological father is. And a man in Palestine discovers that he may have been switched at birth with another baby.
Are you a part of or in-charge of any Asian Adoptee Organizations?
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In response to some of the negativity that’s been circulating the KAD groups online.