South Korea, South Korean Orphans, Glenn Morey, Side By Side, İnternational Adoption

South Korea, South Korean Orphans

Alternate lives: Korean orphans' quests for answers

WATCH: Alternate lives: Korean orphans' quests for answers

24.8.2019

WATCH: Alternate lives: Korean orphans' quests for answers

International adoption from South Korea began after the Korean War as a way to remove mixed-race children, born to local mothers and American GI fathers, from a country that emphasized ethnic homogeneity

"This logic of rescue remained strong in the minds of Americans and Koreans alike: rich Americans could give a Korean child a better life than they could ever have in Korea with poor parents or a single mother," said Arissa Oh, who researches race, family and migration at Boston College in the US.

For many adoptees, that narrative has often led to a sense of alienation in their new lives.

Born in Seoul in 1960, Korean-American filmmaker Glenn Morey was abandoned as a newborn, and adopted at 6 months by a white American couple.

"When you are experiencing difficulties growing up on an everyday basis, ... you begin to wonder what things would've been like in Korea where you would've looked at least like everyone else."

Both disabled, they told him of life on the streets, without a steady job, their next meal always in question and regularly encountering violence.

Jo's case is, by his own admission, unusual. He did well academically and his orphanage director offered to pay for his university tuition.

Jo said:"Why didn't she at least let me live with my father or grandmother? Why did she lie and tell my father I was dead?"

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