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EP#30: Adoption Truths Day: Demanding the truth about our adoption histories & identities

Adoption Truths Day: Demanding the truth about our adoption histories and identities - with Boon Young Han, Jenny Na, and kimura byol-nathalie lemoine

As international adoptees, everyone knows someone whose adoption records were falsified, manipulated, switched, or never existed in the first place. In fact, accurate, complete records are practically the exception to the rule. We also know the impact of inaccurate, patchy information on an adoptee’s identity. Most people take their birthdate, age, place of birth, and parents’ names for granted, but some adoptees fight for this information for our whole lives. This year marks the first annual Adoption Truths Day, which seeks to raise awareness and advocate for Korean adoptee rights. The online conference, which will be held tomorrow, features speakers from around the world, who will discuss the unethical practices of the Korean adoption system, including the ways in which children are relinquished and adopted, how their records are created and stored by agencies, and subsequently, the accessibility of accurate information. This episode features the first half of our conversation with three amazing adoptees: Boon Young Han, Jenny Na, and Kimura Byol. Each of them is a leader and pioneer of the Korean adoptee community, who has tirelessly worked to raise awareness of adoption issues, advocate for and support fellow adoptees, and push for social change in Korea.

Boon Young HAN is an assistant professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. Her research interests include adoption, unwed mothers, family welfare and the welfare state. She was adopted from Korea to Denmark, and returned to Korea in the early 2000s. She has been actively involved with the adoptee community over the past 2 decades.

Jenny Na is one of the six founding members of Adoptee Solidarity Korea. ASK was a grassroots organization that sought to raise awareness to the root causes of adoption, effect change in Korean adoption policy, strengthen the adoptee community, and create a space for critical dialogue.

kimura byol-nathalie lemoine is a conceptual multimedia feminist artist who works on identities and expresses it with calligraphy, paintings, digital images, poems, videos and collaborations. kimura*lemoine’s work has been exhibited, screened, published and supported nationally and internationally. As curator, ze has developed projects that give voice and visibility to minorities. As an adoptee activist archivist, ze is working on A.C.A (adoptees cultural archives) to document the history of adoptee’s culture through media and arts.

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