Program brings Korean American adoptees back to South Korea

July 15, 2015
ASIA Families program participants stand in front of the Gwanghwamun in Seoul.

ASIA Families program participants, Korean American adoptees and their families, stand in front of the Gwanghwamun in Seoul.

By The Korea Times Washington D.C. staff

Twenty-five Korean American adoptees and their families returned to Korea for a two-week visit from June 23 to July 6.

The program was organized by ASIA Families, an organization that provides cultural resources to adoptees, and saw the group exploring the country from Seoul, Busan and Gyeongju.

Adoptees stayed with host families for a glimpse of everyday life and were given honorary teaching licenses from Seoul Deungmyung Elementary School after spending a day teaching English lessons to students.

One adoptee, 44, said she was adopted by an American family at 3 years old after being found in Seoul in 1974.

“I thought, ‘If I hadn’t been adopted and lived in Korea, I would have studied at a school like this and gotten this kind of education,’” she said. “I felt a sense of belonging, that I am Korean.”

The group visited each of their adoption agencies and orphanages, met with their foster mothers and in some cases reunited with their birth parents.

“This program was planned to lend a sense of Korean pride to Korean adoptees, and to show them different facets of Korea,” said Grace H. Song, ASIA Families executive director.