Globe & Mail 2007

Unearthing the roots of adoption

31 juillet 2007  Globe & Mail (Canada)

By Adriana Barton
31st July, 2007, Globe & Mail

Unearthing the roots of adoption
Agencies are retooling their support programs as a generation of Asian adoptees seeks to reclaim their neglected heritage
Finding the missing link

For adult adoptees, finding birth parents in Asia is a huge challenge, since most adoption agencies guard their records closely.

Jennifer Jin Brower of Seattle tried to locate her birth parents in South Korea last year. She had her DNA tested and appeared on reality television shows and in the press to publicize her search, but to no avail. The experience made her feel “very vulnerable,” she says, “because I was in a foreign country and barely knew the language.”

Others have had more luck. Mihee-Nathalie Lemoine, a Korean adoptee based in Montreal, succeeded in finding her birth mother in 1991. Although she hasn’t kept in touch with her – “I think I remind her of the bad,” she says – Ms. Lemoine developed a relationship with her biological grandmother and lived in South Korea for 13 years.

While there, Ms. Lemoine co-founded Global Overseas Adoptees’ Link, an organization that helps others find their birth families and adjust to living and working in the country. Returning adoptees needn’t feel alone, she says.

My home and native land
Top 10 countries for international adoption in Canada by number of adoptees. About 2,000 children are adopted from other countries each year; the rate has been relatively stable for the past decade.

2003 2004 2005
U. S . 74 79 102
UKRAINE 23 16 39
RUSSIA 92 106 88
SOUTH KOREA 73 97 97
CHINA 1,112 1,001 973
TAIWAN 26 15 30
PHILIPPINES 58 62 70
INDIA 10 37 41
ETHIOPIA 14 34 31
HAITI 150 159 115
SOURCE: ADOPTION COUNCIL OF CANADA

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