Friday, February 10, 2012

Honest Questions and Answers - by Adoptees

This dialogue exchange is found in the recently created facebook page for Voice of Love campaign.  This is found in  I post it for all the adoptive parents so that they will be aware of some of the questions or concerns that their children my someday ask, and be able to help them out in their search for who they are and where they came from.
An adoptee named Jenna remarked: 
The wall seems to be closed. This campaign has been greatly discussed and debated with many Korean adoptees on various forums. I've read mostly mixed reactions to it. I just want to clarify, some are outraged, some are confused, some are on... the fence. What seems to be the unofficial consensus is that this campaign has it's good intentions but leaves out the Korean adoptee's full experience. We understand positive stories about being adopted would promote the campaign, however many believe it should be with caution. Because it's just not realistic to say adoptions is all sunshine and rainbows. And in my personal opinon, THAT IS OK that there are bad that comes with the good. If you really want to promote this more efficiently, you have to mention that adopting a child (domestically OR internationally) comes with it's amazing benefits and also possible issues along the way. What I am referring to is #1, most likely when we become teenagers, everyone starts asking "who am i?' Korean adoptees have to deal with the fact that they don't know what their biological parents look like, act like.. etc. #2 they have to deal with another layer of being an interracial family. These two things should not be ignored. And every child reacts differently to these two main issues. I think it's great to promote international adoption, but promoting a healthy adoptive parent - adoptee relationship is even more vital. Parents need to learn about ALL consequences and learn how to deal with them properly. I can't stress how important it is to be 110% supportive of your child / teenager / adult adoptee if they become curious to find their bio parents. This can make or break your relationship. Sorry if this is not the right place to say it, but I wanted to stress this.
Steve Morrison replied:
Jenna, your comments are perfectly valid. Thanks for sharing your honest opinion. I think the agencies nowadays are a lot more familiar with the issues related to adoptees as their many babies have grown up to express their experiences and voice opinion. The agencies are now requiring education for potential parents and these issues are starting to be discussed. As an adoptee myself, and now an adoptive father, I am on the opinion that while it is good to make the adoptive parents be aware of the potential issues, when you look at the homeless children, they need homes. They need to grow up in loving family environment where they will have equal chance of being loved, educated, and have opportunity to be who they can become. This opportunity is significantly reduced if children don't get adopted and grow up in institutions. I lived in an institution for eight years before being adopted at 14, and still remember wanting to loved and have my own family, and longed to be adopted. Recently we also adopted an older boy from an orpahange in Korea, and he has expressed the same sentiment. Most of the adoptees have not gone through the experience of living in institutions and they seem to be far removed from the feelings and longings of 20,000 children that are living in the 280 institutions in Korea. I would strongly recommend that many adoptees visit or do some volunteer works in many orphanages to get a dose of reality of not being adopted. It is true that adoptees will go through some cultural/racial/identity issues, some more than others, and you are absolutely right that adoption is not all sunshine and rainbows. But we cannot let these fears deter from providing homes for children whether they be adopted domestic or international. Our job is to provide a voice for these children to have homes of their own. This is the reason for the Voice of Love movement. Thanks for the honest discussion.


  1. Steve, I am so thankful for you. When there are many stories about the negative impact of adoption (identity troubles, feeling empty, and lost--all of which are real and honest issues for adoptees), you are always willing to advocate and present to us that there are also many who don't feel that desperation and sadness over their adoption but that adoption can indeed be a beautiful way for for a family to be born. Thank you for being that voice and for advocating for all the other kids who long for a family.

    1. Thank you. Because most of the adoptees came when they were little babies, they have no idea what their lives in Korea might have been had they not been adopted. It is very important to look at the situation from the other side before coming to a good understanding. I have lived eight years in an orphanage and I believe I can offer perspective from that experience that not many adoptees have gone through.