It’s been 20 years since The First Gathering (™) of Adult Korean Adoptees, held in Washington DC.  IAMAdoptee has so much personal love for the first gathering. Founders Tom and Joy were members of Also-Known-As, the only adoptee organization invited to be on the planning committee for that event.  This pioneer event was the brainchild of Susan Soon-Keum Cox. With the financial support of Holt International in collaboration with the then Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, Also-Known-As and the labor of many adoptees, it was the first time nearly 400 Korean adoptees from all over the world came together to connect, to share their experiences and for many to create a sense of community and family.  For the next couple of months, IAMAdoptee will be sharing interviews, photos and memories of participants who attended this pioneer event.

Before we get to the interviews of participants, IAMAdoptee is sharing the first survey completed by adult Korean adoptees of their lived experience of being adopted.  As a freshly minted social worker, Joy had the amazing opportunity to work at the EBD Adoption Institute and write this report. To be in and among the words of fellow adoptees continues to be an honor.  We hope you will take a few moments and read the full report and share with anyone curious about just what it means to be adopted, Korean and American.










Adoptees’ Perceptions of International Adoption

IAMAdoptee looks to provide the international adoptee community with information on what is going on in the world of adoption advocacy, research, policy and practice.

It has been over 20 years since the first group of international adoptees created organizations around the lived experience of being adopted. Hollee McGinnis, Founder of Also-Known-As, one of the oldest groups established and Joy Lieberthal Rho, one of the creators of IAMAdoptee spoke in 2016 on the already rich history of adoptee led organizations in the United States and Europe.  Below is the Powerpoint presentation with notes.

Special Thanks to Susan Soon-Keum Cox, Todd Kwapisz, Sandy McLaughlin, Tim Holm, Mi-Ok Bruining, Kimura Byul, Ami Nafzger, Korean adoptees and pioneers!

History of Korean Adoptee-Led Organizations

IAMAdoptee is committed to supporting local adoptee led organizations, here is the most recent list of groups we have been able to find. Let us know if we are missing any!

Adoptee Podcasts