Here’s a comparison of the prison populations of South Korea and the top 15 foreign countries that South Korean children were sent to for adoption. Blue is women; Red is men. Which of these things is not like the other?
Moreover, the rate of incarceration of Hispanic/Black people in the U.S. — about 60% — over doubles their general population. That is indicative of many longstanding institutionalized injustices in American race relations.
Korean American adoptees are often fantasized by their families and close friends to be raceless, e.g., “But you’re just ‘Jane’ to me!” (i.e., we see you as white American.) However, we know that many of our parents would not have adopted us if we were born Black or even mixed Black/Korean.
Did you ever wonder what happens to the kids of all the dispproportionately Black people who go to prison? In Outsiders Within, Ellen Barry wrote a stunning article on the role of the criminal justice system in removing the children of prisoners called “Parents in Prison, Children in Crisis.” The racist criminal “justice” system is one of the reasons why the foster care system in the U.S. (119,000 children waiting for adoption, 110,000 in institutions or group homes) is also dispproportionately Black.
International adoption draws attention away from American problems and refocuses attention on illusions, stereotypes and misperceptions about foreign countries. Instead of solving problems of race and class in their own backyard, American adoption agencies are gallivanting all over the world pretending to solve problems in countries that they know little about. In this way, East Asian adoptees in particular are again unwillingingly deployed, through the sale of our bodies, as the tools of white supremacy. We did not ask for it, but we got it.
What does “model minority” really mean? It means African Americans are exactly the opposite. It means Black people suck. How’s that for deploying every one of us Korean American adoptees against Blacks?
Here’s a GREAT idea from Mirah Riben in Countercurrents:
… the U.S. ought to consider a tax on international adoptions with funds used to support families and children in the U.S. in crisis.
A bit more info on prisons: U.S. Dept of Justice’s publication Prisoners in 2004.