“Adoption Day” is a national holiday in Korea that was created by the adoption agencies to promote doemstic adoption. Over the past four years, the community here has been trying to bring a different meaning to the day.
First of all, we want to highlight the need for the government to support “unwed” mothers instead of encouraging them to relinquish so their babies can be sent for adoption. Second, we want to use the day to increase public understanding about international adoption.
KoRoot, ASK, and TRACK are cooperating to promote each other’s events this year. (This group is also cooperatively working on the law revisions).
Here the events:
제 4 회 입양의 날 기념 전시회: 이산과 귀환의 틈새 – “Dispersed and Returned”
“Dispersed and Returned” is an art exhibition in relation to Adoption Day with photographers Kim Sperling (Germany) and Sean Rho (Korea) and film/videomakers Tammy Chu (USA-Korea) and Maya Weimer (USA). With this exhibition, KoRoot will try to deliver the message that Korean society should support the development of a social welfare system for families facing separation, especially unwed mothers and their children, rather than promote domestic and international adoption.
Opening: Saturday, May 9 at 4:00 p.m.
Duration: May 7-18
Location: Seoul Metro Art Center 1 & 2 (Gyeongbokgung Subway Station B1)
ASK (Adoptee Solidarity Korea) 국외 입양인 연대
“Alternatives to Adoption: Building a Movement for Change”
Beginning with a press conference at 1:30 on Friday, May 8 ASK is sponsoring an afternoon symposium at the National Human Rights Commission about alternatives to intercountry (ICA) adoption with representatives from five NGOs speaking on how their work is related to ICA. Among the thought-provoking panelists are reps from the Korean Foster Care Association, the Korean Unwed Mothers Support Network, A-Ha! Sexuality Education Counseling Center, TacTeen, and the Korea Sexual Violence Relief Center. The symposium is open to the public.
Date: Friday, May 8
Time: 2:00-6:00 p.m.
Location: National Human Rights Commission of Korea 11F
If you’ve never seen puppets in downtown Seoul before, now’s your chance! The puppet show’s main character will be a giant, 10-meter long puppet representing Korean unwed mothers created by artist Eom Jung-ae of the magical Chuncheon Puppet Theater. It will surely be a photo-worthy event, with modern art showcased in front of the traditional-style Bosingak bell tower. Mingle freely and casually outdoors with the adoptees and their supporters. Our message is “Protect the human rights of unwed mothers and adoptees.” Free and open to the public.
Date: Sunday, May 10
Time: 2:00-3:00 p.m.
Location: Bosingak near Jongno-1-ga, right outside Jonggak Subway Station Exit 4 (Line 1)
++TRACK needs some folks to zip up their TRACK suits and lend a hand!! If you are willing to help with this event (unload puppets, play with puppets, pass out brochures to the public to raise awareness, take photos or video to circulate later) please come one hour early. But first, send an email to Jane to get details on logistics. This is a great and fun chance to raise awareness in Korea about adoption, push the issue beyond shame and guilt, and make adoptees visible in Korean society.++ jjtrenka[at]gmail.com