Free Form Responses: Adoptee Perceptions in International/Intercountry Adoption

It has had profound abandonment issues that I work through with a therapist. I was never told I was adopted. I would really like changes to policies to be made regarding adoption. There HAS to be means of being able to reconnect with the biological family. I feel as an adoptee my voice/opinion is never heard. Adoptive families should receive counseling about the reasons they are adopting, how they will support us dealing with ID issues.

RE Myself: My level of compassion for others has likely been significantly heightened. RE Adoptive Parents: They lacked an adoptee focused strategy and ignored the latent need for relationship with birthplace & culture

Growing up without contact with my culture of origin created a gap in my life.

Because I am adopted from a unique country, I don’t feel like there are a lot of people who can relate to me. I also am nervous about doing genetic testing because of the cost and unintended consequences

It’s a struggle but over all I believe I am better off for it

Up until today, with two children of my own and a lovely wife whom I met in my country of origin, I have had difficulties maintaining a well salaried job. This is an indirect effect of my continued search for an identity. I desperately want to belong. To an extent my own little family satisfies this longing. However, I have a hard time finding the right or matching path professionally. This has major repercussions for my household as we are always struggling, living from hustle to hustle. We are all very exhausted and would like to really move on from this situation.

Very ware of this during my day to day life. Constantly reminded by others that I’m different. Javed faced discrimination and bullying by both my adopted culture as well as my biological culture

To me adoption is complex. I always thought about adoption to give a child an opportunity. But as i started doing more in adoption advocacy and looking at the ways white supremacy is in everything adoption to me needs to be holistic. The bottom line is that adoption is for profit. It’s problematic in so many ways. I feel even after meeting my birth family in August of this year i came to the realization adoption comes at the price of lost for everyone involved. Although i have had numerous opportunities than my siblings in Brasil I still feel this sense of hunger to know my family. To know about my history. How can it seem okay to send children to strangers in foreign land who speak a whole different language, when we teach our own children in the US not to talk to strangers. Why do people get to look at a magazine and get a pick of the orphans? how is this any different from my African ancestors being sold into slavery without their consent. No one asked me what i wanted as a minor in Brasil. its in my adoptions file i said i did not want to be adopted. but here i am now!

Depending on the diversity of the area I feel I don’t fit in with Indians or white Americans. The pacific northwest is very secular white. Religiously I was raised Mormon also predominately white. I have never really fit in.

My adoptive mother said about my adoption: I was an only child and lonely so we adopted you to be friends with your (older) sister. So I always viewed myself as my sister’s toy and she did, too. Her rules, her way, and if I strayed I was beat up. People say in response, “All siblings fight.” But my sister was extremely violent and started threatening me with knives starting when I was in the second grade. But my parents never punished her. Ever since, I have resented everyone in my family. I love and hate them. (My sister [also a Korean adoptee] has been dead for two years now due to her drug addiction. To this day, I can’t feel a lot of remorse. My adotion and how my parents handled us has made me a pretty cold person.

I often think about what my life would have been like if I were still in India, but there would be a great chance I wouldn’t even be alive. I am so thankful to God that I was adopted. I hope to adopt someday, too.

Facebook adopted chinese group:

It has been a really positive experience for me. I am a happy well adjusted adult , married with a loving family.

Yes! It destroyed my older brother (also adopted). 95% of Adoptees I met (and I met a lot, worldwide) struggle with it. Also, discrimination because it is not a win-win situation, as non-adoptees may think.

I’m truly blessed. I love my adoptive parents because they are my parents. I have no need to know anything about origin but I would like to provide better medical care for Third World Countries.

Many years wasted in depression. I wish I had, had professionals in my life and the life of my adoptive family. It could have been different.

It ruined my life.

It has ultimately left me with unresolved issues and unanswered questions.

I believe children should be adopted by parents of the same race. Than at least strangers won’t ask awkward questions. I have experienced this myself multiple times (born in Rwanda adopted into a white Belgian family) and to be honest all the staring and inappropriate comments are damaging for your self confidence.

It definitely has been a journey of ups and downs as to figuring out who I am as a person. How I choose to identify myself came into question multiple times based on the judgments of other people saying “I’m not really” a part of of the society I would say I was relating to. Now, I have learned I don’t need others’ approval for stating who I am and why but it is me who needs to know and be OK with myself.

I just wish it didn’t take 40 years to search. I’m now struggling with identity and sadness

It is a mixed bag. Like so much in life, it’s not all bad, not all good. In my heart of hearts, there would be enough social equality and wellness in the “sending countries” that international adoption could end.

As an adopted child the only certainty there is, is that everything what happened before my adoption is not known or are lies. Being ripped from your country of origin and biological family causes a continues feeling of disconnection and feels like have no solid soil to grow. Having no base or fundament makes life really hard. I am still always surviving instead of living

I feel like I was ‘traded’ because stakeholders like adoptie parents, orphanage and layers had their own interest (money, childwish) more at heart than my best interest. I hate that this could still be taking place. I feel like all afoptiobs should be only ‘open’ amd always combined with Dna information which needs to be verified First.

I feel ashamed for not knowing the language of my country of origin. I feel as though I will never truly fit in with my country of origin or the country I grew up in. International adoption is neither good nor bad but rather complicated by deeper issues that needs to be solved on a societal level.

It’s been good. I support it. My issues have not been because I was adopted but because I was abandoned. Rejected. Yes, loss was involved, but the real loss of being unwanted by bio family would have been carried with me my whole life regardless. Being adopted is not always the tragedy. The tragedy is what happens before.

It ruined my youth.

My parents wanted their 4 adopted daughters to act and be what they wanted us to be; there wasn’t much room for what we wanted or how we wanted to be. They were controlling, manipulative, narcissistic in the way they handled us. It seemed like they had our best interests at heart, but it was self-fulfilling. This was proven when I stopped doing what they had always expected/wanted me to do and chose to do something else. I am seen as being ungrateful and selfish, to this day. They claim to love me, but they cannot accept that I am different to who they see me as, and that I assert myself. For this and other reasons, we haven’t communicated personally for more than 3 years. My mother is Austrian by birth, which brought in a third nationality, I then went to Austria to study. I was supposed to assume that language and the role as her family representative there. Austrians are judgmental and prejudiced when it comes to appearance. They pigeonhole you and are rigid in their opinions. I don’t like German, but it is my second language, rather than Vietnamese, or French, which are languages I would’ve preferred to learn. My mother imposed her own desires and missing her country of birth onto me. And she never believed me when I told I suffered from racism in Austria. She refuted that it was true.

I was verbally, emotionally, psychologically, physically and sexually abused. I ended up running up away frequently and spent my teen years in group homes and foster care.

Even with meeting my biological family and living in my birth country I still don’t feel like I belong in either my birth or home country. Adoption is a trauma and supports need to be in place even when the child is adopted at a young age.

Adoption has been a positive and negative experience. As far as love, I feel like I’m loved by my adoptive parents. At the same time, I was not in a good environment because I was an Asian child in a predominantly white area. I have struggled with identity, racism, prejudices, bigots and so on. This negativity was not only from the people in the environment I grew up in but with other Asians as well. I belong nowhere, I have issues and I have used drugs in the past to fill those holes within me. I was adopted to fulfill a role and if I didn’t fulfill that role I would be disowned. My adoptive parents would only love me if I fulfilled that role and that is what I had to do. That role was a son who was a wrestler. Wrestling is what I did until I graduated high school and it wasn’t a positive experience. Love came with a condition, it wasn’t unconditional. I was adopted to fulfill a role and I hated it. But I guess it’s better than nothing.

Nothing exists to fill the void in my heart and soul. Adoption trauma is real and it can can be fatally tragic.

I have always felt inferior without n situations such as work. I have always felt like a child inside.

when I was younger my adoptive family always supported me and my adoptive older (not blood related) brother. I had some questions once I got to a age of really understanding what adoption was however I always knew I was adopted. I had a very normal, good childhood . But I think about my birth parent all the time and always wonder if I have some of their facial features or personality traits. I would love to meet them and tell them I am not angry and I understand and thank them, however I do not have the money to pay for or know where to start to find them.

It has caused so much struggle and challenge in my life.

It has influenced my belief that international adoption is done for self-gratifying and self-aggrandizing reasons. It’s very heroic and selfless and saintly to adopt a child from another country because it saves the child from a terrible life the adoptive parents believe the adoptee would have had if the adoptee had stayed in her/his country of origin.

It has made me more aware of the struggles that adoptees have in transracial adoptions where neither parents can identify with the culture of the adopted child.

Made it difficult making lasting strong relationships as an adult

I will never feel 110% Korean or European. I wish I would be able to speak Korean fluently – as someone who is a linguist, it pains me greatly to not be able to talk to my own countrymen and women.

I don’t have a strict “pro/against” position about international adoption (IA). But I know that IA can be truly devastating, and even though I personally have always considered it as a “force” (it was my way of accepting it), it is not an easy path, both for adoptees and parents. I had (and still have) some strong identity issues that are hard to live with, and I always felt a sort of affective gap (despite all the love I received from my adoptive parents). On the other hand, I had some life opportunities that I probably wouldn’t have had in my biological environment, and I have a (adoptive) family. (This is the ambivalence that inhabits me as an international adoptee, it might sound simple/childish but it’s more complex than it seems). What I’m sure of is that adoptive parents should be more prepared for this particular filiation. Efforts have been made since the 90′ and it’s important that Institutions and Governments take their responsabilities in matter of IA : supports/”education” for the biological mother (before and after adoption when possible), services, ethic controls, prevention, education for parents and psychological support after the adoption, etc. And I obviously consider IA as a better option for children than orphanages (or other situations where they have no families), of course.

I am glad that I have been adopted. Nowaydays I am in touch with both families. But sometimes I have the feeling to neither be Luxembourgish nor Colombian. In Luxembourg I look like a Colombian, but in Colombia I am a foreigner too.

adoption for me is the most extreme intervention you can impose on to a baby, child or young person (Minor) who cannot, is not in a position to assert themselves, they are reliant upon adults making decisions on their behalf. Unilateral decisions about retention of the name given to you either by the orphanage or yourmbirth parents, the decision being made to remove you from your culture and when supplanted into a new culture the right that child should have to learn their native tongue and learn about their native culture is left in the hands of the app and it’s down to what kind of pa you end up with whether or not you are further dislocated from your cultural heritage.The damage that is inflicted upon the transracislly adopted child is for life, it doesn’t last just for a few years whether the adoptee acknowledges it or not. The issues that travel give rise to are lifelong and can result in serioujsmifmnot terminal negative outcomes inclusive of suicide

I am very grateful for the life I have now but I wonder sometimes what my life could have been if i was still in korea. I would like to think that I would have been ok.

International adoption has affected how I perceive myself mentally and physically, as well as question my self-worth based on my looks. It made me yearn to catch even glimpses of people who looked like me in public. I have learned a lot about people and race do to being an International adoptee.

Yes, the whole thing is and have been traumatic and troublesome, I am lucky to have made it and not falling out. I am against international adoptions.

Personally, for me it has been wonderful. I love my adopted family, they are my family and my issues are not adoption related.

it did gave me a 2nd chance in my life, even though I do not have an academical degree, I run my very own company and succeed very well professionally.

My adoptive family hid knowledge of a mental illnesses that my mother has, ones which the government would have prohibited her from adopting if she had disclosed. I have trouble expressing my needs and wants due her her illness making her very self-centered and void of empathy.

Insecure,always have to proof your self,dont know where u belong. Scared loved ones leave you.

Made me have ill feelings towards my birth country and adopted country that they participate in human trafficking.

it was the best option my parent could have given me. they obviously thought about it after keeping me for a few days. they left me in a public place so I would be found. I think this is all they could have hoped for. I have no hard feelings against them because that was probably one of the hardest decisions they had to make.
I have a fealing of living in a different dimension, of living a life that is not mine, of watching a movey in which I play a role, but the movie is without sound. I have the feeling of being the subject of an experiment which went out of control.

I would have liked more information but as an adult and returning to Cambodia I can now see how that probably isn’t possible due to the poverty that still exists there today and due to the atrocities that were committed there. Overall as as an adult now, I’m content and happily married & don’t dwell on the past but will always be left wondering about my biological family. I have tried to find them with the limited info that I do have, but due to Cambodia’s history it’s like trying to find a needle in a hay stack.

I would like to add that as a child, my adoption to a white family as a brown girl posed its issues with classmates and the church we went to more than anything. As an adult, I feel a huge amount of anger towards my birth giver (biological mother), I have some issues with the way I was raised by my parents (adoptive) such as being told to be grateful that I was adopted and being discouraged from doing anything that made me look “too Indian”. These two things have the most negative impact in my present day but I will go through counselling again to try and work through them. I love my parents dearly (adoptive), they are my family as far as I’m concerned. They’re not perfect but they never gave up on me like my biologicals did.

It has changed my life for the better. Thanks to a stable loving adoptive family I am educated, ambitious, grateful for the life I have and lucky to live in a free country. I know who I am and wouldn’t want to be anyone else and that’s thanks to international adoption. Your family doesn’t determine who you will grow up to be they can help shape you but understanding yourself comes from accepting who you are. Adoption doesn’t identify me it’s just part of my story

I think that there is much to be learnt about adopting a child from an international country, not least that their genetic, environmental, cultural and systemic heritage has a profound deep thread to them and attempts to damage or sever this thread can cause irreparable pain, loss and tragedy to them as a child, teenager, young adult or adult. Issues such as these need to be considered and discussed at length with the countries of origin, with the families and friends and local communities of that origin by all who consider themselves knowledgable on international adoption in the first instance. Only then can adoptees feel that they can begin their stories knowing where they come from.

it’s not an easy narrative. international adoption leads not just to the loss of a family, but a language, a country, a sense of being. it’s complicated.

Thank you for the survey. I hope it will help actual adoptees and children all around world with adoption issues.

When I was younger, growing up in the late 1980’s and 1990’s, I struggled with the fact that I was Korean while almost everyone else was white (most of my friends were white and on TV at that time, everyone was either white or black), so I wanted to be white, with blonde hair and blue eyes. However, as I got older I slowly stopped feeling that way. I can’t say whether it was maturity or just a natural acceptance of who I was, or even perhaps, globalization (Korean shows on Netflix, Korean foods and products being sold more ubiquitously), but I am proud to be who I am and comfortable with myself now. It has had a substantial influence on my belief that while having (a) biological child(ren) is a biologically natural feeling, it is also an innately selfish desire. I understand that not every internationally adopted child has a good experience or feels they had a good experience, but that being said, I think international adoption diversifies cultures and can open peoples’ minds and hearts to those who are different. It also helps people in desperate situations find loving homes for their children where they are not available in the child’s home country.

I was placed with a single parent. This is not a strategy I would encourage.

I am beginning to understand the trauma with separation at birth common amongst adoptees and how that has developed into adulthood.

Sometimes it feels rather confusing and conflicting. You are caught between two worlds, two families. It can be a huge emotional struggle having to deal with this situation everyday – often on your own. Because people around you don’t understand nor can relate to the issues. And I get why, though makes it even more frustrating.

IA is not a solution. It’s not religious. And it should be separated from Christianity. Adoption is about loss.

I would just like to say that I’m really happy with the life I have and I have been fortunate to never have any problems which I know is not everyone’s situation. I just wanted to show that there are some happy stories.

I’m struggling everyday without Citizenship. I’m co-director at Adoptee Rights Campaign. I hide my identity to protect my life and employment. I use an alias to tell my story. I absolutely have come to hate being adopted. The struggle is absolutely horrible. I have no pathway to citizenship. The United States and Iran have both orphaned me.

For me IA is the product of post-colonialism and the constant need for the West to invade other cultures, create stories of being uncivilised, and using children in there quest for cultural, social, and economic domination. The industry creates a supply chain that necessitates child trafficking to meet the demand, and the rhetorical justifications of salvation and civilisation obscure the reality that the IA system fosters crime in our home countries, places that are often presumed to be hindered by crime and lawlessness, whether assumed or true. These systemic issues underscore the experience of adoptees who may be victims of trafficking or at least coerced relinquishment but who have to obfuscate these concerns in order to perform gratefulness and happiness. And for me, it’s this dichotomy and necessary cognitive dissonance that has been a serious cause of my mental health and emotional issues.

I feel great pride in being adopted, especially internationally.

My adopted mother was put on a long waiting list for a US adoption. An international adoption turned out to be the best solution for both of us. It saved both of our lives.

We have 3 biological children. We then adopted our 4th child from my country of origin. We are aware of the issues and complications but feel the benefits for her outweigh the risks.

Adopting parents are still not prepared enough.

When I was younger my parents enrolled me in a day camp in the summers where I was surrounded by other kids who were adopted from Latin American countries. Some were even from my same orphanage and we know we were in that orphanage at the same time! This helped me to be able to identify myself better as an international adoptee, but in other ways it did not. I am a light-skinned Colombian. Therefore, I am not white enough to be white, but not dark enough to look Colombian. This was something I struggled with. In high school I tanned to try to be darker so I could fit in with my adoptee friends. As an adult who recently met my birth family, I can say having that connection was important for me and my journey. However, my brother who is also adopted has no interest in trying to find his biological family. I do not believe there is a blanket statement or a way we, as adoptees, are “supposed” to feel or be affected by our adoptions. Everyone is different, every story is different, and how we react and process is valid for each of us.

I’ve never had issues with my life BECAUSE of adoption. My issues are normal issues that all people have, such as being angsty with my parents during my teenage years. Or having night terrors leading up to my first swimming lessons because I had drowned as a toddler, but hadn’t realised it then. (My parents didn’t even know about this until I was 16 because my friend’s babysitter lied to my mom.) I grew up relatively normal and feel me being adopted is just a fact like my name. I have no feelings about my name. Or my birthday. They’re just facts. Who cares?

It has made me turn into an adult with conflicted roots. I don’t really belong into my adoptive country and feel like a foreigner in my birth country. I live in a different country than my adoptive country and am grateful for that. I can be another foreigner like so many.

Totally. And it’s taken me 50 yrs to just begin to understand and accept that.

I believe it has affected every aspect of my life in good and bad ways. Which leads to the confusion about whether I should be angry/sad or grateful

It was horrible. I was imprisoned until I was invited 17. The suffering, isolation and abuse was horrific. Yet I’ve survived and I’m now free

Adoption is a very personal experience for every adoptee. My brother (adopted but not biologically related) did not have as easy of a time with adjusting and processing being an international adoptee. I have never had issues or concerns — as adoption is one part of me, but not the entirety. However, I am grateful to my (adoptive) parents for creating our forever family. As a parent myself (of our two beautiful and wonderful little girls), and having gone through the physiological process of having 2 children – I cannot imagine the bittersweet heartbreak of carrying a child, birthing it, and then relinquishing that child for adoption. The moment I became pregnant, and the moment I gave birth to both of my daughters, I was forever attached and in love with them, and I cannot imagine a greater blessing than having, raising, and being with your children.

I grew up in a family where adoption was normal. My mother was adopted, as was my uncle, and my brother. I am the only international adopted, but two of my “cousins” were also adopted at the same time and we also kept in contact with them and their families. One cousin, like me, is perfectly content with her adoption, the other had problems and no longer talks to her adoptive family. My family life wasn’t perfect, but I am happy and I’ve accepted my adoption. I identify as Danish American thanks to my grandparents and their traditions, and joke about “being raised by white people.” My friends call me a “Twinkie” because of my apparent “whiteness” but it’s because I self identify as white in a joking manner. I have a grasp on my culture, but at the same time I know I know just as much about it as I know about the Philippines, which is to say not much.

It is an interesting time in history where we have technology that opens many doors, some that weren’t meant to be open. But as with all advances, there are “intended/unintended consequences/repercussions etc..” I think adoption is a hot topic because it covers other issues such as abortion, women’s rights, world history, status quo of the world system, wealth inequalities, spirituality etc.. I’m glad that finally people are opening up because as a “Xennial” or Generation X or Millennial, before the internet I felt incredibly alone. I remember when I could sit at the library and read for hours news about India. In that way, for me, I was connecting with my parents. I was becoming an informed child who would later as an adult “help” my birth family. I’ve come to realize that I have an incredibly unique perspective of the world as I am in an incredibly small minority group: Indian origin, female, orphaned/abandoned? at 5, “re-homed”/ “relinquished” twice, left USA to teach abroad, grew up without internet/cellphones etc.. and then got internet in middle school, and have been riding this technology wave and seen how rapidly change is coming to parts of the world. It definitely makes me ridiculously sensitive and empathetic to others’ around the world…. These are some of the positives, the negatives are that I feel adoption sucks me in and while I don’t want to be defined by it, I use it as a crutch to explain my deficits. So many of my “deficits” are truly mental. It’s quite remarkable how emotional/psychological deprivation has made me quite the odd ball. With all the controversy surrounding adoptions, it is quite the state to be in, loathing, criticizing it… but yet… still wanting a better alternative for other children than institutions…It’s a moment of denying my own existence in order to advocate for a better alternative… if there ever is one for children who are born outside of family planning…

I have struggled my whole life with many mental issues, distress, confusion, and a lot of anger issues. Families should undergo extensive training to prepare them to be the absolute best parents and knowledgeable on how to raise an adopted child. My adoptive family destroyed me. Some days I hate who I am and who I have become and the poor decisions I have made. I am an adult and made my own bed but I frequently wonder if I would’ve made the same decisions if I was in a different situation and had a different family. From an extremely young age I have been told I was highly intelligent and I undoubtly believe my opportunities to succeed have been squandered. It’s unfair to blame my family but I feel it is unfair to me as well to take the entirety of the blame for my mishaps. I am living a normal life now and have a good job and good friends but that is due to completely cutting my adoptive family out of my life. In my opinion.

It has left me with a lot of unanswered questions. And it seems like no one can help me with my questions.

International adoption has given me a tampered sense of identity.

international adoption is a casw by case experience and should never be clumped tog and made as a stereotyped response. some children have more traumatic situations and others have wonderful lives and great family support ie adoptive family. adoption does not define me. it isn’t who i am and all i am. yes i have been through a journey to discover that other part of me and my birth family. however i have a huge list of things that make my life important. i see ppl comment re adoption and sometimes i agree and others i totally disagree. but we neex to all look at the big picture and put things into perspective. i also see a lot of hatred and jaded opinions coming from adoptees who seem to enjoy spreading their negative attitudes to others. if you have an opinion, just remember that it is your journey and not all adoptees journeys. anyway hope u learn a lot from adoptees in this survey.

We can’t make a positive change with negative attitudes for International Adoption.

I love my family, and would do everything the same if given a second chance, but wish more information about birth family was given ( i.e. Life’s and dislikes, professions)

worst thing ever, caused a lot of trauma, pain, suffering and heartache, abandonment/trust issues, never dx until 30ish that I have RAD, would rather have been aborted than put up for adoption

Adoption and complicated. Being an internationally adopted makes it even more complicated.

My family would be described as conservative white Christian Republican anti BLM. They did their best to get me counseling and medication for my ADD. But not for my adoption issues my sadness and anger were never addressed as that would indicate ingratitude. Gratefulness at all times. There was physical abuse and emotional abuse. Sexual abuse from one of their bio sons. I never told. To afraid of rejection. However with an online support group and counseling and them voting for Trump I don’t give a shit anymore. I’m a Black atheist liberal Democrat who supports BLM. Finally feeling and living free.

It’s given me a hope for a better future

Still mourning my native country. Self doubt about everything. Trust issues.

As a minor, I think I really would have benefited from having more support and counseling. There needs to be more support for families that are going to adopt, as I think they sometimes don’t realise adoption isn’t just all a happily ever after for all families. With a child being adopted, comes a lot of confusion, sadness and questions. Even now as an adult, I feel very isolated with my adoption at times, it is a major contributor to my mental health issues I face each day.

It makes me lucky and sad. I am torn between longing for my heritage / biological mother and between the love for my adoptive family and the fear of seeming ungrateful.

I feel that I am at peace and lol the life and person I have become today, however I do recognize some of the issues I face because I have been adopted into a white family (I am Chinese). I feel that I still do not have an accurate understanding of what I look like physically, and have to remind myself that others can and will see me differently because I am Chinese. It has been interesting reconciling the idea of feeling greatful or thankful for being adopted when my parents do things such as pay for my college tuition, and drawing the line of to what extent is appropriate for feeling grateful or guilty (I.e. opportunities I may not have had if I had stayed in china). I feel that being part of a trans racial adoption has left me in somewhat of a state of limbo because I do not feel comfortable around native Chinese people, however I feel more at home with Caucasian people because I think I tend to see myself as Caucasian because that is are the people who I have grown up around.

It broke me. My adoptive mother was verbally and physically abusive. My adoptive father was silent and always sided with her. My siblings were favored over me and I became the family slave. They were very materialistic and cared about their reputation. I did not fit so she changed me into what was acceptable. The real me was show down. I tried everything I could to make them love me, but nothing worked. I ran away from home 3 years ago and it has been really hard. I was one of the unlucky ones.

It has changed the course of my life. I don’t know who I would’ve been without it but I don’t know who I am with it. Sometimes I wish I wouldn’t have been adopted internationally. I wish I’d grown up in my own culture with people who look like me.

It’s a terrible practice that should never happen again

I did a lot of identity exploration wrt birth country / culture as young adult and mostly thought adoption was a minor aspect of my life. But around 44 years old it became the most meaningful aspect, and I am a proud adoptee (though not really a supporter of it)

As an adult learnt that my Korean Adoption Agency kept information hidden from me for over 20 years, that they’ve deliberately lied to me about my first parents, that my documents have been manipulated and that I’m a paper orphan. I’ve also learnt that my institution who initially facilitated my relinquishment sold children for adoption and have admitted to stealing children from the street. This has fundamentally changed my view on both my own adoption and adoption in general. I grew up believing that adoption was meant to give children in need a loving family, but have come to realise that it’s about supplying wanting parents with children. Children’s right are repeatedly violated within the adoption industry and first families are torn about due to cynical power who want to make money. Also, I’ve been subjected to racism since day one in Sweden, and it has deeply affected my identity and my feelings about the way I look and feel about other Asian and Korean people. A country that is as homogenic as Sweden and where White Surpremacy is the norm, shouldn’t be allowed to deal with transracial adoptions from abroad.

I feel like international adoption takes everything domestic adoptees face and compounds it. I struggle with my identity not just because I’m adopted and in a closed adoption but because I have a whole other culture I was severed from, another language, I was raised around people who did not look like me. I don’t know if any of my file is factual because there is so much corruption in international adoption. My abandonment issues and ability to self-regulate, self-sooth, etc have been a struggle not just from separation or changing care givers every so often but from spending months in an orphanage where there may be two care givers for every 5-10 infants and changing every several hours. It’s not just I have to be grateful for being adopted, I have to be grateful I have access to medical care, or potentially growing up in a “shack” etc, I have to be grateful to have been rescued by white people. It’s not just struggling with feelings of loyalty to two families but also two countries. It’s not just struggling to fit in because I’m adopted, it’s struggling to fit in because I was raised in a white family but the outside world sees me another way and expects I act accordingly but I don’t speak my mother tongue, I don’t know my country’s culture. It was not a surprise then, you can probably see, to realize and then have confirmed by two mental health professionals that I have Dissociative Identity Disorder.

It is child trafficking and should stop

I was trafficked- with falsified papers- and I am sure many others were. Transparency and truth in IA need to be greatly improved.

While the concept of adoption is life saving to some regard, it’s not for everyone. I’d love to adopt internationally because I grew up in a good family and want to give a child a chance to grow in a good home, but at the same time, I don’t want to adopt because I know what it’s like to feel “abandoned” by my birth Mom as a baby. Growing up with identity issues and always questioning your adoption is hard. Do I want that for my child if I adopted?

It’s made me feel incomplete since I was 4…

Not a supporter of adoption if child can be with family members or aunts and uncles cousins etc etc

I would say loss of culture has greatly impacted me. And though I am a citizen of the country I’ve been adopted into, I’m not “seen”or treated as other “normal” citizens are.

The Colombian adoption agency falsified my papers and lied to my adoptive family. They also lied to my biological mother saying I had heart failure and needed expensive surgery to live, and that my adoptive parents had the money in hand to save my life and adopt me. My mother gave in. I was stolen.

I often feel that there is a great pressure from others to define who we are and where we belong to, and at a very young age, as if I have experienced my condition as an adoptee through the eyes of others, through their question, through the fact that question my appearance. My answers are constantly changing

Thank you for the research and giving me the chance to speak about my experience in adption. I’m interested in the results.

I was forced into arranged marriage

It’s been wonderful being adopted, it’s all I’ve known and I wouldn’t change my adoptive family for anything! They are my world.

International Adoption is a fucker and now I am striking back!

it affected me more than i could have imagined. in good but also very bad ways. and so did it affect my adoptive family, my birth parents and their respective families. it’s not just the child but directly and indirectly many many more people

I have never felt like I had any control over my life. Even after reunion and finding out I wasn’t abandoned I still feel unwanted and unworthy and I cant seem to reverse that belief. It’s not some switch you can just flip. I have never been grateful I wasn’t aborted (which I know because people say that shit to adoptees all the time), even as a young child I wished I had been aborted instead of adopted. Sometimes I honestly don’t know how long I will be here. I think about suicide a lot. I cannot maintain relationships for long. I disappear and people are hurt or upset that I am “ghosting” them but I can’t believe that my presence makes any difference. I sometimes resent the more solid ties I do have (husband, siblings etc.) because of the responsibility to stick around for them. To not add one more “abandonment” they might experience. My reunion is good, I am fortunate that it has turned out as well as it has but it hasn’t changed anything fundamentally beyond adding to the confusion. Frankly I don’t understand living in a world that celebrates tearing apart families this way. Sometimes I can’t tell if I hate the world, or people or just myself.

IA has been nothing but lies. My birth mother is listed as “abandonado” yet my adoptive mother claims to know some details about her. How? My birth country shut down IA to the US im the ueats following my adoption due to the baby black market, snd I always wonder if that is how I came to be adopted.

A lot of my answers could be impacted by the sexual abuse I experienced in my adoptive home. For instance- substance use, insomnia etc… hard to know if it was because of adoption or a combo or the abuse. I think adoption groups would have been nice and/or just knowing other adoptees- I didn’t know any others besides me and my brother.

Legit I’m white but still was threatened with deportation. Legit the foster system judge said loudly in front of 13 yr old me “what do you expect us to do, send her back to Germany?”. My adoption was hell and there was no remedy in the us system. It is utterly irresponsible to allow inverted citizens to adopt from foreign countries and have no plan for the child when it fails. I’m a rejected teenage runaway who made a life for herself, on a plan to return to her home country

Adoption is complex and the trauma it involves needs to be voiced and used to help educated adoptive families

It has taken me to country and made me live as a citizen to then deport me back to the country of origin.

I have begun experiencing a PTSD around travel/ being away from how. It’s non verbal, I just get super anxious and cry uncontrollably. It’s been going on for years but I didn’t figure out what it was until this year when I got into counseling.


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