Birth Mothers and Transnational Adoption Practice in South by Hosu Kim

By Hosu Kim

This e-book illuminates the hidden background of South Korean delivery moms occupied with the 60-year-long perform of transnational adoption. the writer offers a performance-based ethnography of maternity houses, a tv seek show,an net discussion board, and an oral historical past assortment to strengthen the concept that of digital mothering, a theoretical framework during which the beginning moms' reviews of keeping apart from, after which reconnecting with, the kid, in addition to their painful,ambivalent narratives of adoption losses, are rendered, felt and registered. during this, the writer refuses a common proposal of motherhood. Her critique of transnational adoption and its relentless results on start moms’ lives issues to the standard, normalized, gendered violence opposed to working-class, terrible, unmarried moms in South Korea’s smooth geographical region improvement and illuminates the biopolitical services of transnational adoption in dealing with an "excess" inhabitants. at the same time, her artistic research finds a counter-public, and counter-history, providing the collective grievances of beginning moms.

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Sample text

In summer 2008, I went back, just to tell her that her contribution to my dissertation research had been vital, and to thank her in person. She then updated me about her life, telling me how she had gotten involved in advocacy work for transnational adoptees and single mothers. Meeting her, once again, and listening to her passion for adoptee justice work compelled me to resume what I had left undone in the first phase of my data collection. From July 2010 to January 2012, I investigated maternity homes and collected oral histories from 16 birth mothers, whose ages ranged from 21 to 70, at the time of the interview.

Rickie Solinger, Beggars and Choosers: How the Politics of Choice Shapes Adoption, Abortion, and Welfare in the United Sates, (New York: Hill and Wang Publishing Company, 2001), 105. 9. Myrl Coutler, “Birth Mother,” in Encyclopedia of Motherhood, ed. , 2010), 129. 10. Ch’inmo is a slightly different term, yet often conflated with saengmo. Ch’inmo refers to a legal mother. 11. Many children had living parents who were suffering economic hardships, or other forms of personal crisis, and who had placed the child is in the orphanage as a temporary measure in a larger family survival strategy.

5. These variances of the term indicate the speaker’s perspective on motherhood and adoption. For example, the phrase first mother is often used in the birth mothers’ community in the US. 28 H. KIM 6. According to Katarina Wegar, closed adoptions refer to a sealedrecord practice of adoption that keeps information about the birth parents in a secret file (Katarina Wegar, Adoption, Identity, and Kinship: The Debate over Sealed Birth Records [New Haven, CT: Yale University, 1997]). 7. In the mid-1970s, CUB, composed largely of birth mothers who until then had lived with the secrecy of adoption, fought against the social stigma and culture of silence around adoption; they demanded an open access to all adoptee records, and argued for the right to search for and meet adoptees.

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