Who Am I? The mystery of #4709

Finally!  After over a week of insane transcribing, translating, proof-reading and turning into subtitles, as well as an epic mad dash to the last second and unsuccessfully getting the finished product in time for our presentation, (where Jane had to do a voice-over in real-time for the ENTIRE episode)  and another three days of file-sharing technical difficulties – here is the SBS documentary (no chance to proof read the subtitles) on adoption agency records access, featuring yours truly…


Despite a few places where there’s been a heavy hand on my story…I just really really really appreciate all SBS has done for my case, and for exposing some of the serious problems regarding the control of records.  They were amazing to me, did an amazing amount of research, and truly investigated what the central issues are concerning adoption law and conflict of interests.

Those core issues are:

  • The adoption agencies are the ONLY ones who have access to adoption records – this excludes even the government.
  • Nobody but the government has any power to monitor adoption agency activities.  Their power is limited and they don’t exercise it.
  • KCAR, the new central organization created to assist with identity retrieval, is a private organization with no governmental power, relying only on adoption agency cooperation.  KCAR has no original documents and no access to them.
  • Even today, children with living parents’ identities and social histories are fabricated in order to make them available for adoption.  Their original identities are never recorded with the government, and only the adoption agencies hold this information.
  • Adoption agencies know their presence replaces social services and feel entitled to funding from the government.  (but they don’t want government oversight or government access to documents)

Given the above issues, is it any wonder so many adoptees and first parents are unsuccessful finding the truth?

From the bottom of my heart, for me and for ALL ADOPTEES who only seek the most basic information about their identity,  which should be every person’s unalienable civil right, I thank SBS’s We Want to Know That director, Kim Ji Eun, and all of her tireless dedicated staff.

Thank you also to TRACK, who brave many slings and arrows asking Korea – and the world – to stop looking away.  Only through recognition of the ugly truth and reconciliation through correction, of the causes and mechanisms of its creation, can Korea begin to replace their shame with pride.

8 thoughts on “Who Am I? The mystery of #4709

  1. Awesome. Something I can pass around to lots of people.

    Tough to watch but it makes me hope people will begin to understand.

  2. Devastating (watched it twice: still choked up) yet groundbreaking documentary. The arrogance of the people in the agencies is absolutely striking.

    “They say that we shouldn’t privatize our water supply, yet we have privatized human identity.”
    How true. OMG.

    Would you mind if I posted these videos on my weblog?

  3. Thank you for your effort in showing the world a clear view of adoption in Korea. I have to say that this problem is also in other countries, and it still happends!

    I hope one day there will come enough awareness to bring a stop to this insanity.



  4. Yes. Spread liberally to all. And I’m trying to clean up my power point presentation about being tenacious and finding one’s identity when dealing with adoption agencies that control everything.

    I hope to post that today.

  5. These videos made me realize just how important the identity of #4709 is to you.

    Like another commenter said, I sure got choked up while watching these…

  6. Great series. I think it’s important to keep telling the stories for people to understand that adoption isn’t always love and happiness.

  7. I just got thru watching these clips and I am still processing a lot of the information. I have been through a similar journey, and while I have more information than I did prior to my return trip to Korea (2008), I also have more questions than ever, which aren’t getting answered (at least for now). That being said, I can relate to so many of the feelings expressed in this documentary.

    I hope these video clips will help educate the general population why this is so important to us adoptees, but also generate much needed change within the adoption agencies. Like Jane said in towards the end; adoptees build an identity around the information provided by the adoption agency, so if there is suddenly “new” information, the identity changes. I can totally relate to that statement!

    I hope you find #4709 :-)

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