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.