by Sofia Leung

In anticipation of the 2015 APALA President’s Program, Global Roots, Local Identities: Asian International Adoption and Advocacy, we provide a brief introduction and resource guide to the topic of Asian international adoption. The program will feature Dr. Catherine Ceniza Choy, a professor of Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley and author of Global Families: A History of Asian International Adoption in America, and Maria Taesil Hudson Carpenter, the City Librarian of the Santa Monica Public Library System and the Vice President of the Association of Korean Adoptees of Southern California. They will use the new film by award-winning filmmaker Deann Borshay Liem, Geographies of Kinship: International Asian Adoption, as a discussion prompt to such issues as assimilation, family, community, and advocacy within the larger framework of international adoption.

There are number of books, films, exhibits, organizations and more that delve into the subject. This list is by no means comprehensive and is meant to be a starting point to help you explore the conversations happening around Asian international adoption. We have provided a short description of some of the resources.

Nonfiction

Adopted Territory: Transnational Korean Adoptees and the Politics of Belonging by Eleana J. Kim. Designed by Heather Hensley. 2010 Duke University Press.
Adopted Territory: Transnational Korean Adoptees and the Politics of Belonging by Eleana J. Kim. Designed by Heather Hensley. 2010 Duke University Press.
  • Choy, C. (2013). Global Families : A History of Asian International Adoption in America, Ebook library (OCoLC)63128143.
  • Jerng, M. (2010). Claiming Others Transracial Adoption and National Belonging, Ebrary Academic Complete (OCoLC)54646987.

Jerng presents the history of transracial adoption in the United States, beginning from 1851, with the first adoption law in Massachusetts. He is interested in how transracial adoption disturbs traditional ideas of family, nation, and race.

  • Kim, E. (2010). Adopted Territory: Transnational Korean Adoptees and the Politics of Belonging. Durham: Duke University Press.
  • Volkman, T. (2005). Cultures of transnational adoption. Durham: Duke University Press.

This is a collection of essays that covers both the personal and scholarly perspectives of transnational adoption and explores the cultural issues of race, kinship, belonging, and identity . While it spans adoption from many different parts of the world, Korea, China, and North America are particularly well-explored in this book.

Other Notable Scholars

  • Sara Dorow
  • Kay Ann Johnson
  • Rita Simon
  • Jane Trenka
  • M. Elizabeth Vonk
  • Barbara Yngvesson

Fiction

  • Hwang, D. (2000). Trying to find Chinatown : The selected plays (1st ed.). New York: Theatre Communications Group.
  • Lee, M. M. (2005). Somebody’s Daughter. Boston: Beacon Press.
  • Lee, V. (2001). Princess June: A novel. Santa Barbara, CA: Fithian Press.
  • Scott, J.C. (2002). The lucky gourd shop. Denver, CO: MacMurray & Beck.

Film

  • Dolgin, Gail. (2002). Daughter from Danang. United States: Balcony Releasing.
  • Dossing, K., Engbo, Johan, Henriksen, Jacob Kwon, & Vesselbo, Nikolaj. (2007). A baby business (VAST: Academic Video Online). Copenhagen, Denmark: Danish Broadcasting Corporation.
  • Futerman, Samantha, Miyamoto, Ryan. Twinsters. United States: Small Package Films.
  • Gardner, Janet, Theam, Sopheap. (2013). Lost Child: Sayon’s Journey. United States: The Gardner Documentary Group.
The only picture Sayon Soeun had of his family in Cambodia. After more than 35 years, he has recently reconnected with his siblings. From the film Lost Child: Sayon's Journey.
The only picture Sayon Soeun had of his family in Cambodia. After more than 35 years, he has recently reconnected with his siblings. From the film Lost Child: Sayon’s Journey.

This documentary tells the story of Sayon Soeun, a child soldier abducted by the Khmer Rouge and eventually adopted by an American family. After over 35 years, he reconnects with his siblings, who he had presumed dead. This film is currently being shown in select locations: http://www.lostchildthefilm.org/screenings/

  • Knowlton, Linda Goldstein. (2011).  Somewhere Between. United States: Ladylike Films.
  • Lee, Barb. (2005). Adopted. United States: Point Made Films.
  • Liem, Deann Borshay. (2000). First Person Plural. United States: Mu Films.

Liem’s first documentary.

  • Pham, Quoc Thai, Gardner, Janet. (2001). Precious Cargo. United States: The Gardner Documentary Group.
  • Wang-Breal, Stephanie. (2009). Wo Ai Ni Mommy. United States: eyewang Pictures.

Exhibit

Operation Babylift: Perspectives and Legacies exhibition at the Presidio Officers Club.
Operation Babylift: Perspectives and Legacies exhibition at the Presidio Officers Club.
  • Operation Babylift: Perspectives + Legacies, closes Dec. 31st, free admission

Presidio Officers’ Club, 50 Moraga Ave., Main Post, Presidio, San Francisco

http://www.presidioofficersclub.com/exhibits/special-exhibits/

Details the 1975 evacuation of Vietnamese children to San Francisco and the military base that became a processing center. You can see this now or when you’re in San Francisco for ALA!

Organizations

 

Global Roots, Local Identities: Asian International Adoption and Advocacy

Co-sponsored by Video Round Table
Saturday, June 27, 2015, 4:30-5:30 PM
Moscone Convention Center, 236-238 (S)

Description: APALA President’s Program will feature a dynamic discussion between Dr. Catherine Ceniza Choy, a professor of Ethnic Studies at UC-Berkeley and Maria Taesil Hudson Carpenter, the City Librarian of the Santa Monica Public Library System. They will examine the issues raised by Geographies of Kinship: International Asian Adoption, a new film by award-winning Berkeley-based filmmaker Deann Borshay Liem, in the larger context of international adoption and reflect on universal questions of identity, assimilation, family, community, and advocacy. Excerpts from the film and a personal introduction especially produced for this program by Deann will be shown. The APALA President’s Program is co-sponsored by APALA and VRT.

We hope to see everyone there!

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