Out of a
South Korean
Orphanage and Into the World

He puts his little hand on my face. “Momma, we have the same eyes.”

Birth Year

1971

Adoption Year

1973

Adoptive Country

United States

A documentary
film project by
Glenn Morey and
Julie Morey

Explore stories by ▾

  • Birth Year+
    • 1940s
    • 1950s
    • 1960s
    • 1970s
    • 1980s
    • 1990s
  • Gender+
    • Female
    • Male
  • Adoption Year+
    • Less Than 2
    • 2-6
    • More Than 6
  • Adoptive Country+
    • Australia
    • Denmark
    • France
    • Netherlands
    • Sweden
    • Switzerland
    • United States
  • Aged out of Orphanage+
    • Yes
    • No
  • Subject Matter+
    • Being Mixed Race
    • Have Contacted Biological Family
    • Being Mothers and Fathers
  • Clear Filterx
  • 7 countries
  • 6 languages
  • 16 cities
  • 100 stories

An international journey through the personal memories and experiences of abandonment, relinquishment, orphanages, aging out, and inter-country adoption from South Korea

 
0 results
  • Mixed-race kids were seen as human refuse, a scourge on their culture.

    Watch
  • My birth mother has remarried, and her husband can’t know that I exist.

    Watch
  • Because I’ve chosen to become a single mother, I think about my birth mother a lot.

    Watch
  • I meet facility alumni. Some are successful, some have gone astray.

    Watch
  • Five Korean adoptees getting together, then 12, 15, 20, hundreds.

    Watch
  • I have chosen to see adoption as a part of my life, not the driver.

    Watch
  • It took my birth father 35 years of searching. He finally found me 3 years ago.

    Watch
  • I was born to have an identity complex, being adopted and transgendered.

    Watch
  • I didn’t get the answers I wished for, but I am more at peace with that.

    Watch
  • I was in the orphanage for the undesirable children. I was not adoptable.

    Watch
  • I see a lot of Chinese babies who are adopted. We kind of blazed a trail.

    Watch
  • It was like opening Pandora’s Box, this piece of paper in my hands.

    Watch
  • If I wasn’t adopted, I’d be working a rice field. I’m not really an outdoor guy.

    Watch
  • As a child, I often dreamt about what I saw the night I was abandoned.

    Watch
  • I’ll embrace the sorrow I still feel, and one day I will heal and forgive.

    Watch
  • My mother simply asked me, “Would you like to go to America?”

    Watch
  • There’s a different layer on life when someone chooses you.

    Watch
  • It’s good to feel like you can acknowledge the complexities around adoption.

    Watch
  • We have to stop turning ourselves into victims.

    Watch
  • I have both my birth family and my adoptive family, and I love them both.

    Watch
  • God, why am I here? Why did you put me in this household?

    Watch
  • My adopting father told me he met my mother, and he negotiated with her.

    Watch
  • I never really discussed racism with my parents. I didn't want to relive it.

    Watch
  • I was 7 and a half when I was adopted. I was told that I had two sisters.

    Watch
  • All of a sudden, I saw real Koreans, who weren’t speaking Danish.

    Watch
  • I did 23andMe. My second cousin on my birth father's side contacted me.

    Watch
  • My biological father is standing there, leaning over a motorcycle.

    Watch
  • I want to be as good a parent as my mom was for me. I’ll try my hardest.

    Watch
  • What if I find out something I don't want to know? That scares me.

    Watch
  • I grew up feeling like a Martian who had arrived from outer space.

    Watch
  • My mom told me herself that I was born on the floor at home.

    Watch
  • I’m grateful, truly, to be alive today. That’s why I tell my story.

    Watch
  • People say my happy appearance is impressive, given my childhood.

    Watch
  • It wasn't until college that I started to sort out my multiple identities.

    Watch
  • What I’ve learned through my faith in the Lord, is that it happened for a reason.

    Watch
  • I enjoy traveling. When you travel, you’re not supposed to belong.

    Watch
  • I ask myself a lot of questions about my ability to be a mother.

    Watch
  • The woman on the phone says, “We think we found your mother.”

    Watch
  • After that, I kind of realized…okay, I’m a child born of rape.

    Watch
  • It was an unspeakable act. I wanted to forget it. But I couldn’t.

    Watch
  • For the first time, I saw other adoptees who looked a bit like me.

    Watch
  • I was the baby—the first choice to give up for adoption. I understand that.

    Watch
  • I’ve been homeless 15 times, from 1987 to the present—5 years in NYC.

    Watch
  • My biological parents wanted us to be together with a Christian family.

    Watch
  • I did a total 180 from not hanging out with Asians, making up for lost time.

    Watch
  • An immigrant family that was unwilling to give up on an abandoned orphan.

    Watch
  • If I were to be given another life, I would want to receive parental love.

    Watch
  • Adoption includes the first family. The child did not appear from nowhere.

    Watch
  • Would I have been better off in Korea? I think the answer is always, no.

    Watch
  • In Korea, I can feel the way people look at me, and I lose confidence.

    Watch
  • It’s not a job, but getting married that’s a challenge.

    Watch
  • Our extended relatives made it clear. My sister and I were “add-ons.”

    Watch
  • Korea never left me. Korea is inside of me. I eat, breathe, and live Korea.

    Watch
  • That pain never goes away. I take my pain, and I put anger over it.

    Watch
  • My teacher told the class, “This is her last day. She’s going to America.”

    Watch
  • I learned that I was incredibly lucky to have grown up in Denmark.

    Watch
  • He puts his little hand on my face. “Momma, we have the same eyes.”

    Watch
  • What I had been looking for in my birth mom, I found when my son was born.

    Watch
  • The email said, “We found your mother. You have to come to Korea now.”

    Watch
  • There’s no information about me, my birth, my family in Korea. Nothing.

    Watch
  • When I walk into a room, do people look at me and say, there’s the Asian girl?

    Watch
  • My mom’s comment to me was, “You should be dating your own kind.”

    Watch
  • My oldest son got me a DNA test, and it stated I’m 100% Japanese.

    Watch
  • I sold hard taffy, physical labor. Those jobs were my ticket to survival.

    Watch
  • When I married, I hid my history. Afterwards, the truth became known.

    Watch
  • I think that’s why God gave me my daughter, so I wouldn't be alone.

    Watch
  • My adoptive parents are Korean. I grew up speaking Korean.

    Watch
  • I didn’t have problems during childhood. I am who I am, Dutch Korean.

    Watch
  • I remember, vividly, the morning my mother gave us up. She was crying.

    Watch
  • A feeling of detachment, and an inability to connect with anybody.

    Watch
  • It made me embarrassed, that I had to explain my existence to other people.

    Watch
  • In the Holt records, it says that I was left on the doorstep of a man’s house.

    Watch
  • Why is Korea still sending children for adoption abroad?

    Watch
  • I feel my friends hold the concept of finding birth parents closer than I do.

    Watch
  • My adoptive parents are Korean. I found out I was adopted 3 years ago.

    Watch
  • I don’t remember much, except the crying—all those unhappy children.

    Watch
  • I learned how to pronounce my Korean name, and realized that it’s beautiful.

    Watch
  • My college essay was called “My Lucky Number”— my case number, K90821.

    Watch
  • My earliest memories are of living in one room with my birth mother.

    Watch
  • Maybe even more as an adoptee, I’m afraid of losing my parents.

    Watch
  • As of today, I do not know who is telling the truth, and who is not.

    Watch
  • We always felt we were Danish children, with Danish values and norms.

    Watch
  • I don't talk much about growing up in an orphanage—my darkest moment.

    Watch
  • I miss Korea and my birth family. It’s a sadness that I carry with me.

    Watch
  • When I met my birth mom, it wasn't under the best circumstances.

    Watch
  • I got married after my husband promised me he’d never mention my past.

    Watch
  • I remember walking down a dirt road in Korea, and crying.

    Watch
  • Yeah, I’m black and Korean. But first and foremost, I’m black.

    Watch
  • My adoptive parents loved me so much, before they even had me.

    Watch
  • Learning Korean really made me the most in touch with being Korean.

    Watch
  • My mother thinks that I’m happy all the time, not how I have struggled.

    Watch
  • I am a man who should have died a long time ago, but I have a family now.

    Watch
  • Mild curiosity grew into a need to connect with adoptees and Korean-Americans.

    Watch
  • My husband and I are both Korean. Our son inherits our Korean heritage.

    Watch
  • It’s important for me to share, to encourage others who’ve been victims.

    Watch
  • I’m most likely a foundling, left near a police station.

    Watch
  • I remember looking in the mirror, trying to see what made me a target.

    Watch
  • My facility experience has made me tough. I don’t cry over small things.

    Watch
  • She gave me a ring she was wearing and said, “We have the same hands.”

    Watch
  • I don’t know how to put it into words. I wish I could live like everyone else.

    Watch