Out of a
South Korean
Orphanage and Into the World

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

Birth Year

1954

Adoption Year

1958

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Watch
  • We have to stop turning ourselves into victims.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Watch