Hello, and welcome to 325kamra.org. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit whose mission it is to DNA test Korean family who lost or relinquished children to international adoption. Our aim is to provide Korean Adoptees (KA) with their biological stories and family medical histories. We also hope to reunite Korean adoptees with biological family members when possible
Korean adoption started in 1953, and today there are upwards of 200,000 Korean Adoptees (KA) that have been sent worldwide. In the 1950s thru part of the 1960s, the larger percentages of children that were sent for international adoption (IA) were those who were mixed race. These were children born to Korean women and American or UN soldiers. It was then-President Syngman Rhee’s ‘one nation, one people (ilguk, ilmin)’ policies which emphasized ethnic homogeneity, and fueled the drive to purge the country of its mixed-race children. Since the advent of IA from South Korea, many children relinquished or lost to adoption have been orphaned or abandoned; many were children whose families may have been in crises (death, divorce, etc.); and many still were born to unwed mothers. Single mothers even today are castigated in Korean society.
“At the peak of the adoption exodus, in the mid-1980s, 24 babies left their birth country every day to be taken into the care of foreigners.” (The Economist, May 23, 2015). It was during the 1988 Seoul International Olympics that South Korea attracted the attention of journalists, including Bryant Gumbel of NBC who commented that Korea’s primary export was its babies.
The United States has been the largest receiving country for IA from Korea, receiving well over 50% of all Korean Adoptees. The second and third largest receiving countries have been France and Sweden. While the majority of adoptees were sent to the US and Europe, Korean Adoptees have been sent to countries including New Zealand, Greenland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands
(a territory of Denmark).
"If you are not adopted, you cannot imagine how it feels. All my life I will be thankful for my adoptive parents, but there is always a sense of aloneness. There is always the question of why did my mother give me away and why did my father abandon me. I will always wonder where I got my artsy traits...Is there anyone out there who looks like me? These feelings are always right under the surface of your life. They shape who you are and how you feel."