This report summarizes the results of a survey of 179 adult Korean adoptees from 11 adoptive nations who attended the 2010 Gathering of Korean Adoptees in Seoul. In 1999, all of the roughly 400 Korean adoptees attending the “Gathering” conference were invited to complete a survey about their adoptee experience, and 167 responded. Freundlich and Lieberthal compiled the results of these surveys in “The Gathering of the First Generation of Adult Korean Adoptees: Adoptees’ Perceptions of International Adoption.” The 2010 survey population approximately represented worldwide adult Korean adoptees in its distribution across adoptive nations and in terms of gender. Participants ranged from 19 to 59 years of age and their average age was 31. Participants reported moderate exposure to Korean heritage experiences while growing up. The survey population was unusual in its tendency to be highly educated and single, as well as in their extremely high rate of birth family search and reunion. Self-selection of the survey population, most of whom had made long international journeys to attend the conference where they were surveyed, may have contributed to these results. An initial survey and report completed at the First Gathering of Korean Adoptees in 1999 provides some basis for comparison, though the survey instruments used were not the same.


This report, commissioned by leadership of the International Korean Adoptee Associations (IKAA), summarizes a survey of adult Korean adoptee attendees of the Gathering of Korean Adoptees that took place in Seoul in August 2010. The purpose of the survey was to gain basic information about adult Korean adoptees for general research purposes, and as an aid to planning future IKAA Gatherings. Survey topics included demographics (gender, sexuality, country of residence, country of adoption, current age and age at adoption) life experiences (educational attainment, profession, adoptive family makeup, current family makeup, exposure to Korean heritage, Korean language fluency), pre-adoption experiences (residence prior to adoption, reason for separation from birth family), ethnic identity (current and past identity, experiences of discrimination), and post-adoption service interests (experience living in Korea, interest in Korean permanent residency and citizenship, search and reunion experiences, interest in specific post-adoption services). This report follows, but does not replicate, a survey and report on Korean adoptees at the First Gathering of Korean Adoptees, which took place in Washington, D.C. in 1999.

Survey of Attendees of the 2010 International Korean Adoptee Associations Gathering of Korean Adoptees, August 4, 2010, Seoul, South Korea (Click to Download the Full Report)



Kim Park Nelson, Kimberly J. Langrehr, Nate Bae Kupel