The Fifth International Symposium on Korean Adoption Studies

Symposium Date: Wednesday, July 31, 2019 at 9 am – 5 pm Lotte Hotel, Sapphire Ballroom

The International Korean Adoptee Associations (IKAA) will convene the Fifth International Symposium on Korean Adoption Studies as part of the IKAA Gathering 2019. The field of Korean adoption studies is specifically concerned with international adoption from Korea including the experiences of overseas adopted Koreans, birth families, adoptive families, and the families of adoptees. We recognize and celebrate the interdisciplinary nature of Korean adoption studies. These scholars work at the intersections of Asian and Korean studies, postcolonial and cultural studies, and social and behavioral sciences. Their research is also engaged with issues of race and ethnicity, migration and diaspora, gender and family, and globalization and transnationalism.

The day-long symposium will bring together scholars from around the world who are conducting research in the field of Korean adoption studies. We also welcome submissions from scholars creating linkages between transnational adoptions from Korea and other sending countries such as China, Ethiopia, Colombia, and Ukraine. By bringing together a diverse group of scholars from multiple fields, we hope to build on the momentum of the previous Research Symposiums to further academic inquiry and strengthen the network of scholars tackling questions surrounding international adoption.

Questions? Please contact the Symposium organizers Sara Docan-Morgan, Boon Young Han, Kimberly McKee, Anders Riel Müller, Eunha Na, and Elizabeth Raleigh at [email protected].


9:00 Opening Remarks

9.15-10:45 Panel #1: Korean Transnational Adoptee Identities

10:45-11:00 Break

11:00-12:00 Keynote: Expanding the Narrative Beyond “Adopted Children”: U.S. Korean American Adult Experiences.

12:00-1:15 Lunch Break

1:15-2:45 Panel #2: Adoption in Korean Media

2:45-3:00 Break

3:00-4:15 Panel #3: Adoptions to Scandinavia

4:15-4:45 Book Talks

4:45 Closing Remarks


A Scandinavian Way of Adoption? A Comparative study of Transnational Adoption Policies in Scandinavia circa 1960-2017

Presenter: Kasper Eriksen

A Phenomenological Account of Korean Transnational Adoptee Experiences of Racial Embodiment and Adoptee Kinship

Presenter: Ryan Gustafsson

“‘Don’t Forget — They’re the Ones Who Gave You Up’: The Stigmatization of Birth Family Search and Reunion”

Presenter: Katelyn Hemmeke

Imagination of birth mother and women’s embodiment — focusing on the film Looking for Her (2015)

Presenter: Yijin Kim

“There are some adoptees who get very angry if they think they are being pathologized” – Anger as an affective performance of ablemindedness in the transnational community of critical Korean adoptees

Presenter: Mette Kim-Larsen

The Significance of Korean Adoption and (Im)mobility of Korean Children: Intercountry Adoption from Korea to Sweden between 1964 and 1979

Presenter: Youngeun Koo

“This could be any of us”: Identity Formation, Racialized Scripts, and Collective Action in Adoptee Citizenship Act Advocacy

Presenter: Wendy Laybourn

Mediated National Mourning: Search and Reunion in South Korean Screen Cultures

Presenter: Jieun Lee

Names, Identity, and Transracial Socialization for Transracial Korean and Chinese Adoptees

Presenter: Jason Reynolds

Adoption and Motherhood in the K-drama Madeo

Presenter: Marcy Tanter

Getting a Bit of the Other: Consuming the Transracial Adoptee in Swedish Adoption Narratives

Presenter: Richey Wyver

Keynote Speaker: JaeRan Kim

Korean adoptees as parents: Intergenerationality of ethic, racial, and adoptive socialization


July 31, 2019


Lotte Hotel Seoul, Korea



Open to the General Public

Per Person: KRW 30,000
Student (with valid ID): KRW 20,000

IKAA Gathering Participants registered for the full conference: Free Admission with the Gathering ID Badge.

Payment on site.