It’s awesome that the JA Daily and other news agencies are increasing coverage on Korean transracial adoption, unwed mothers, and so on, but their language choices show that there is still a ways to go in understanding the issues:
The New York Times earlier this week carried a feature on the conflicts and struggles adoptees from South Korea endure while growing up in American families in a study of trans-racial adoptions. The study on first-generation children adopted from South Korea showed most have suffered an identity crisis either from racial discrimination or coming to terms with their ethnic origin. In fact, 78 percent had considered themselves to be white or had wanted to be white when they were children. (emphasis mine)
Correct me if I’m wrong, but the NYTimes surveyed adult adoptees, not children. They do grow up, you know.
The article also says,
Some 163,000 children from South Korea have found adopted parents in other countries,
Yet abandoned babies are still carried off overseas in search of families that want them.
These phrases suggest that it is the adoptees who look for families, and not the other way around, when in fact the continuing demand from the US and other countries pressures Korea to make sure it provides the supply. 90% of the children sent away for adoption are born of single mothers; they already have a family, but are torn from it so that another family can be created.
Words matter. Like I said, it’s great that there’s increasing coverage, but reporters should be careful of how they construct their sentences.
Read the rest of the article here.