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NYTimes reports that the 10 Americans who attempted to take children from Haiti into the Dominican Republic have been charged with abduction.

According to the NYT,

The Americans were arrested on Friday as they tried to take 33 Haitian children to what they had said was an orphanage in the Dominican Republic. A Web site for the orphanage said that children there would stay in a “loving Christian home-like environment” and be eligible for adoption.

and

But several of the 33 children had at least one living parent, and some of those parents said that the Baptists had promised simply to educate the youngsters in the Dominican Republic and said the children would be able to return to Haiti to visit their families.

Click here to read the whole article.

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My friend at Harlow Monkey (who herself is a social worker) recently got attacked on her blog by an adoption social worker. I think the social worker’s insecurities and misinformed claims and accusations speak for themselves. Moreover, her comments smack of infantilization, defensiveness, and insecurity. HW is not a child; she was not born (or adopted) yesterday. So, for your amusement (and it really is amusing):

http://harlowmonkey.typepad.com/harlows_monkey/2010/01/an-adoption-worker-offers-me-advice.html

My friend, professor, writer and activist Jennifer Kwon Dobbs was on 1:48 Voices from within the Korean Diaspora. From the website:

Featured guest : Jennifer Kwon Dobbs – author of “Paper Pavilion,” currently working on second book, guest editor of the 3rd edition of JKAS and assistant professor of English at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota

Reporting by: kim thompson

*** Jennifer Kwon Dobbs’ bio:
“Jennifer Kwon Dobbs received the New England Poetry Club’s Shelia Motton Book Award for her debut collection of poetry, Paper Pavilion (White Pine Press 2007). Currently assistant professor of English at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, Kwon Dobbs is working on an essay collection about the political geographies of overseas Korean adoptee birth searches and a second book of poetry.”

Blog and info about Paper Pavilion: http://www.jkwondobbs.com

About the show:

About 1:48

This is a report that will air once every 3 weeks and will feature korean adoptees who are artists, activists, and philosophers.

I (kim thompson) will do the reporting and through the suggestions of others as well as my own contacts bring on different voices from within the adoptee community who live both in Seoul and abroad. For the time being it will air as a regular report that is featured on the “Steve Hatherly Show”

The reason that I’ve named the report thus is due to this fact (which I extracted from an article by Jane Jeong Trenka )

“since 1953 about 200,000 korean children have been sent to the west for adoption. with korea having a population of approximately 48 million this means one in every 48 korean citizens is affected by adoption. this show will feature some of those 200,000 who have returned home.”

Click here to listen to Jennifer Kwon Dobbs.

As I understand it, the following statement is from a group based in Northern California, and endorsed by many of my adoptee activist/scholar/artist friends. Here are the first two paragraphs:

This statement reflects the position of an international community of adoptees of color who wish to pose a critical intervention in the discourse and actions affecting the child victims of the recent earthquake in Haiti. We are domestic and international adoptees with many years of research and both personal and professional experience in adoption studies and activism. We are a community of scholars, activists, professors, artists, lawyers, social workers and health care workers who speak with the knowledge that North Americans and Europeans are lining up to adopt the “orphaned children” of the Haitian earthquake, and who feel compelled to voice our opinion about what it means to be “saved” or “rescued” through adoption.

We understand that in a time of crisis there is a tendency to want to act quickly to support those considered the most vulnerable and directly affected, including children. However, we urge caution in determining how best to help. We have arrived at a time when the licenses of adoption agencies in various countries are being reviewed for the widespread practice of misrepresenting the social histories of children. There is evidence of the production of documents stating that a child is “available for adoption” based on a legal “paper” and not literal orphaning as seen in recent cases of intercountry adoption of children from Malawi, Guatemala, South Korea and China. We bear testimony to the ways in which the intercountry adoption industry has profited from and reinforced neo-liberal structural adjustment policies, aid dependency, population control policies, unsustainable development, corruption, and child trafficking.

Read the rest of the statement here.

Interesting article.

South Korean government workers are being given an unusual instruction – go home and multiply.

At 1900 on Wednesday, officials at the Ministry of Health will turn off all the lights in the building.

They want to encourage staff to go home to their families and, well, make bigger ones. They plan to repeat the experiment every month.

The country has one of the world’s lowest birth rates, lower even than neighbouring Japan.

And yet the Korean government facilitates the transnational adoptions of more than 1,000 children per year. This reeks of a classist and gendered agenda. Let’s ask our highly educated, mostly male government workers to have more kids but take the kids away from the (mostly) single mothers who don’t have the means to support their children. How is this at all socially just?

Read the article here.

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