o, we are adopting from South Korea. Lots of people have heard of Korean adoptees and Korean adoption, even older generations remember when babies were brought from Korea during and immediately after the Korean Conflict. Initially, babies considered "mixed race" were available for adoption; these were babies predominately fathered by US soldiers stationed in Korea and born to Korean women who were unwed. There were so many babies and children that orphanages began filling up and overcrowding, and western groups formed in an effort to give these babies a chance at a family. 

Adoption from South Korea to the US began in 1955 when Harry Holt, from Eugene, Oregon, adopted eight war orphans from Korea. His work and mission has been followed by Holt International Children's Services. The first Korean babies sent to Europe went to Sweden via the Social Welfare Society in the mid 1960s. For the next decade, most of the children adopted from Korea were fathered by American soldiers who served in the Korean war. But Amerasians, or "mixed race" babies and children, presently account for fewer than 1% of adoptees. (Rothschild, The Progressive, 1988).

Today, four agencies exist in Korea to provide adoptive services. Holt is the largest, then there is Eastern, SWS (Social Welfare Society) and KSS (Korea Social Services). Each of these agencies partner with specific US agencies to provide services to potential adoptive parents here in the US. Our agency in the US is Catholic Charities of Baltimore, which partners with Holt. 

Babies are placed in the care of foster families while they await placement with their forever family. I can't speak for other agencies, but Holt in Korea also has a small place called the "Reception Center", which can house 10 babies, and some babies stay there for a few days until a foster family is found, and some stay there permanently with one-on-one caregivers until placement. 

I tend to post so much about what we are doing now and our process, I thought it might be cool to post about how all of this got started and a little background. Not too bad for my first Teach Me Something Tuesday I guess!

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