Date of Award

2012

Thesis Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Liberal Studies

Advisor(s)

Dr. Margaret McLaren

Second Advisor

Dr. Twila Papay

Abstract

This thesis project consists of two parts: a memoir of my experience as a Korean adoptee, and a research paper examining how transracial, transnational adoption affects identity development in Korean adoptees. The memoir, as a first person narrative, gives voice to the research as one example of the findings. The majority of research on Korean adoptees has focused on levels of adjustment within a short time frame after adoptees’ placement in their adoptive homes. While the overwhelming majority of the prior research has declared positive and overall satisfactory adjustment for most adoptees, serious flaws exist in the methodologies that do not accurately reflect the experiences of the adoptees themselves. Absent from the research are the experiential voices of adult adoptees only heard as adolescents (or younger) or through the voices of their adoptive parents. A vast majority of the research has muffled the voices of Korean adoptees. By sharing my experience I hope to add to the small but growing number of adult adoptees who are the true expert authorities on the impact of the extraordinary yet personally unique situations that define the Korean adoptee population.