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Where’s the leadership?: The Post In Which I Kind of Prod CHSFS and LSS

I am genuinely perplexed.  The “Korean adoption movement” has played a significant role in Minnesota history.  (For historical context, see the forward written by JaeRan Kim in HERE: A Visual History of Adopted Koreans in Minnesota)  Indeed, adoption agencies, such as Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (LSS) and Children’s Home Society & Family Services (CHSFS), have been instrumental in making Minnesota the “Land of 10,000 Korean Adoptees.”  I would even go as far as to say that their historical roles have elevated the two agencies, in particular CHSFS, to the status of “industry leaders.”

With all of this in mind, one would assume that LSS and especially CHSFS, which is the only agency facilitating Korean adoptions in Minnesota, would publically attempt to contextualize and lead the public discourse on “The Special Act Relating to Adoption,” arguably the single most important adoption legislation to come out of Korea in decades.  Instead, we get this from CHSFS as though nothing happened:

Er…  I have no idea what the CHSFS leadership is saying in private to their constituents, but why the crickets in the public sphere?  What is CHSFS and its leadership afraid of?

  • That they would lose unknowing prospective adoptive parents if they admitted that the agency’s oldest and most established intercountry adoption program won’t be working like it once did?  What’s their plan?  Lure these prospective adoptive parents interested in the Korean adoption program and then hook the parents with another?  If so, wouldn’t that be kind of “bait and switch”-ish?
  • That they would legitimize some of the voices of key players in “The Special Act Relating to Adoption” – Jane Trenka of TRACK, Kim Stoker of ASK, and Tammy Ko Robinson, some of the adoptees CHSFS has attempted to marginalize in the past – if they had to talk about the legislation?  If so, the members of the CHSFS leadership are in for a surprise.  Adoptees like Jane, Kim, and Tammy are not going away any time soon.

Honestly.  What’s with the freaking crickets?!

Again, I’m genuinely perplexed.  At the same time, I’m kind of elated.  Members of the CHSFS leadership are throwing away the opportunity to do their part in shaping the public discussion here in Minnesota; it appears as though they have no interest, are unwilling for strategic reasons, and/or simply don’t know how.  In their place, we have strong adoptee women like Jane Trenka, Kim Stoker, Tammy Ko Robinson, and Jennifer Kwon Dobbs filling the leadership void.

Yes, it’s the adoptees time.

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