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Renegades in Adoption – Jane Jeong Trenka

Joining Renegade Dr. John Raible is Renegade Jane Jeong Trenka, who by the way lived in Minnesota for awhile.  Yeah, that Minnesota – the Land of Gazillion Adoptees!  Boom!  At any rate, the people have spoken and they rave…

“Her dedication to the adoption community through her books, advocating for full knowledge and truth for the adoptees through several of her groups, proactive in changing policies, a human rights advocate, working in Korea supporting and taking action for adoptees right in the heart and ‘Seoul’ of Korea.  She does whatever it takes and then some for the cause. I am inspired by her” – Jeanette Yamamoto, adoptee

“I’d like to nominate Jane Jeong Trenka as a Renegade in Adoption.

Jane Jeong Trenka is a force to be reckoned with, an articulate voice in the wilderness, a rebel with a just cause, and an effective, realistic reformer who knows how to get things done.  As a writer and a thinker, Jane has been on the vanguard of challenging the adoption myth narrative since her book The Language of Blood was published in 2003.  An eloquent, artful, and creative seminal work, it gave voice to and thus validated an alternative narrative of the transracial international adoptee’s experience.  This alternative narrative shone like a ray of sunshine into the dark of the adoption myth belief system.  While the book didn’t start a revolution, it did cause thinking people to begin to question the dominant adoption narrative and to realize that international adoption involves difficulty, serious loss, identity issues, conflicting loyalties, and expectations of adoption myth scripted actions and reactions.  The work also made clear that, in individual international adoptions, if the whole truth was to be understood, then that truth needed to include an understanding of the adoptee’s original family.

Later, as one of the editors of Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption, Jane, in helping to facilitate the thoughts and voices of other transracial adoptees, furthered a coherent, deeper understanding of the interracial, international adoptee’s experience – an experience outside the box of the dominant adoption myth narrative.

This would have been a great body of work, but Jane, in moving back to Korea, went further.  In Korea Jane has been an activist: involved not only with other Korean adoptees visiting and returning, but also working to restore rights to adoptees; helping individual adoptees in particularly difficult situations, and to prevent others from being exiled from Korea through international adoption; and striking at the root causes that allow international adoption to continue to flourish.  Jane has worked to educate government agencies and officials on the issues; to support and aid single mothers to be able to keep their children; and to change laws.  Successfully.

Jane is not only a renegade herself, refusing to be put in anyone’s little box; she has, through sharing her experiences, her thoughts, and her activism, helped others change the way they think too” – Desiree Smolin, adoptive parent

4 Comments on Renegades in Adoption – Jane Jeong Trenka

  1. I would add that Jane’s sense of justice is a thing of beauty. Oh, what a world we’d have if everyone saw humanity and responded to its needs as she does – through the most incredibly clear eyes and with an enormous heart.

    She most definitely changed me, and I will be forever grateful for it.

  2. Awwwwwwwww, so nice! Thank you dear friends. Group hug and high five! 🙂

  3. Wow, there’s a lot of love here!

  4. Elizabeth Burns // February 13, 2012 at 10:02 am // Reply

    This is a stunning book–not just for its content (so near and dear to my heart, as my sister is a birth mother and my nephew an adoptee), but also because of the way her lyrical narrative presents this piercing message. I recommend this to all readers. Elizabeth Burns (author of TILT).

5 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Renegades in Adoption – Deborah Jiang Stein | Land of Gazillion Adoptees
  2. Adoptees Speak Up for Family Preservation « Land of Gazillion Adoptees
  3. From the FB Wall of Jane Jeong Trenka: “We need a real, concrete solution, *right now.* We are going to become permanent, lifelong caregivers – in a country with little resources for English-speaking, ill adoptees – if nothing changes. &
  4. From the FB Wall of Jane Jeong Trenka: “We need a real, concrete solution, *right now.* We are going to become permanent, lifelong caregivers – in a country with little resources for English-speaking, ill adoptees – if nothing changes. &
  5. LGA Talks to Writer Amy Lee Scott « Land of Gazillion Adoptees

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