News Ticker

Some random thoughts about the Joint Council Symposium

As you know, dear reader, earlier this month I presented with Rockstar Vietnamese adoptee Bert Ballard at the Joint Council Symposium in the great city of New York.  Hopefully, Bert and I’ll have the time to talk about our overall experience/presentation in full via a podcast soon.  In the meantime, I’d like to offer up some random thoughts.

1. The three/four staff members from the Department of State never mentioned adult adoptees or first parents, even when they used the term “adoption stakeholders” multiple times.  So, ah, adoptees and first parents are not stakeholders?

2. Inside the symposium there were A LOT of white people.  Outside there were people from all walks of life. 

3. Hanging out with adoptees, progressive adoptive parents, first parents, adoption reform advocates, and old/new friends in NY is hell of a good time.

4. Nancy Fox of Americans for International Aid and Adoption (AAIA) likes white wine. 

5. Nancy Fox of AAIA believes the adoptive parents who didn’t finalize their kids’ paperwork are the ones to blame for the adoptee deportation issue.  I say she’s passing the buck because the onus is also with adoption agencies and the US state and federal governments.

6. Nancy Fox of AAIA, during a heated exchange with me, grabbed my chin and brought my face right up to hers.  Seriously.  My response?  Lightly tapping her hand away, I said, “Don’t ever do that to me again.  That’s the patronizing I mentioned to you earlier.  I’m not one of your kids.”  She apologized, and then went into how she has known adoptees like Susan Cox, Kathy Sacco, Joy Lieberthal, and Melanie Chung-Sherman since I was a child.  Weird.  If I recall, I’m in Kathy, Joy, and Melanie’s age bracket.

7. Nancy Fox of AAIA doesn’t support the recent South Korean adoption legislation.  (Not surprising.)  In reference to Tammy Ko Robinson, Tobias Hubinette, Kim Stoker, and Jane Trenka (the Korean adoptees who were a part of the passing of the legislation), Nancy proclaimed, “They have sentenced Korean kids to death in institutions! You have sentenced the Korean kids to death in institutions for supporting them!”  I asked her if she has ever considered reaching out to Tammy, Tobias, Kim, and Jane.  Her response?  “That train has left a long time ago.”  So, I guess working with the adoptees to support single parents in South Korea is out of the question for AAIA.  That’s too bad.  Supporting single parents in SK would fit the AAIA mission, don’t you think?

8. Only a few of the individuals (most from placement agencies) who attended Bert’s and my presentation had heard of Bastard Nation.  Almost everyone had heard of Are You My Mother

9. Only a few of the individuals who attended Bert’s and my presentation had heard of GOA’L, HALT, ASK, and TRACK.

10. Only a few of the individuals who attended Bert’s and my presentation had seen Struggle For Identity.

11. Only a few of the individuals who attended Bert’s and my presentation had ever read/heard of Outsiders Within.

12. Bert Ballard nailed his portion of the presentation.

13. It was quite funny to hear someone say “He’s so nasty!” during my portion of the presentation.

14. The Children’s Home Society & Family Services (CHSFS) folks who attended Bert’s and my presentation were good sports (I kind of went after them) and engaging.

15. Most of the individuals who attended Bert’s and my presentation were quite engaging.  Bert and I had very civil conversations with many of them afterwards.  As for the Joint Council board members?  I’m not sure.  They didn’t attend Bert’s and my presentation.

16. David and Desiree Smolin, who presented after us, are Rockstars.

17. Dywatt Gant doesn’t realize that a PhD is an actual degree. 

18. Nothing says “angry adoptees” like these two dudes. 

19. Since you’ve read this far, here’s our powerpoint presentation.

Adoptees and Agencies JCICS presentation 2012 final for uploading


6 Comments on Some random thoughts about the Joint Council Symposium

  1. AIAA is COMPLETLY responsible for the mess Jennifer Haynes is in. They also never offered help. They don´t reply properly to the court so far. So her case is stucked. AIAA is not only responsible for the deportation issue, but FULLY Responsible for placing her with a pedophile. They KNEW this family was sexually abusive. ” 5. Nancy Fox of AAIA believes the adoptive parents who didn’t finalize their kids’ paperwork are the ones to blame for the adoptee deportation issue. I say she’s passing the buck because the onus is also with adoption agencies and the US state and federal governments.” – Arun Dohle

  2. “As for the Joint Council board members? I’m not sure. They didn’t attend Bert’s and my presentation.”

    Why am I not surprised?

    As to stakeholders – come on – you know “there are only two” – the adoption agencies and the adoptive parents. To them, the adoptees are the commodity and the parents – well fill in the blank term there…

    Good for you for taking a stand and speaking out…I would not have managed it well.

    • Yeah, there’s no need to be surprised, is there? I chuckled when it was announced that they had a “board meeting” during our talk. Typical.

      Thanks for the kinds words!

  3. Well done Kevin!

5 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Recommended Links: The Daily Bastardette shows Nancy Fox of AIAA some love/Daniel Ibn Zayd’s epic critique of the use of the Qur’an to justify adoption « Land of Gazillion Adoptees
  2. Some Thoughts on “The Angry Adoptee:” Gazillion Adoptees v JCIC$ | Bastard Nation
  3. LGA is About Adoptees/Leave My Asian Balls, i.e., Masculinity, Out of This « Land of Gazillion Adoptees
  4. We’re Funny, too « Land of Gazillion Adoptees
  5. Adoption Initiative Conference at St. John’s University « Land of Gazillion Adoptees

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: