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Deann Borshay Liem, Dr. Kim Park Nelson, Dr. Liz Raleigh, and PhD candidate Kelly Condit-Shrestha, Oh, My!


Okay.  How cool is this?  SO. MUCH. BRAIN. POWER!  Who’s going with us?!

Come help support the Third International Symposium on Korean Adoption Studies at the 2013 IKAA Gathering! This fundraising event is hosted by AK Connection. This event will include research presentations by local adoption scholars, plus a special appearance by Korean adoptee filmmaker Deann Borshay Liem.Saturday, February 2, 2013
1:00pm – 5:00pm
Macalester College
John B. Davis Lecture Hall
1600 Grand Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55105
$30 at the door/$20 in advance ( show your support by contributing on our Indiegogo page (

Schedule for the AK Connection Mini Symposium:
1:00pm – 1:30pm Welcome and the Importance of the Research Symposium
1:30pm – 2:15pm Race & Adoption Marketplace: The Korean Example by Dr. Liz Raleigh
2:15pm – 3:00pm First Wave Adopted Koreans: Model Minority Migration & U.S. National Belonging by PhD candidate Kelly Condit-Shrestha
3:00pm – 3:15pm Break
3:15pm – 3:45pm 2010 IKAA Survey Report by Dr. Kim Park Nelson and Dr. Kimberley Langrer
3:45pm – 4:45pm Filmmaker Deann Borshay Liem
5:30pm Dinner at TBD

Race and the Adoption Marketplace: The Korean Example
This talk frames positions private adoption as a marketplace for children and examines how factors such as the supply of and demand for children shape aggregate adoption patterns. Drawn from extensive interviews with 25 adoption providers as well as observations from 40 adoption information sessions, I analyze the rise (and fall) of international adoption. I will pay particular attention to the case of adoption from Korea and how Korea was positioned as “the best” program for adoption for the most “whitebread” families. I will discuss the implications of these racial stereotypes, leaving ample time for audience questions and discussion.

First Wave Adopted Koreans: Model Minority Migration & U.S. National Belonging
Contemporary scholarship on Korea-U.S. international adoption (the transracial, transnational adoption of South Korean children by primarily white American citizens) is oftentimes limited within the discourse of Asian Americans’ racialization within the U.S. histories of immigration exclusion and anti-Asian social, cultural, and political policies and constructs. While this analytic framework remains important, Condit-Shrestha’s presentation will utilize an historically-specific migration studies lens to explore the time-specific, mid-1950s racialization of first-wave adopted Korean Americans not as simply exceptional or counter to the “normative” Asian American immigration experience, but as in-line and at the forefront of their time. Looking at the exact origins of Korean immigration vis-à-vis international adoption situates adopted Korean Americans at the vanguard of the historical movement towards a model minority racialization of Asian Americans. By placing the migration patterns and familial inclusion of internationally adopted Korean children alongside that of their military bride counterparts and the rising model minority discourse of Asian Americans – and against the paralleling historical contestations of transracial African American and American Indian adoptions, Condit-Shrestha’s presentation will illuminate the highly racialized U.S. national logics of belonging that informed (and were informed by) white Americans’ practices of family formation.

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