Yesterday I visited my adoption agency, Holt Children’s Services, to go through my case file and visit the clinic where my foster mother would take me in for monthly checkups before I flew to the United States. The nurse that looked after me was still working there!
Going through your file with the adoption agency is a powerful, emotional, and sometimes frustrating experience for adoptees due to the privacy laws protecting birthparents’ identities. Generally an adoptee is able to know the address of their birthplace, so they can visit where they first came into the world. My file says I was born at home with my birthmother, but because it is also her address, the agency would only provide the city (Seoul) and the general district (Seodaemun-gu), which is a 17 square km area.
Post-adoption services were established to support adoptees, but still must respect familial privacy. The law considers both the rights of the adoptee and the birth parents, but is imperfect. Only open dialogue from all parties can continue to shape adoption policy for the better.
Any questions about the file review and the agency visit? Just shoot me a message!