Birth family search never ends – for me it’s been 15 years. . .

I started searching for my birth family the first time I went to Korea in 2000. And yesterday I found out (from Holt) that they have my birth mother’s full address (and my birth father’s partial address) but for some unknown reason will not give it to me. I’m so frustrated and angry I can’t think. I can’t breathe. I want to cry. I should probably wait a few hours (or days) to write this so it’s not so full or rage (or more balanced), but I can’t help it. I don’t know what else to do.


I mean what the f*ck, it’s not like this is new information. I was adopted in 1977–it’s not like they got info in the past five years or something. I’ve been asking them now for 15 years and each time I approach Holt (yes, domestic and Korea) I get new information. And I’ve gone to them in person (in Seoul and at the mothership in Oregon) via email, over the phone so many times I don’t even want to count. (Do I have to?) Just give me the f*ckin’ information, it’s not like my she probably even still lives there. (She was 19 when she had me 37 years ago. Don’t you think she probably moved?!)

너무아미타벌. . .

In 2009 I went to Korea and did an exhaustive search for my birth family. (Seriously, one KAD told me to go home because I’d done more than he’d ever seen anyone do and it was just time to leave.) That was one of the times I went to Holt to ask for my file. (Sorry, have to take a break from typing because I am getting so mad I can’t even think about this.)

The Special Adoption Law passed in 2012, which in theory changed things because when I started emailing both KAS and Holt again last summer searching procedure was different. Holt has a lot of information about my birth parents. More than most adoptees have. But even those bits of information have changed each time I’ve gone back. (Well in particular where they told me my father was from originally has changed. First he was from 경기도 and now he is from 전라북도. Very different.)

This is what Holt says: Yes, I told you that we have your birth mother’s old full address from your file however we can not provide birth paretns private information without thier agreement.

However, Article 13 of the Special Adoption Law of 2012 grants me the right to have this information. I have conveyed this to Holt.

Article 13 (Adoption Information Subject to Disclosure)
Adoption information subject to disclosure as per Article 36.1 of the Act shall be as follows:
(a) Personal information on birth parents (referring to the personal information at the time of
(i) Name;
(ii) Date of birth;
(iii) Address;
(iv) Contact number:
(b) Information on adoption background;
(i) Age of birth parents at the time of adoption;
(ii) Date of adoption and reasons for adoption;
(iii) Domicile area of birth parents (referring to the name of a si/gun/gu under
subparagraph 2 of paragraph (1) of Article 2 of the Local Autonomy Act):
(c) Name, resident registration number, address, date of birth, and place of birth of an adoptee
before adoption;
(d) Name, address, and contact number of the assistance facility or adoption agency where the
an adoptee was taken into care before adoption; and
(e) Other adoption information deemed necessary to disclosure by the Minister of Health and

I try not to lose hope. I try to stay strong. But as distracted as I get, and as much as I try not to think about it, I can’t help it. Even if I were 85 and living the best life imaginable I’d still be searching. (For siblings, nieces, nephews at that point.) How can you ever stop searching? How can you ever stop hoping?

Birth family search is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. It takes courage. It takes creativity. It takes incredible perseverance. It’s exhausting. It’s a roller coast ride; there are incredible moments of hope that are then chased by moments of desperation or nothingness where you throw up your hands in the air and want to punch something. Now I just want to lay my head down on my desk and cry.

There are a few good things though. . .I still keep in close touch with two of my friends in Korea who helped me (help is an understatement) with my search. Who were in the trenches with me and went through a lot of my roller coasters. They are feeling some of the emotions I am feeling now. (Six years ago is all coming back to them.) They have offered to help me in any way that they can. That means a lot.



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