The Unseen Side of Adoption with Joon Ae Haworth-Kaufka

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Joon Ae Haworth-Kaufka (she/they) is a Korean adoptee who was born in Seoul, South Korea but was adopted into a white, Christian evangelical family in a predominantly white community outside of Detroit, Michigan. Joon Ae is a writer, Tin House scholar, community organizer, and parent to 3 kids, 3 poorly-trained dogs, and 2 very odd cats. She sits on the board of Income Movement, a national organization pushing for Basic Income, and is a co-founder of Yeondae, a social justice collective of Korean adoptees in Portland, OR. She and her partner run a small commercial real estate brokerage, which focuses solely on small, local businesses, and she is finishing a novel. As an adoptee activist, Joon Ae’s goal is to visibilize adoptee experiences and help call attention to the multi-billion dollar adoption industrial complex, especially as it relates to the coercion of vulnerable birthing people and babies who are trafficked into wealthy white households from the disenfranchised Black and brown families. Adoption is a poorly-covered topic, dominated by mainstream narratives, and she believes it needs to be more reflective of the hard realities of adoption trauma.

There are a lot of opinions about what should be done about unwanted pregnancies, but one group is frequently left out of the conversation: adoptees. Just about all the information about adoption completely centers on adopted parents and treats adopted children as a commodity. So on the podcast today, we sit down with an adoptee and we get her perspective on her adoption and we talk about why adoption might not be the answer for most family planning situations.

In This Episode

  • 9:17 - What everyone should know about adoption
  • 14:15 - The situations where adoption is appropriate and times where it is not
  • 17:10 - Why is it so hard to have an honest conversation about adoption?
  • 27:00 - Important adoption history you need to know about
  • 35:12 - What current parents of adopted children should know
  • 40:17 - Compassion for the birth parents in the adoption discussion
  • 45:00 - Your adopted children won’t get you out of anti-racism work

Web Resources

Books

Adoptee Consultants

Adoptees on Instagram

  • @the_ex_adoptee
  • @theEmpressHan
  • @linaleadswithlove
  • @karpoozy
  • @karenwangareleonard
  • @lauraisalot
  • @fereraswan
  • @carolinejsumlin
  • @theblackadoptea
  • @teachandtransform

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