KoRoot, Together with Korean Adoptees
Almost 200,000 Korean children have been adopted internationally since the 1950s. When overseas adoptees reach adulthood, many choose to return to South Korea, to learn more about the country of their birth and search for family members.
KoRoot opened in July 2003 to support overseas adoptees' visit to their home country. Kim Gil-ja, the chairperson of KoRoot, remodeled this house where her family had lived, and lets us use it free of rental charge. It is a beautiful house with a garden in the neighborhood of Cheongun-dong, near the Blue House. Pastor Do-Hyun Kim and his wife Jung-Ae Kong, who lived in Europe for a long time, have been responsible for managing KoRoot since February 2004.
Since 2004, about 3,500 overseas adoptees have stayed at KoRoot. With about 250 to 300 people a year, that’s an average of 7 to 8 people a day. Although overseas adoptees were born in Korea, they suffered separation from their parents and their families, and they have the common point of being people who have been stripped of Korean community life. But on the other hand, they are also people whose life paths, languages, and cultures are very different. KoRoot offers a place for the adoptees to get together and hopefully have an interesting and joyful time while sharing growing experiences.
KoRoot is an NGO established in 2003 to support Korean overseas adoptees with the challenges they face in navigating an unfamiliar country and seeking answers about their family background and identity. Their guesthouse provides a welcoming home for the ‘returnees’, as well as a range of assistance including family tracing, legal support, trauma counseling and cultural events.
Their research institute focuses on raising awareness of the issues surrounding overseas adoption by publishing and translating key academic literature about adoption and adoptee rights. Also they have organized conferences and seminars on birth mothers rights and adoptee’s identity and records.
KoRoot also promote alternatives to international adoption including family strengthening policies and improvement of child care system in Korea. They collaborate with other organizations to lobby for the country’s law on adoption and child protection to meet international standards.
Pastor Do-Hyun Kim
President of KoRoot