| Korean Adoptee Couple Visit Korea |
"Though Korea gave us birth and each other, it couldn't give us information about our birth parents."
A Korean American couple, both of whom are adoptees, is looking for their birth parents. Jessica Eunyung Fairbanks and Jae Kauffman first met five years ago in the US, and came to Korea in 2001. Both Ms. Fairbanks and Mr. Kauffman majored in social work at university. As adoptees, they wanted to share the experience of living in Korea together. "We wanted to live in the country we were born." So even though they were unfamiliar with the language and culture, they returned to Korea. They were married last October in Seoul where they teach English and are learning Korean. While living in Korea, their desire to find their birth parents grew. Ms. Fairbanks whose given birthday is May 6th, 1969 entered Aeriwon from Masan City Social Welfare Section. When she was referred to Holt from Aeriwon, she had burns around her knees for which she was treated three times at the Busan Jasun Hospital. She was adopted to an American family in Michigan, US. She has a master’s degree in Social Work. Mr.Kauffman was found behind the USFK Camp Caroll on March 7th, 1974. From Gyongbook Lost Child Guidance Clinic he was sent to White Lily Orphanage and from there referred to Holt. In the same year he was adopted to an American family in Portland, OR. After he graduated from university, he worked with low income tenants on housing issues. Unfortunately they don't have any information about their birth families or about themselves prior to being adopted except for the incomplete records they obtained from the adoption agency. “Living in Korea has been one of the most important life experiences for me. I am hoping that I have an opportunity to meet, or at least learn about, my birth mother and father while I am still here." These are the words the couple wanted to express to a "Korea that didn’t take care of them.” The couple plans to return to the US in April.
Daegu / Joohee Park firstname.lastname@example.org
The above is the English translation of an article that appeared in Hankyoreh Newspaper.