In the Danish adoption papers, I was an orphan found in Busan.
In 2016, after I requested adoption documents from Korea, the Korean Social Service Society (KSS) sent me an email saying they regretted falsifying the information that I was an orphan, and they said that I was born, raised, and made by someone.
“I finally found my mother after 45 years of separation!”
In 2016 I was in shock. Because my identity was thrown into the sky that day. Undigested grief, the trauma of losing my biological parents in 1976, and news of false information on Danish adoption papers, I threw myself into the sky.
Those “someones” are my biological parents, an unmarried couple in their early twenties living in Seoul when I was adopted in 1976. Seoul is ‘my’ city. I was born here in Seoul and was entrusted with the Korean Community Service a few days before my first birthday. And three months later, I was adopted to Denmark.
Denmark is “my” country. But Korea is also ‘my’ country. My Danish mother and father are my parents. But Korea also has mothers and fathers. And I love them all.
All I know is that I’ve been abandoned. I don’t remember. But my body and soul never forgot it. For many years I have struggled to cope with the grief of losing my first parents, my biological parents. At the same time, I never gave up hope that I could meet them someday.
In 2017 I found my biological father.
In 2017, I came to Korea for the first time since adoption through the “First Hometown Visit” travel program organized by the Overseas Adoptees Solidarity (a non-profit organization in Korea run by adoptees). The focus of the trip was not only on finding my biological family but also on reconnecting with my origins. Coming to Korea for the first time was an intense, emotional, and overwhelming experience.
I visited the Korean Community Service to get detailed information about my biological parents. The Korean Social Volunteer Association was just trying to tell me their last name. Coming out of the Korean Community Service, I knew I had to find Mr. Kim and Mr. Choi somewhere in Korea.
I continued to search for my biological parents, and with the luck, coincidence, and hard work of the volunteers (thanks so much to Mi-hee and Eun-mi), I was able to find my biological father. The day I met him was a day of emotional blessing for me. I should have prepared well for that trip, but I didn’t even dare to think of the possibility of meeting my biological father, and I didn’t prepare it properly because I was afraid that I would be too disappointed if the meeting did not happen.
My first visit to Korea was beyond my expectations. It was a lovely, free and wonderful experience. But it was emotionally a rollercoaster ride, and it took me years to figure it all out. And maybe I can’t stop digesting this situation. My biggest wish to meet my real mother is getting bigger as the years go by.
Danish Korean Human Rights Organization
September 2022 had some pretty strong weeks in Korea. I spent a lot of time making documentaries about Korean adoption, and KBS followed me around Seoul to find out the truth about my adoption. I also spoke on behalf of many other Korean adoptees around the world regarding the submission of 283 adoption cases to the Korea Truth and Reconciliation Commission by the Danish Korean Human Rights Organization.
Orphaning children on paper should end if information about biological parents exists.
No more lies! We want the truth about adoption! We want justice! We want to own our own story and identity! Knowing your biological origin is a basic human right!
The worst thing you can lie about is the identity of other people. I have been living a lie for 40 years. I was not an orphan. I was not found in Busan. I have never been to Busan. The same goes for the Busan Orphanage. I was made nonexistent in Korea and became an orphan on paper even though my parents’ identities were known.
Mom! I found you.
In October 2022, I visited the police station in Seoul three times. In 2018 I was able to get my mother’s name. I went to the police station and requested a search. A few days later, they said they could not find anyone with her name, born 1951-53. Then I went back to the police station and asked to search 1950-55. Later that day, they said they would not do a new search. Then I went back to the police station and asked for my DNA test. If one day my biological mother finds me, my DNA profile will already be in the police database. I was lucky enough to be asked to go to another building where I met some really good police officers. I told them I was looking for my biological mother and wanted to do a DNA test. With all my information, one of the officers went through the police database and said they found a woman who may actually have a biological mother. And he promised me, “I promise to do everything possible to find her.”
I was exhausted when I left the police station. Would I dare to believe that he would actually find my mother? I tried not to think too much about it and went back to the hotel. I just wanted to have a good time before returning to Denmark. Then, on the day I was supposed to leave Korea, I got a message from a police officer saying,
“I found your mother.” I read the message several times with confusion and excitement, I couldn’t believe it.
But he found her and persuaded her to meet me. And they do a DNA test. In the police station database, she did not appear in the first search (1951-53) because she was born in 1954. I’m so glad I didn’t give up. And I am very happy that the help and interference of the Korean Social Service Association. After six years of searching and 46 years of separation, I was due to be reunited with my birth mother the next day. But first, I had to postpone my flight back to Denmark and extend my hotel stay. It was a crazy day, and I was shocked once again.
The next day was the most wonderful day. But on the way to my mother’s house, I was still confused, happy, anxious and shocked. There were too many complex emotions and emptiness. It was touching and wonderful to meet my birth mother. The hug she gave me. the way she looks at me She said she was thinking of me since adoption and I cried a little. She prepared seaweed soup for me, which made me smile and I realized that this reunion was important to her. After reuniting with my mother, I felt a sense of relief and happiness. Finally I was reunited with the woman who bore me; My first mother, my birth mother, my Korean mother, my mother.
I will forever be happy and grateful for what that policeman did. Thank you for keeping your promise. thank you! I am lucky and happy. And I’m tired. I will be returning to Korea soon. I will continue to fight for the rights of Korean adoptees, I will continue to focus on forged and fabricated adoption papers, I will continue to fight for my right to know my identity and roots, and I will fight for clarity and truth. I no longer have to keep looking for my birth mother. I found the last piece. The last piece to become a whole person. Mom! I found you.
Louis Kwang was born in Seoul in 1975 and was adopted to Denmark in 1976. In September, 283 overseas adoptees submitted an investigation request to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to determine whether their human rights were violated when they were adopted. In the period of authoritarianism from the 1970s to the early 1990s, it requested an investigation into whether or not human rights were violated in the adoption process of overseas adoptees adopted from Korea to Denmark and around the world and whether the government intervened in the process. <Pressian> will continue to publish the articles of overseas adoptees who have requested an investigation by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. (Editor’s note)
The original article is here.
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Adoption Truth and Transparency Worldwide Information Network (ATTWIN) was initiated on November, 5th 2011, hosted by Adoption Trafficking. We are a unique activist organization that uses various mediums to fulfill its mission to critique adoption policies and procedures, raise awareness, and share diverse adoption experiences. Simply put, our goal is to create a place that gives a well-rounded perspective on the adoption processes and policies. Members include domestic, late-discovery, transracial, internationally adopted people, and families separated by adoption, from every continent.