Transracial Adoptee Voices

Transracial Adoptee Voices


These resources were generously provided by panelist and educators Shannon Gibney and Sung Ja Shin.

From Shannon Gibney:

Local Group

Finally, any adoptees looking for community should check out this group — they’re amazing: NPA-MN members were *heavily* in attendance at the event. They are in the middle of an intense community education class on the history of TRA, led by Dr. Kim Park Nelson

Nat’l Organization

Please consider joining this organization, and coming to their biennial conference, which will be in Winnipeg this September:

Shannon Gibney says “their CFP for sessions just went out, and a bunch of us are conspiring to create good panels and workshops and things. It is by far my favorite conference because of the concentration of amazing adoptees from all over the world, and the size”

Blog – This blog, curated by Jae Ran Kim, compiles tons of amazing transracial adoptee resources, mostly from the perspective of adoptees themselves.


The Book of Sarahs, Catherine McKinley
The Adoption Papers, Jackie Kay
Palimpsest, Lisa Wool-Rim Shoblom
Outsiders Within, Jane Jeong Trenka, Sun Yung Shin, Julia Oparah
Unbearable Splendor, Sun Yung Shin
Interrogation Room, Jennifer Kwon Dobbs
Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare, Dorothy Roberts
Disrupting Kinship, Kimberly McKee


First Person Plural, Deann Borshay
Geographies of Kinship, Deann Borshay
In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee, Deann Borshay
The Dawnland:
Off and Running

From Sung Ja Shin:

I would recommend getting in touch with Kim Park Nelson and I second NPA as well. I spoke with several members and I’m hopeful that they will be able to carry the cross-communities conversation forward, especially with younger adoptees.

I took Kim Park Nelson’s class last year and they are currently in session now. The class this year is utilizing texts from this stack.

Our syllabus included:

Required Texts: 

  • Reframing Transracial Adoption: Adopted Koreans, White Parents, and the Politics of Kinship by Kristi Brian, Temple University Press, 2012.  ISBN-13: 978-1439901847
  • Somebody’s Children: The Politics of Transracial and Transnational Adoption by Laura Briggs, Duke University Press, 2012. ISBN-13: 978-0822351610
  • Birth Mothers and Transnational Adoption in South Korea: Virtual Mothering by Hosu Kim, Palgrave MacMillan, 2017.  ISBN-13:  978-1-137-53851-2
  • To Save the Children of Korea: The Cold War Origins of International Adoption by Arissa Oh.  Stanford University Press, 2015.  ISBN-13: 978-0804795326
  • Invisible Asians: Korean American Adoptees, Asian American Experiences, and Racial Exceptionalism by Kim Park Nelson.  Rutgers University Press, 2016.  ISBN-13: 978-0813570662
  • Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare by Dorothy Roberts. Basic Books, 2002.  ISBN: 0-465-07059-0
  • “Intercountry Adoption in the Twenty-First Century: An Examination of the Rise and Fall of Counties of Origin” by Peter Selman
  • “Korean Transracial Adoption in Minnesota” and “Mapping Multiple Histories of Korean American Transnational Adoption” by Kim Park Nelson

She also considered these texts:

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