Program Five - Segment Four: Unanswerable Questions

The Korean War ended in 1953 leaving many children poverty-stricken or orphaned by the war.  Americans started adopting Korean children in the 1950’s. Though adoptive parents may have meant well, the emphasis was on cutting ties to Korea and raising the children in mostly white communities. More than 100,000 Korean adoptees live in the US, with more arriving every day.


Writer Katy Robinson, Ruben Chapelhein, Kate Hers, Hyunju Chapelhein, Johnny Collins, Writer Thomas Clement, Lowell Rojon, and Debra Johnson.

Produced by Sara Caswell Kolbet and Miae Kim


Adoptees Slideshow

Further Internet Resources:


Abelmann, Nancy & John Lie. Blue Dreams: Korean Americans and the Los Angeles Riots. Harvard University Press, 1997.

Bishoff, Tonya and Jo Rankin, eds. Seeds from a Silent Tree. Pandal Press, 1977.

Chan, Sucheng. Asian Americans, An Interpretive History. Twayne Publishers, 1993.

Cherie, Clark and Paul Miller. After Sorrow Comes Joy. Lawrence & Thomas Publishing House, 2000.

Clement, Thomas Park. The Unforgotten War: Dust of the Streets. Self-published, 1998.

Hubinette, Tobias. “Adopted Koreans and the Development of Identity in the Third Space." Adoption and Fostering, 2003.

Kim, Elizabeth. Ten Thousand Sorrows: The Extraordinary Journey of a Korean War Orphan. Doubleday, 1992.

Robinson, Katy. A Single Square Picture. The Berkeley Publishing Group, 2002.

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