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This talk focuses on the early development of intercountry adoption from South Korea (hereafter ‘Korea’) to Sweden between 1964 and 1979.

Detail Summary
Date 18 March 2019
Time 15:00 - 17:00
Location Roeterseilandcampus - building B/C/D (entrance B/C)


This talk focuses on the early development of intercountry adoption from South Korea (hereafter ‘Korea’) to Sweden between 1964 and 1979. Sweden, together with the other Scandinavian countries, occupy a critical position in the history of Korean intercountry adoption, not just due to their highest Korean adoption rates per capita amongst all receiving countries. They led the expansion of the practice in Europe in the late 1960s and also contributed to a major change in the adoption and child welfare policy in Korea.

In the first half, the talk will provide a brief overview of Korean intercountry adoption and trace the origins of Korean adoption to Sweden. This will show the uniqueness of the Swedish case and further our understanding on the welfare state, particularly the Scandinavian model. The second half of the talk will look at two adoption suspensions imposed by the Korean government to specific countries, including Sweden, in the first half of the 1970s. The shifting geopolitical importance of Scandinavia to 1970s Cold War Korea constitutes an important temporal-spatial background of the suspensions. The talk will tease out contrasting strategies and measures deployed by the Korean and Swedish authorities in the creation, suspension and normalisation of the adoption movement and discuss their implications.

About the speaker:

Youngeun Koo is a PhD candidate in Korean Studies at Tübingen University. Her doctoral project investigates the development of intercountry adoption from South Korea between 1953 and 1979, drawing on archival and oral data collected from South Korea, Sweden, Denmark and the USA. She holds an MSc in Migration Studies from the University of Oxford and a BA in History Education from Korea University. Her research interests include intercountry adoption, needy children and family; welfare and the state; mobility, migration and transnationalism; questions of belonging and identity.

Discussant: Dr. Evelyn Ersanilli

Contact person: Dr. Silvia Aru,

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Location: Roeterseiland Campus, Room B3.01

Roeterseilandcampus - building B/C/D (entrance B/C)
Roeterseilandcampus - building B/C/D (entrance B/C)

Room Location: CREA, Theatre Hall

Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
1018 WV Amsterdam