chapter  19
International adoption
A global challenge
ByOh Myo Kim, JaeRan Kim, Randy Tarnowski
Pages 18

This chapter focuses on three countries: South Korea, Guatemala and Ethiopia. These countries were selected because they represent three distinct 'waves' or phases in the history of inter-country adoption, simultaneously highlighting both similarities and differences in cultural, legal, policy and practice contexts. The chapter discusses the push factors, including war, poverty the AIDS pandemic, and policy decisions and the pull factors, including the ideology of Christian Americanism, economic growth and the creation of global family-making in the United States through adoption narratives. In the wake of these legislative changes, organizations like the International Social Service and the Child Placement Service worked to develop an inter-country adoption system that evaluated and connected prospective parents internationally with children in Korea. Inter-country adoption began as a humanitarian effort to provide parental care to children displaced after World War II. The importance of the definition of an 'orphan' is critical for the narrative of inter-country adoption in the USA.