Extract: remove or take out, especially by effort or force. (Oxford Languages)
In Korea, a Family Register is the document that verifies proof of a birth. The Register identifies one person as the head of the family or chief (usually a male) and all other members are listed with their own names and date of birth, with notations to indicate relationships.
As an adoptee, I was literally *extracted* from my Family Register. Even though the agency knew all of my family’s information- had access to their register – in order to make the adoption legal, they severed all ties to my birth family.
At the age of one month, I was listed as the head or chief of my family register so Eastern Social Welfare Society could consent to my foreign adoption.
This is one of the reasons history is so important to me. Adoptees are severed, “extracted,” and erased from our own histories. Without known roots or connections.
And it’s also the reason I advocate for adoptee voices. Because none of this happened by accident. It was systemic.
You’re going to see a lot of propaganda and marketing from adoption agencies and people who benefit from those systems this National Adoption Awareness Month. Please listen to adoptees instead. Remember the cost of what was taken from us. We deserve much more, but the least we ask is to be heard.