2016 IKAA Seoul Gathering Overview

Date: Aug 2nd to Aug 7th 2016
Location: Seoul, South Korea

From August 2 to 7, the International Korean Adoptee Associations (IKAA) hosted the fifth Korean adoptee Gathering in Seoul. The IKAA Gatherings bring together adult Korean adoptees from around the world to share experiences and build community with each other and their families. Over 500 people from 20 countries traveled to Seoul to attend the IKAA Gathering 2016.

The theme of the IKAA Gathering 2016 was Connecting Communities & Looking Towards the Future. As the adoptee community continues to grow by adding new generations, both through their own children and families, as well as new and future leaders, it is important for adoptees to stay connected. Building a strong community leads to a brighter future with more resources and services for all adoptees and their families. The IKAA Gathering 2016 was especially noteworthy because of the large number of adoptee family members in attendance. The adoptee attendees were accompanied by nearly 100 partners/spouses, as well as 50 children ranging in age from 4 months to 18 years old.

The agenda for the IKAA Gathering 2016 reflected the changing demographics of the international Korean adoptee community. It included a designated family program for the children of adoptees, as well as a special session for the spouses and partners of adoptees. The IKAA Gathering 2016 agenda also included the Third Annual IKAA Leadership Development Program to promote networking and development among the leaders of adoptee organizations from around the world. Common to previous Korea Gatherings were breakout discussions by age group, the day-long Research Symposium on Korean Adoption Studies, and an elaborate Gala Dinner sponsored by Samsung.




Countries Represented

IKAA G16 Schedule

Monday Aug 1st

  • Caribbean Bay at Everland*
  • 3rd Annual Leadership Development Program (part 1)

Tuesday Aug 2nd

  • Continental Breakfast (for those staying at the Lotte Hotel)
  • Seoul City Tour*
  • Family Program – Meet & Greet
  • Opening Ceremonies
  • Group Photo
  • Welcome Reception
  • Social Activity co-hosted by Arierang, AKA, and Adoption Links DC

Wednesday Aug 3rd

  • Continental Breakfast (for those staying at the Lotte Hotel)
  • Research Symposium (open to public)
  • Seoul City Tour *
  • Family Program – Seoul Children’s Grand Park
  • Poker Tournament
  • Korean Baseball Game ( LG Twins vs Doosan Bears)
  • Social Activity co-hosted by AKF Sweden, AK Connection, KOR.I.A.

Thursday Aug 4th

  • Continental Breakfast (for those staying at the Lotte Hotel)
  • Break Out Sessions – Age Groups
  • Morning Workshops & Sessions
  • 3rd Annual Leadership Development Program
  • International Association of Korean Lawyers (IAKL) – free legal advice booth
  • Buffet Lunch hosted by Overseas Korean Foundation & Seoul Marketing
  • Afternoon Workshops & Sessions
  • K-Pop Session hosted by SM Entertainment
  • Buffet Dinner hosted by Seoul Marketing
  • Social Activity co-hosted by AAAW and BAK Belgium

Friday Aug 5th

  • Continental Breakfast (for those staying at the Lotte Hotel)
  • Film Program – AKA Dan (followed by Q&A)
  • Amazing Race Competition
  • 3rd Annual Leadership Development Program (part 3)
  • Film Program – Couleur de peau: Approved for adoption
  • Film Program – Twinsters
  • Walking Food Tour*
  • Social Activity co-hosted by Korea Klubben, KAHI, and KAtCH

Saturday Aug 6th

  • Continental Breakfast (for those staying at the Lotte Hotel)
  • Walking Food Tour
  • Buffet Lunch – hosted by Lotte Hotel
  • Gala Dinner – hosted by Samsung

Sunday Aug 7th

  • Closing Ceremonies and Brunch hosted by adoption agencies
  • IKAA Annual Convention
  • Open Leadership Meeting
  • Farewell Concert & After Party hosted by IKAA member orgs

IKAA G16 Workshops and Sessions



Facilitator: Mark Traynor

Introduction to Korean Cuisine

Speakers: Seoyoung Jung and Sonja Swanson


Speakers: Kim Park Nelson & Tim Holm


Speakers: Min Matson and Koenja van Dijk


Speaker: Nikolaj Leschly, Sylvia Lee, Nathan Maloney, & Devin Walker

Korean Food & Adoptee Identify

Speaker: Anders Riel Müller

Korean Women Leadership

Speaker: Lisa Ellingson

Partners & Spouses Session


Flower Making