Research Symposiums

Since its inception in 2007, the International Symposium on Korean Adoption Studies (ISKAS) has brought together scholars from around the globe that study Korean transnational adoption, as well as those exploring international adoption in a range of contexts. The first symposium would not have been possible without the vision and labor of Dae-won Wenger and Tobias Hübinette. Subsequent iterations of the symposium have been supported by International Korean Adoptee Associations (IKAA) staff as the symposium is held to coincide with the IKAA Korea Gathering. Hosting the symposium in tandem with the IKAA Korea Gathering ensures that Korean adoptees have access to the research documenting the histories, activism, culture, and identity formations of adopted people. Scholars are trained in a range of fields (e.g., History, Ethnic Studies, English, Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies) demonstrating the interdisciplinarity of Korean Adoption Studies.

The symposium is indebted to the growth of Asian Adoption Studies as a sub-field of Adoption Studies. The Asian Adoption Studies section meeting was established by Kim Park Nelson in 2007 at the Association for Asian American Studies conference in Chicago, IL. As the field was in its nascent stages, it benefited from the research of graduate students and early career scholars at the time. Since the first iteration of the symposium, the field of Korean Adoption Studies continues to grow annually with the publication of a range of books, journal articles, book chapters, among other kindred forms of work. For more information about adoption studies as an interdiscipline, please see the Alliance for the Study of Adoption and Culture

We recognize the iterations of the organizing committee that reflect the scholarship and activism of the vibrant Korean adoption studies community. 

  • 2007: Kim Park Nelson, Eleana J. Kim, Lene Myong Peterson
  • 2010: Kim Park Nelson, Tobias Hübinette, Eleana J. Kim, Jennifer Kwon Dobbs, Kim Langrehr, and Lene Myong.
  • 2013: Kim Park Nelson, Tobias Hübinette, Lene Myong
  • 2016: Sara Docan-Morgan, Tobias Hübinette, Kimberly D. McKee, Elizabeth Raleigh
  • 2019: Sara Docan-Morgan, Boon Young Han, Kimberly D. McKee, Anders Riel Müller, Eunha Na, Elizabeth Raleigh
  • 2023: Sara Docan-Morgan, Ryan Gustafsson, Oh Myo Kim, Kimberly D. McKee, Elizabeth Raleigh

For more information about the work of current and past organizing committee members, we invite you to check out their publications and work:

Sixth International Korean Adoption Studies (IKAS) Symposium

The Sixth International Symposium on Korean Adoption Studies will be held at the 2023 IKAA Korea Gathering on July 12th, 2023. We recognize and celebrate the interdisciplinary nature of Korean adoption studies with scholars from both the humanities and social and behavioral sciences. This research also engages with issues of race and ethnicity, migration and diaspora, gender and family, and globalization and transnationalism. The day-long symposium will bring together scholars from around the world who are conducting research in the field of Korean adoption studies. We also welcome submissions from scholars creating linkages between transnational adoptions from Korea and other sending countries such as China, Ethiopia, Guatemala, and Russia. We firmly believe in the dissemination of Korean adoption studies scholarship to a public audience to address the gap between research and practice. We particularly welcome research that is jargon-free and accessible to a general audience.

Mapping the Life Course of Adoption Project

Learn more about the Mapping the Life Course of Adoption Project by Dr. Hollee McGinnis. This project well help map out the experiences of adoption as adults and help us understand the nature of adoptee groups as a potential resource for thriving. Since this is a community engaged project, expect upcoming sessions (including at the IKAA Korea Gathering) to discuss the survey outcomes together.