International adoption is not about placing children from one country to another, it’s about giving them a family,” a statement made by Susan Soon-keum Cox, showing her own personal life as a Korean adoptee’s hope. Cox was adopted in 1956 from Korea and was one of the first Koreans to be adopted.

Adoption became a passion for her, growing up in a loving family in America while knowing many other children were living in institutions in Korea. To reiterate, Cox states it beautifully: “International adoption is not about placing children from one country to another. It’s about giving them a family.”

Cox travels often to Korea in her efforts to promote adoption and lessen the stigma of adoption; she has personally experienced the wonderful benefits of international adoption. In her visits to Korea, Cox has met many people, including many adults, who have never experienced the joy of being part of a loving family. It breaks her heart (and mine) and that is why she is so determined in her work.

There are some countries, including Korea, that have a negative stereotype against international adoption. “Koreans don’t really see adoption as something they are willing to do. … I hope that will change,” said Cox. Cox acknowledges this attitude, but also believes that her motivation is “finding families for children, even if it means going to a different country.”

This Korean adoptee’s hope is to use her personal experience to motivate and change some of the stereotypes that exist about adoption. Cox hopes to make the process easier and give more people a loving family. “And I think about how different our lives have been–not because I lived in the U.S., but because I grew up with a family and they did not,” said Cox.

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