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Meeting Once MoreThe Korean Side of Transnational Adoption$
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Elise M. Prébin

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814760260

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814760260.001.0001

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Meeting the Lost and the Dead

Meeting the Lost and the Dead

(p.163) 10 Meeting the Lost and the Dead
Meeting Once More

Elise Prébin

NYU Press

This chapter explores the similarities between feelings for the lost and feelings for the dead to show that the televised family meetings in South Korea between transnational adoptees and their birth parents represent a cathartic moment of potential closure for all parties. It considers how the meetings create relatedness, leaving open options of relationships—including the cessation of contact—but never reconstitute families according to the ideal model of biological kinship. It suggests that the convergence between a lost child given up for adoption and a dead child is analogous to the real wish to reintegrate the child in the family. It also discusses three options available to adults who have to deal with unwanted children in large families and children outside of the patriline: infanticide, child abandonment, and child circulation.

Keywords:   feelings, family meetings, transnational adoptees, birth parents, relatedness, unwanted children, South Korea, infanticide, child abandonment, child circulation

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