Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Korean transnational adoption would evolve to place more full Korean than mixed-race Korean children with families in Western nations. This shift was a consequence of political, social, economic, and cultural changes in South Korea and the United States that altered adoption priorities in both nations. As Western nations invested more money in orphanages and facilities to care for displaced, poor, and orphaned Korean children in South Korea, the Korean government embraced transnational adoption as an economic and social welfare solution. This transition helped to make invisible the struggles of Korea’s mixed-race populations and the vulnerable Korean women who became entangled in military prostitution. International media scrutiny has brought attention to the tragic circumstances that shape the lives of mixed-race Koreans and the Korean women who continue to relinquish their children for adoption. Events like the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul and the return of Korean black NFL football player Hines Ward Jr. to Seoul after he received the Super Bowl MVP in 2006 have forced Korean political leaders to reckon with the historical legacies of gender and racial oppression that have contributed to the marginalization of these populations.
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