Monetary Flows and the Movements of Children: The Transnational Adoption Industrial Complex
Abstract

Beginning with the worldwide adoption of nearly 200,000 Korean children from the Republic of Korea (ROK, South Korea) following the Korean War, transnational adoption has become a solidified practice. This article examines how South Korea’s relationship with the United States has become a template for a multimillion dollar industry spanning the globe. Specifically, this article finds that smaller deterritorialized sites—the South Korean state, orphanages, adoption agencies, and American immigration policy—operate in conjunction with one another. From their interwoven connections, the transnational adoption industrial complex (TAIC) emerged. The deployment of assemblage theory exposes how seemingly disparate organizations and governmental policies and procedures are neither static nor isolated but rather interconnect to create a global adoption economy.


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