adoption

A Young Irish Mom's Painful Decision

Dec 4, 2014
Sian Cullen and her daughter Aine. Cullen was a teenager in Dublin, Ireland when Aine was born. They now live in Seattle.
Courtesy Sian Cullen

I was 16 and going to school; I lived in Dublin and was infatuated with this older fellow who was a jack-the-lad kind of fella.

We met and had a relationship and it was brief. And I got pregnant.

In the Gwanak-gu neighborhood of Seoul, there is a box.

Attached to the side of a building, the box resembles a book drop at a public library, only larger, and when nights are cold, the interior is heated. The Korean lettering on its front represents a phoneticized rendering of the English words "baby box." It was installed by Pastor Lee Jon-rak to accept abandoned infants. When its door opens, an alarm sounds, alerting staff to the presence of a new orphan.

Courtesy of Lynne Hogan

Earlier this month KUOW introduced you to Lynne Hogan, 48, one of hundreds of Washington adoptees seeking information about their birth parents. A new law that took effect July 1 gave adoptees access to their birth records through the Washington State Department of Health.

Courtesy of Lynne Hogan

Lynne Hogan has always wondered where she came from. She’s one of 540 adoptees who’ve requested a copy of their birth certificate under a new state law.

Adoptions are usually private affairs, sealed forever in court documents and known only to the families involved. But recently, one decision by Idaho's Department of Health and Welfare exploded into the public sphere.

Knowing your medical history and where your parents are from are things you might take for granted – unless you are adopted.

Washington's state Department of Health is expecting a rush when an adoption law change takes effect on July 1.

'Wish You Happy Forever' With Jenny Bowen

May 1, 2014
Jenny Bowen's book "Wish You Happy Forever."

In 1996 Jenny Bowen was in Los Angeles living a comfortable and, she said, not very meaningful existence.

Reading the New York Times one Saturday morning, she and her husband were disturbed by a photo of a little girl in a Chinese orphanage. Bowen’s determination to do something about what she’d seen would change her life, and ultimately the lives of orphans across China.

Bowen founded the organization Half the Sky to better the lives of orphan children living in China’s welfare institutions. Half the Sky operates programs for orphans from birth to adulthood.

All offer loving care, stimulation, education, all the kinds of things a child who lives in a family may have. The Chinese government has invited Half the Sky to train every child welfare worker in the country.

Jenny Bowen spoke at Town Hall Seattle on April 1. She is also the author of a book, "Wish You Happy Forever."

Marcie Sillman talks to Slate contributor Kathryn Joyce about her investigative piece on Hana Williams, an adopted child from Ethiopia who died after suffering child abuse by her adopted parents, Larry and Carri Williams. One question still remains in the case: how she and her brother were subjected to so much abuse without any intervention.

Marcie Sillman talks with Rep. Mary Helen Roberts about  her plans to change Washington's adoption laws to better protect children from abuse. Her last bill died in committee, but she has plans to continue her efforts in the 2014 legislative session.

An underground market for adopted children in America leads to many children ending up in abusive situations with no protection. Regretful parents offer their adopted children online with no agency oversight in a practice called "private re-homing."