60 Years of Finding Families for Children: An International Conference in Seoul, Korea

A banner hangs in the lobby of the Holt Korea office

A banner hangs in the lobby of the Holt Korea office

I heard too many inspiring things today, and my mind can barely take it in. In celebration of 60 years of work, Holt Korea gathered some of the best minds in intercountry adoption and child welfare. As an added bonus, we heard from a young man, adopted from Korea now attending my alma mater: Texas A&M University (Whoop!) Not that I could possibly summarize the depth of what was shared, but here are a few of the most memorable statements of the day:

  • “The story of adoption is unfinished, faced with unforeseen challenges and new opportunities. As we work to ensure the well-being of children, intercountry adoption is and will continue to be a vital component of this work.” Ambassador Susan Jacobs, Special Advisor for International Children’s Issues, US State Department

  • “If not for adoption, I would not be a physician. I would not have had these opportunities. I want these children to reach their full potential, and not be stunted because their brains and bodies don’t get what they need.” Dr. Judith Eckerle, Adoptee and Director of Adoption Medicine Clinic, University of Minnesota

    A display shows Korean adoptees as children and adults

    A display shows Korean adoptees as children and adults

  • “One needs international law for there to be peace and justice. We need good, ethical, transparent, regulated adoption in the best interest of the child. Only then will there be peace among and between the people involved.” Dr. Christophe Bernsconi, Secretary General of the Hague Conference on Private International Law

  •  “We know that all life is valuable, and all children with special abilities teach us as individuals and as a society that all human life has a purpose. Helping to fulfill that purpose transforms us into a more compassionate and caring society.” Mr. Brian DeVos, Vice President Bethany Children’s Services

  • “Everyone, not just orphans, everyone deserves a home. An institution is not a home.” Mr. Young Kuk Kim, Adoptee and President of Children of the World, Norway
    • GregMaryinKorea

      Greg Eubanks, WACAP CEO, Jeong Hee Seo, Holt Korea Caseworker, and Mary Moo, WACAP Vice President of Adoptions

      “Adoptees are usually identified and defined as children. That we mature, grow up and come into our own wisdom is not acknowledged as clearly as it should be. We can and wish to speak for ourselves. … I left Korea, not to go to another country, but to go to a family.” Ms. Susan Cox, Adoptee and Vice President of Public Policy and External Affairs of Holt Internatinoal

    • “Adoption equals opportunity, the opportunity for a home, to get educated, to be someone, to make something of one’s life. I want to live a life of thanksgiving because of the opportunity adoption has given me.” Mr. Steve Morrison, Adoptee and Founder of MPAK

Conference Speakers, from left to right: Brian DeVos, VP of Bethany Children’s Services, Dr. Christophe Bernasconi, Secretary General of Hague Conference, Ms. Susan Cox, VP of Holt International Children’s Services, Ambassador Susan Jacobs, US State Department, Molly Holt, Chairperson of the Board of Directors, Holt Children’s Services of Korea, Mr. Dae Yul Kim, President of Holt Children’s Services of Korea, Dr. Judith Eckeerie, Director of Adoption Medicine Clinic, University of Minnesota, Young Kuk Kim, President of Children of the World, Norway, Steve Morrison, Founder of MPAK

Consider these ideas, and let us work together to forever change lives through adoption.

WACAP CEO at orphanage in Africa, children gather smilingAbout WACAP’s CEO, Greg Eubanks: Greg joined WACAP as CEO in December 2014. Serving children and families has been the focus and passion of his 20-year career in nonprofit executive leadership and business administration. With an extensive background in international adoption and foster care, Greg is committed to bringing hope to the children living without a family … and helping them home.


WACAP (World Association for Children and Parents) is one of the largest and most experienced international nonprofit adoption and child assistance agencies in the United States. Since 1976, we’ve placed over 10,000 children with loving adoptive parents and provided food, medical care and education to more than 200,000 children around the world.
This entry was posted in Adoption, Celebrations, Collaboration, Events, From the CEO, International Adoption, Travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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