In a country that valued homogeneity, "adoption initially was thought of as like the 'solution' to mixed-race children," says Eleana Kim, an anthropologist at the University of California, Irvine. In its early years, the South Korean government crafted a narrative of a racially homogeneous nation, she says, "the idea being that children who were not fully Korean would never be accepted in South Korean society. And the South Korean government realized that there was an interest among Americans to adopt these children."

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