Children of War and Peace: Viet Nam, China and International Adoption

The recent story of a 7-year-old Russian adoptee sent home unaccompanied by his American adoptive parents has sharply refocused attention on the difficult questions surrounding international adoption. Last year almost 13,000 children were adopted from abroad by US-resident parents. Whether the conditions prompting such adoptions relate to poverty, natural catastrophe, conflict, or other factors such as gender bias, a recurrent theme over many years has been the inability of the international community to to safeguard the welfare of the children concerned.

This program examines a notable episode in this controversial history'Operation Babylift'the US-sponsored airlift in 1975 of some 3,000 Vietnamese children out of the country in the final days of the war, as well as the more recent large-scale influx from China, which over the last 15 years has resulted in some 70,000 US adoptions.

In her new book, The Life We Were Given, author Dana Sachs investigates the many questions that have arisen from Operation Babylift. Joining the discussion is one of the Babylift adoptees, who will give a uniquely personal perspective on this well-meaning but controversial mission and the experience of growing up as a Vietnamese adoptee in the US.

Documentary filmmaker Stephanie Wang-Breal will also discuss and screen an excerpt from her award-winning film, Wo Ai Ni Mommy, which explores the new subculture of Chinese-American adoptees through an honest and intimate look at the complicated gains and losses that accompany international transracial adoption.

Also joining the panel will be Dr. Amanda Baden, a transracial psychologist and adult adoptee who has lectured widely and written on the subject and Operation Babylift adoptee Jared Rehberg. Moderated by Minky Worden, Media Director, Human Rights Watch.

Followed by a book signing. Shop AsiaStore for the book.

Join the free live video webcast on from 6:30 to 8:30 pm EST. Online viewers are encouraged to send questions to

Event Details

Tue 27 Apr 2010
2:30 PM - 4:30 PM
725 Park Avenue, New York, NY
Buy Tickets
$10 Asia Society members; $12 students with ID/seniors; $15 nonmembers
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