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Adoption in vietnam war

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Current Women's intake on the Adoption in American Society During Vietnam War in '75 was an American effort to move the youth from the childcare operations throughout Southeast Asia to America. While the success of anti-communist propaganda may have meant that those participating believed that they the children were in danger if they stayed, the fact that the vast majority were of American ancestry[1] belies a wholly humanitarian effort. An earlier mass emigration, Operation Passage to Freedom (WP) had been organized by the US, to bring as many people to the southern pseudo-state backed by the US in multiple violations of the 1954 Geneva Conventions. Less so than the earlier propaganda effort, in which the CIA dropped tons of leaflets saying, "The Virgin Mary has gone south" the transport of orphans had a religious overtone, with Catholic nuns working together with nurses and orphanage workers to aid in the children's removal. The regime in the south had reached its final stage of decline in 1975, with only 62 casualties reported.[2]

Of the 70,000 babies and children were left orphaned, 2,000 were brought to the United States.[3] Most were of mixed heritage: Vietnamese American or Afro-Amerasian.[1] At least one of their parents had undoubtedly fought against the Vietcong, who represented the nationalist struggle against over 100 years of foreign occupation, and the Communism that had become synonymous with that national identity. Conceivably, some of their parents may have made orphans of some of the other 68,000, who had been made orphans by the Americans that left them behind.

Several organizations were included in the campaign to bring young boys and girls to safety, but the main ones were the involved was the Adopted Vietnamese International (AVI) and Vietnamese Adoptee Network (VAN), who represent most of the Vietnamese adoptee community.They were the most represented voice of the adoptee community in Vietnam and helped a very few of the overall population of youth in the orphanages,[3] Some 70,000 babies and children were left orphaned. Only 2,000 were brought to the United States.[3] Many of these children went to North American families, which raised questions about the affects of transnational assimilation within other cultures.

Ignoring the opportunities for wealthy nations such as the US to make the world a more equal place, it can seem a positively altruistic act to afford the children an opportunity for a more affluent lifestyle,[3] Christine and Gregory Choy argue that this inequality is only one of adoptee viewpoints that has been neglected. They argue that narratives of U.S. benevolence, White families as saving Asian children from poverty, ignorance, and disease, and color-blind assimilation can overwhelm adoptee accounts.[4][3] A volunteer who helped direct the whole process, Sherley Peck-Barnes points this to be actually true in her memoir, as implications of Vietnamese adoptees seemed to adapt quickly to American culture,[3] as the years progressed and the children grew, attendance dropped dramatically. It became apparent that the adoptees were no longer interested in their heritage and were completely Americanized[3]

Another reason why the real issues were ignored was that the American evacuation became conflated with the imagined need for the orphans to evacuate. Americans had to leave because the war was over, but there was no way that the US propaganda was going to ignore an opportunity to turn an inglorious defeat into a dramatic escape.

The city of Saigon in spring 1975 was getting bombarded by General Van Tien Dung's North Vietnamese troops. launched a series of attacks preparing to take over the city. The fall of the city was preceded by the evacuation of almost all the American civilian and military personnel in Saigon, along with tens of thousands of South Vietnamese civilians associated with the southern regime.

Natalie Cherot, a famous writer for talking about the experiences of Vietnamese orphaned kids, in her publication,Story Telling and Ethnographic Intersections: Vietnamese Adoptees and Rescue Narratives turns the spotlight on what adoptees felt about the process of coming over to the Western Hemisphere. Many of them felt ashamed that much of their history seemed non existent.[3] Some adoptees look to the volunteers’ memories to find parts of their past that they feel are missing. Although the lack of birth records and the existence of falsified records are a source of pain and frustration for the adoptees, negotiating Babylift volunteer narratives can reconcile their life in Vietnam.[3] It was hard for the United States government to dig up information that came from Vietnam, because many of their records were not distributed because of the fear of being killed by the North Vietnamese.


Several other nations merged their way to try to help the quality of life for children in Vietnam,[3] AVI (Adopted Vietnamese International), founded by Indigo Williams Willing and based in Australia,and VAN (Vietnamese Adoptee Network) in the United States. Both have similar missions of connecting with younger Vietnamese adoptees, adoptive parents, and the larger Vietnamese and Asian American communities. The United States authorized some of the evacuation missions through President Fords, Operation Babylift, which was the name given to the mass evacuation of children from South Vietnam to the United States and other countries (including Australia, France, and Canada) at the end of the Vietnam War[3] orphanage directors refused to sign papers, for they feared that this act would endanger their lives; and officials were reluctant to authenticate documents[3] The inability to even scratch the surface of knowing their upcoming in Vietnam stirred up some emotional distress and curiosity among the present day adoptees when they look back at that time period in their lives.

The Vietnamese adoptees that have now fully grown up are able to voice their feelings about the situation. For so many years they have been voiceless and are now had enough,[3] The Vietnamese adoptee community makes claims about the lack of Vietnamese adoptee–authored narratives and pushes against the idea of Vietnamese adoptees as intrinsically voiceless.[3] Their perspective tends to be a bit different than most of the American attitudes about international adoption being a blessing free from complaints,[3] “sometimes even well-intentioned people I know assume that I feel overwhelmingly grateful for being “saved” or “rescued”. More than once in my life after being asked about my background have I gotten the big warm fuzzy smile and “Awww . . . you are so— or you MUST feel so—lucky!”.[3] On the contrary, some Vietnamese people get put into the wrong household, one woman talks about being physically abused at an early age.[3] She just kept saying that I should be thankful for my adoption and that my parents did the best they could. If my father beating me for 16 years and my mom turn her back instead of protecting me and acting as if nothing was happening to me is the best they could do, then that is a distorted definition of “best”.[3] Abuse still took place within the households of Vietnamese adoptees. Coming to America was not all as peachy as many thought it was since there still were people who saw the Vietnamese in a not so sympathetic way.


References Edit

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