Call for Proposals

Theme and Preferred Areas of Focus

For our theme, ​Examining Our Legacy: Diversity and Inclusion in Adoption, #KAAN2020 seeks proposals that address the diverse communities within adoption. This includes centering the voices of mixed-race Korean adoptees, who were the first Korean adoptees sent abroad in the initial waves of adoption and whose voices have been overshadowed by their monoracial Korean adoptee counterparts in popular understandings of Korean adoption. We are also interested in proposals that demonstrate the breadth of experiences thinking about how the intersectional lenses of sexuality, disability, nationality, gender, among other identities shapes the adoptee community. This includes considering how the Korean adoptee experience is similar or different from those experiences of other individuals adopted transnationally and/or transracially. At the same time, #KAAN2020 seeks proposals that reflect the current social and political landscape concerning issues of citizenship, the Korean diaspora, and immigration as well as proposals that explore the various ways adoptive parents, family members, and allies can support adoptees around these issues. 

While KAAN seeks sessions ranging from personal stories and academic research to grassroots activities and established efforts and organizations, of particular interest are proposals that address: 


  • MIXED RACE VOICES: ​What happens when the perspectives and experiences of mixed race Korean adoptees are centered as cornerstones of the Korean adoption experience? How are their stories similar or different from their mixed race, domestic, transracial adoptee counterparts? Why is it important to center these voices within broader narratives of Korean adoption that privilege discussions of racial, ethnic, and cultural identities by monoracial Korean adoptees? 

  • INTERSECTIONAL ADOPTEE IDENTITIES: Why is locating the voices of underrepresented adoptee voices vital to understanding the dynamism of the adoptee community? What happens when an intersectional lens is used to examine how sexuality, ability, nationality, gender identity, among other categories impacts members of the adoptee community? How do we understand masculinity and femininity in relation to the experiences of non-white adoptees and outside of a model that’s focused on traditional gender roles? How are adoptees inclusive of Deaf culture and those from other underrepresented groups within the adoptee community? 

  • COALITION BUILDING AND SOLIDARITY: Why are coalitions between transracial and transnational adoptees important? Why is it important for adoptive parents, family members of adoptees, partners/spouses of adoptees, and adoption practitioners work in solidarity with adoptees? How can narratives transform when adoptees operated in solidarity with birth parents? What can adoptees and allies do to support various calls to action?

  • LOOKING AHEAD: Korean adoption continues into the third decade of the twenty-first century. What has changed (or hasn’t changed) in how Korean adoption is discussed by adoptees, adoptive parents, and adoption practitioners? What advice do you have for this next generation of Korean adoptees and adoptive families as well as other families formed by transnational, transracial adoption? How does this affect the experiences of children of adoptees as the largest cohort of adoptees (those adopted in the 1970s and 1980s) enters middle age? 

  • MEMBERS OF THE ADOPTION CONSTELLATION: Many KAAN conference sessions directly meet the needs of adoptees and adoptive parents, especially those with children who are young or young adult adoptees. As we transform the narrative, we seek proposals that specifically address the perspective and needs of the following groups:

    • Partners and Spouses of Adoptees: How does adoption impact adoptees’ and their partners/spouses? What is the impact of race and racism and interracial relationships? We’re interested in proposals across the spectrum of conference attendees from those partners/spouses who are both new to the conference and  to individuals interested in deeper conversations about what it means to be a supportive partner to their loved ones who are adopted.

    • Parents of Adult Adoptees: How do adoptive parents’ relationships with their children shift as adoptees become adults and enter new phases in their lives? What are adoptive parents’ roles (do they have one?) when adoptees search and/or reunite with their birth parents? We’re interested in proposals exploring what it means to be a grandparent in a transracial, adoptive family and conversations concerning how to support adult adoptees as allies.


In addition, KAAN encourages proposals to consider the following:

  • Intended Audience: Sessions that are entry points for those just beginning to be involved in formalized conversations around adoption as well as sessions with fresh material for those who have been actively engaged in public transracial adoption discourse over many conferences and structured settings. Applicants should clearly identify if their session is aimed at newcomers, returning attendees, and/or those with advanced understanding of issues concerning adoption and race. Applicants should also identify whether their session is “adoptee-only” or “general.”  

  • Content and Intended Goals of the Session: Successful proposals create an environment where eyes are opened to new ways of thinking and provide tools that attendees can use to make changes and improvements in their communities.  

  • Session Format: In order to address all learning styles, KAAN encourages sessions that provide hands-on activities, experiential learning, movement, audience participation/interaction, usage of multimedia, and concrete tools and/or techniques that participants can use beyond the conference.   





Session Length/Type

  • 60-75 minutes, geared for adults 18 and up

  • Sessions are assigned to a major time slot on Friday afternoon, Saturday morning/afternoon, and Sunday morning of the conference.

  • Each of blocks includes at least one adoptee-only session.

  • The final schedule of the conference sessions are determined at a later date. 

Speaker Limit

KAAN will accept sessions with up to four speakers. Proposals with panels exceeding this amount of speakers will not be reviewed.


Presenters are responsible for distributing and providing their own handouts for their respective session(s). KAAN suggests either bringing pre-printed ones or collecting e-mail address of attendees to send out afterwards (KAAN can also post materials on our website post-conference). Average attendance ranges from 10-40 people per session.


 As a service to our speakers and participants, KAAN offers a small onsite bookstore to sell  books, DVDs, and other materials created by our community. This is organized by KAAN volunteers, free of charge. If you would like to take advantage of this, please check the appropriate box on the individual form and our Bookstore Coordinator will follow-up closer to the conference. Shipping costs and return of unsold items are the responsibility of each individuals.

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KAAN is a project of The Foundation for Enhancing Communities, fiscal sponsor. Donations are tax-deductible.