Shawyn Lee

Shawyn Lee is an assistant professor in the Department of Social Work at the University of Minnesota - Duluth. As a critical adoption scholar, Shawyn’s work incorporates archival research, critical pedagogy and intersectional identity politics based on Shawyn’s personal experiences as a queer Korean adoptee. Shawyn has published a number of pieces on the history of Korean adoption, including a book chapter in Ethical Standards and Practice in International Relations, and a personal blog on stories of identity navigation and negotiation as an adult adoptee. Shawyn’s scholarly research on Korean adoption has been shared at state, national and international conferences.

Four black and white photos of a Korean baby in a row, with a file folder above.

30 years later, this Korean adoptee finds ‘home’ again

Shawyn Lee was adopted from South Korea into a white, midwestern American family. Three decades later, she touched down in Seoul again for the first time, exploring her heritage as a queer, Korean adoptee.

A black and white photo of a large family

For many, international adoption isn’t just a new family. It’s the loss of another life.