Marissa Martin was adopted from South Korea when she was 6 months old. She was raised by the Martin family in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, standing out as one of the few Asians in her town. She recalls growing up struggling with her identity and where she fit in.
“One thing that I have heard and also experienced is just your own internal identity and racial struggle of where do I fit in,” she said. “It was, am I Korean enough, am I Asian enough.”
Martin is one of thousands of Asian adoptees, adopted by mostly White families in the 1970s. Between 1971 and 2001, more than 250,000 children were adopted from other countries — a majority were adopted from Asia.
Martin is now vice president of Also-Known-As Inc, a New York City non-profit that provides support services to adult international and national adoptees.
In this month’s edition of CUNY-TV’s Asian American Life, Kyung Yoon takes an in-depth look at international adoption and how the adoptees have blended into their American families. Along with Martin, she profiles Jared Rehberg, Adoptee from Vietnam who came over in the 70’s through Operation Boatlift and Annabel Schlossberg, Adoptee from Korea (1980s) who grew up in Park Slope Brooklyn and we hear from her mom Bryn Meehan.
Also, this month, reporter Paul Lin takes us court side with college basketball superstar Jason Brickman. The Long Island University basketball player is a point guard who broke a record with 1,000 assists – only three other players have done this in the history of the NCAA Division 1 basketball. Could Brickman, who is Filipino American, be the next Jeremy Lin and be recruited into the NBA or overseas?
You can watch the entire episode below.