History & Mission
Since the 1950’s, nearly 200,000 Korean children have been sent overseas to be adopted. In recent years, adult adoptees are returning to Korea in large numbers to search for their birth families, seek connection to Korean identity, and learn about the language and culture. Often they are simply here for the opportunity to work and live in the country of their birth. While many adoptees make this journey successfully, most still experience challenges and barriers while navigating Korean society.
In 1997, Ami Nafzger, a Korean American adoptee, founded Global Overseas Adoptees' Link as the only adoptee-led non-profit and NGO in Korea. The following year, twelve adoptees in Seoul gathered for the first ever formal meeting. The year 1999 brought the first G.O.A.’L conference which continued for many years. Today, hundreds of adoptees live in Korea. Our mission first and foremost is to serve the Korean adoptee community— those living here and those abroad.
An Overview of Our Services
Birth family search assistance/ translation & interpretation/ post-reunion support: Since G.O.A.'L was officially founded in 1998, the cornerstone of our services offered to adoptees has been assistance and support with birth family search. The G.O.A.'L Birth Family Search (BFS) Department is run by the BFS Director and a network of volunteer translators and interpreters. First Trip Home, an annual program, brings Korean adoptees back to Korea for the first time since their adoption and spends eleven days introducing them to Korean culture as well as assisting with an intensive BFS.
F-4 visa and dual-citizenship application consultations: The F-4 visa— the visa for overseas Koreans— is available to Korean adoptees. It allows adoptees to work and live legally in Korea for up to 3 years and is renewable without leaving the country. Recovering dual citizenship is also an option. The process takes around 9 months. G.O.A.'L helps guide adoptees through the process of obtaining either (or both, in the case of dual citizenship) of these.
Social gatherings, networking opportunities, cultural experiences: Throughout the year, G.O.A.'L hosts various events such as cooking classes, the annual Christmas Party, and a cultural trip in Korea. These events help adoptees engage more deeply with the country of their birth while also providing a space for KADs living in Korea to meet and connect.
Korean Language scholarships: Universities throughout Korea provide Korean language study scholarships through G.O.A.'L for Korean adoptees in Korea.
To access our many services and support the important work that G.O.A.'L does, become a member today! We exist because of our members. Your membership fee directly supports keeping our doors open.
Job Functions of the G.O.A.'L Staff
-Networking Program development
Birth family Search Coordinator
-Birth family search through the police
-Assist birth families searching for their child
-Media contact regarding birth family search cases
Birth Family Search Mentor(s)
-Consultations and birth family search case management
-Maintain and update birth family search cases
-Coordination with Volunteer department for birth family search cases
-Collaborate with birth family search cooridinator to complete birth family search processes (police search DNA collection, translations)
-Point of contact for partners organizations
-Community Dinner Committee Liaison
-Community outreach (information regarding transitioning to and living in Korea)
F4/Dual Citizenship Mentor
-Assistance regarding the F4 visa and dual citizenship application process
-In-house IT support
-Consultations about becoming a dual citizen or F4 visa holder
Volunteer Coordination Mentor
-Provides volunteers for: Active birth family searches, birth family reunions, visits to Immigration
and District Offices for F4/Dual Citizenship, Translation (written) and interpretation (spoken) with birth family
-Volunteer recruitment and orientation meetings