Korean Ties is geared to the entire family and is focused on the adoptee experience of being in their birth country, typically (but not always) for the first time. Participants see the sites and explore the culture. Time is set aside for adoptees and their families to visit people and places significant to their adoption. During the trip, adoptees come together for Connect & Chat, and parents gather for Talk Time—both are opportunities to process the experience and are completely optional.
Who is Korean Ties for?
- Korean adoptees of all ages, accompanied by those who are part of their lives.
- Parents, grandparents, siblings, extended family
- Spouses, children of adoptees, friends, significant others
- Arrive in Seoul, where Ties staff will meet you and provide transportation to the hotel. Korean Ties travelers stay in moderate to deluxe hotels with western bathrooms, where after a day out experiencing many new tastes, smells, sights and sounds, all can relax and enjoy familiar comforts.
- Gather for an orientation meeting, a chance to connect with the others, and discuss the journey ahead.
- Explore Seoul, including Gyeongbok Palace, the Blue House, Chongyecheon Riverwalk, and Dongdaemun (Eastgate) Market where you can experience this traditional market and, if you’d like, shop for a traditional Korean hanbok.
- Visit the Korean Folk Village, an interactive, open-air museum of folklore and customs, and Hwaseong Fort in Suwon.
- Enjoy time at the Korean social service agency your family worked with, Holt Children’s Services, Eastern Social Welfare Society (formerly Eastern Child Welfare Society), Social Welfare Society, and/or Korea Social Services.
- Adoptive Family Travel by the Ties Program will assist with adoptee requests and arrangements to meet foster mothers, caregivers, and orphanage staff, as well as visit significant places related to your adoption. Birth family searches and reunions are also sometimes a possibility, and we will assist with these also.
- Visit a maternity home for single mothers for conversation that is healing for all in the room. With this opportunity comes the chance to gain understanding of some of the difficult reasons children have been placed for adoption, and also to learn what the Korean government is doing to assist single mothers who choose to parent.
- Spend an evening with a Korean family in their home, a great “people experience,” making Korea feel more real and personal.
- Visit a school–always a fun afternoon!
- Enjoy a relaxing ride via the KTX high-speed train from Seoul to Busan, with stops in Daegu and Daejeon on route for travelers with adoption related requests there
- While in Busan, visit the colorful Port of Busan and Jagalchi Fish Market, shop at the International Market, and visit at an orphanage to meet and play with the babies and children there.
- Free time, Connect & Chat for adoptees, and Talk Time for parents throughout the trip.
- Optional day trip to Gyeongju (prior capital of the Silla dynasty and World Heritage site), famous for Tumuli Park, Bulguksa Temple and Sokkuram Grotto.
Korean Ties Lite participants will return to Seoul by KTX high-speed train traveling through scenic hills, valleys and rice paddies. They will enjoy some free time to finish last-minute shopping, see a few more Seoul sites, or just enjoy the city a bit longer, as they prepare for their flight back to the US in the morning.
Korean Ties Flagship program participants enjoy additional free time in Busan and then fly to Jeju, the largest island off the coast of the Korea peninsula. Jeju Island is called the “Hawaii of Korea” and is both beautiful and interesting.
We end with a festive farewell lunch, providing closure to this life changing experience.
As many Korean adoptees are adults, we are finding there is a need for a travel program suited to their unique interests.
Next Gen: Korea is geared toward adult adoptees (and those who love them). Next Gen has more of a focus on contemporary Korean culture as opposed to the adoption focus of our flagship Korean Ties program. For that reason, Next Gen participants are more likely to have previously traveled to Korea, making this a 2nd, 3rd or maybe even a 10th time experience. Participants may decide to arrive early or stay late to connect with people and places related to their adoption.
Who is Next Gen: Korea for?
- Adult Korean adoptees, traveling solo or accompanied by those who are part of their lives.
- Spouses, friends, significant others, children of adoptees.
- Parents, grandparents, siblings, extended family–all are welcome.
Whoever you decide you would like to travel with, we’ll be inclusive and provide activities they will enjoy. Each departure will likely be unique with a unique makeup of participants. We’re flexible and will add in activities according to the group that gathers.
Next Gen: Korea Highlights
- Time with other adult Korean adoptees
- Explore downtown Seoul: Namsan Tower, the hip Hongdae & Insadong neighborhoods
- Experience a baseball game, Korean style! Get ready for learning some great chants!
- Learn how to make the Korean staple, kimchi and explore the Kimchi Museum
- Have a guide lead you through some of Korea’s best street food and get you used to exploring Korea’s cuisine
- Focus on both traditional and modern Korea – through drum and dance class and onwards to modern Korea through a visit to Samsung’s Information Hall where they’re pushing tech boundaries
- Enjoy the beauty outside of Seoul through a day trip with biking to beautiful Namisseom Island
- Do as Koreans do with a nighttime visit to a 4D movie theater and hike on the weekends at Bugaksan
- Enjoy an entirely unstructured day in Seoul to plan as you wish
- Time with other adult Korean adoptees (intentionally added twice since SO important!)
Ties Program Features
How to prepare, opportunities to process. YOUR NEED-TO-KNOW INFORMATION!
Possibilities for Adoption Visits
Connect with people and places related to your adoption. SEE WHAT'S POSSIBLE!
Flights, Connect & Chat, Staying Connected. LEARN MORE!
Need financial help? Or would you like to help an adoptee make this important journey? OPTIONS & IDEAS!
Created especially so that Ties participants can help in the communities they have visited. BE INSPIRED!
Read & Learn
Articles to help you on this journey of identity. DIVE DEEP INTO INFORMATION!