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Resources for Teens Transnationally Adopted from Asia: Media + Art

Media Resources

For many adoptees, it can be difficult to find depictions of themselves in media and art. In this section, you will find a variety of different media resources for and about adoptees including visual media, documentaries, podcasts, and reading recommendations. Resources related to any of the specific categories identified in this guide would be found in that section. Though many of these resources are geared towards transnational/transracial adoptees, they can also be useful resources for adoptees who identify along different lines.

Bibliographic Resources

a rectangular book cover with a purple border and a yellow center. The title Wise Up appears in huge letters across the book. These letters have fun designs that look like arrows pointing and hands meeting. A cartoonish owl wearing a white shirt  appears by the title.

W.I.S.E UP Powerbook

Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E.)

ISBN: 9780982190906 0982190905

This book serves as a guide for younger adoptees dealing with questions and comments about adoption and foster care. In this book, adoptees find guidance on how to handle questions about their adoption and ways to help them share only what information about themselves they want to share. A great resource for adoptees in all age groups!

A rectangular Book Cover painted in pale shades of purple, grey, and white. Tree branches and a jutting cliff edge appear as vague shapes across the cover. A figure appears to be reaching across the divide from the cliff edge to the branch.

Seeds from a Silent Tree: An Anthology by Korean Adoptees

Jo Rankin (Author), Tonya Bishoff (Editor)

ISBN: 978-0965936002

A collection of poetry, fiction, and personal narratives written by 30 Korean adoptees. These works explore issues of adoption, identity, race, and sexuality as well as issues that arise from being raised between two cultures. 

Rectangular book cover with yellow background and thick maroon stripe down the middle. The title Paper Pavilion is centered at the top of the cover. An illustration of a samurai in deep blue and red regalia with a sword, poised to swing is below the title. The author is listed below the illustration.

Paper Pavilion

Jennifer Kwon Dobbs

ISBN: 9781893996908 1893996905

A collection of poetry written about the transnational adoptee experience by a Korean adoptee raised in America. Personal history and issues of identity are explored through colorful prose and heartbreaking command of poetic meter.

Black rectangular cover with a pattern of blue and pink parallel lines centered. The lines are depicted as though the pink lines are a shadow of the blue lines, giving the design a 3D effect. The title Not my white savior is centered at the top of the cover in big, bold white lettering. The author's name Julayne Lee is centered at the bottom of the cover in big, bold whiter lettering.

Not My White Savior

Julayne Lee

ISBN: 9781945572432 1945572434

A collection of poetry written by a transracial adoptee from South Korea. This collection explores the difficult and challenging emotions that surround being an transracial adoptee in the American Midwest. Is life really "better" for an adoptee and what does a "good life" really consist of? These are some of the tough questions this poetry collection explores.

Adoptee Reading: Books Written & Recommended by Adoptees

Adoptee Reading

This resource provides a comprehensive index of books and stories written by/for adoptees. Users can search for reading recommendations according to subject or type of adoption (i.e domestic or international, etc.) or by genre or author. Reading recommendation lists are also provided as well as the opportunity for users to submit a book recommendation.

Intercountry Adoptee Voices - Individual Stories

Intercountry Adoptee Voices (ICAV)

This resource provides access to a repository of personal stories and narratives written by intercountry adoptees. These stories provide glimpses into the personal experiences of adoptees at various stages of their lives. Issues explored in these narratives include: racism, identity, reunion, abuse, special needs, and more. 

Featured Artist

A large painting that makes use of several mediums to create a home scene that depicts the loneliness of not knowing where you belong. A figure sits alone at the intersection of several decorated rooms, painted in the same shades and patterns as the rooms around them but clearly looking uncomfortable.

The Adopted Child Does Not Know Which Side Of History He Or She Comes From.

18x24" acrylic/pencil on panel 2016

Andrea Joyce Heimer

Heimer, an adoptee herself, creates narrative paintings constructed from the mythologies of herself—what she knows about herself and what she does not—and uses this work to explore her struggles with loneliness and identity. Heimer's adoption records were sealed at birth, restricting her from ever accessing them. Through her art, Heimer attempts to reconnect herself with her world and make a place for her and others who have shared similar experiences. Her 2016 Adopted Child series directly explores her adoption struggles while her more recent work grapples with larger struggles of identity, person-hood, and belonging.

Image from Andrea Joyce Heimer's The Adopted Child Series (2016).

Arts, Writing, & Creative Projects

ICAV - Adoptee Artists

Intercountry Adoptee Voices (ICAV)

ICAV provides a comprehensive index of international adoptee artists who work in various mediums, from fine arts to writing and beyond. Find information about adoptee artists as well as current projects and exhibitions.

Adoptee Creations - The Beat

Beginning to Explore Adoption Together (B.E.A.T)

The adoptee community is full of artists and creators working through different media to convey their stories and experiences. Explore this collection of current projects by adoptee artists which features documentaries, films, podcasts, personal blogs and vlogs, and more.


A small square logo depicting an a Black woman with natural hair to the left and an Asian man with glasses to the right. Both are shadowed. The title "Out of the Fog" is centered across the two figures.

Out of the Fog

Kassaye MacDonald & Pascal Huynh

Made and produced by adoptees, this podcast seeks to de-stigmatize and remove the shame that surrounds adoption for so many people. Family, adoption, and power are explored through frank discussion and honest conversation. 

Out of the Fog logo from Out of the Fog official website

A heart made of blue and teal puzzle pieces with one piece missing to allow for the title "Who Am I Really?" to intersect with the heart.

Who Am I Really?

Damon Davis

In this podcast hosted by Davis, an adoptee himself, adoptees share their adoption journeys as well as their quests to find their biological families. This podcasts hopes to assist adoptees with finding acceptance and closure.

Who Am I Really? logo from Who Am I Really? official website


A small square logo depicting a picture a brightly smiling Asian man wearing a blue-ish/grey coat. His teeth or on prominent display. The title "The Rambler" is in white script in the upper lefthand corner.

The Rambler

In this one-on-one podcast, adoptees are interviewed primarily about international and transracial adoption and the people involved. Each episode features a new adoptee who shares their personal story and adoption journey. 

The Rambler logo from The Rambler official website