1. HOW DID IT START?
The idea for the organization was born in September 2015 in Berkeley, CA. Many mixed-race Korean adoptees were attending a Koreans & Camptowns conference, and during this time, the idea to create an organization to use DNA as a birth searching tool was born.
2. WHY 325KAMRA?
325 was the room number of the hotel room the founders all shared in Berkeley. KAMRA is an acronym for Korean American Mixed Race Adoptees. Although the organization is not exclusively for adoptees that are of mixed heritage, it was started by five who are.
3. WHO WERE THE FOUNDERS?
Kathy Augenstein, Katherine Kim, Sarah Savidakis, Bella Siegel-Dalton, Tammy Wooldridge
4. WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION FOR CREATING THIS ORGANIZATION?
Several of us who are of mixed heritage had had success using DNA to find our biological fathers’ families. We knew that if we could get DNA to Korea and get birth families there to test, that we could help other adopted Koreans find their biological families too.
5. HOW OLD IS THE ORGANIZATION?
The idea of the organization was born in September 2015, but the organization became a designated non-profit, a 501(c)3, in October 2015 in the US. It also became a registered NPO in Korea in January 2018.
6. WHAT IS THE MISSION OF 325KAMRA?
To DNA-test birth searching families in Korea and collect medical and family history data from them; to distribute DNA kits to Koreans and Korean adoptees worldwide, and to help families reunite when possible.
7. WHAT ARE SPECIFIC 325KAMRA SERVICES?
Collecting DNA from birth searching families in Korea. This is done by our team in Korea. At times we have traveled to other cities in Korea to collect DNA.
Distributing DNA kits worldwide.
Helping Korean adoptees with their family research - this usually involves building family trees using DNA matches and the tools available on ancestry.com as well as online records researching.
Helping Korean adoptees understand DNA and how it can be used, this via a FB group specific to DNA (DNA tested Korean Adoptee's and Korean War Veterans and their children).
Providing culture/reunion trips to Korea when possible for those who have been reunited thru DNA.
Providing an online support group for those who have reconnected through the use of DNA.
Offering any research assist when needed .
Providing initial contact and translation services (in Korea) for those who have made contact with biological family members.
8. Name Change February 2020
When the co-founders of 325KAMRA created the organization in 2015, we came up with the acronym Korean American Mixed Race Adoptees (KAMRA) to represent who we were as a team.
Over time, the dynamics of our organization changed, and we also realized that our acronym was not inclusive to the community we serve. To correct this, we have updated our name. While our acronym remains the same we decided that the following name better represents who we are and what we do!!
Korean Adoptees Making Reunions Attainable
From the struggles of the Korean War, to the modern dilemmas faced by those who are mixed race, comes an assortment of stories that capture the essence of what it is to be a mixed Korean. With common themes of exclusion, and recollections of not looking Korean enough, black enough, white enough, or "other" enough, this powerful collection features works by award-winning authors Alexander Chee, Michael Croley, Heinz Insu Fenkl, alongside pieces composed by prominent writers, poets and scholars. Interwoven between known literary names, are the voices of newcomers with poignant memories that have never been captured before. Collectively, these stories will resonate with anyone who has ever stood on the outside of a group, longing for inclusion. They are a testament to the courage, strength and resilience of mixed people everywhere. All proceeds from the anthology will be donated to