Adopted Son Goes 17 Years Thinking He’s Chinese.. Only To Find Out He’s Actually Korean

His parents majorly messed up, but they had the best intentions.

An American father revealed on Reddit that he had “f**ked up” by assuming his adopted son was Chinese, and realizing 17 years later that he’s actually Korean.

He took to the internet to berate himself for not looking more into his adopted son’s past history before raising him with ties to Chinese culture.

About seventeen years ago my wife and I adopted a baby from an Asian American family. While we knew very little details, basically what happened with them is that we learned they were too young for children. I made very little inquiries as (they seemed embarrassed/I didn’t want to pry).

I was just excited to have a son and couldn’t have cared less about the parent’s history, besides their current and future well being. So as long as they were healthy and willing to gift me with their child, I really did not go too much into their histories. This was my major fuck up.

My wife and I choose to adopt this baby because we felt for the parents and anyone that has been through the adoption process knows that it is much easier to get a non-white baby than it is to get a white one (which is fucked up IMO) and we wanted one NOW and didn’t want to be on a wait list.


The father explained that he had made his son learn Mandarin and had taken him to China every two years since he was eight years old so he would feel connected to his cultural roots.

Image: Chosun Ilbo

Anyway we adopt this beautiful, loving, affectionate and incredible baby. It’s truly love at first sight for all of us. Around about eight months we start to feel a little bit of guilt about not raising him in his on ethnic culture and given that we live in an area with a major Chinese population, it would be very easy to introduce him to his roots.

So for the next seventeen years we do everything we can to honor his ethnicity. We send him to Chinese language courses and by five he’s fluent in Mandarin and English, he gets an ‘adopted’ by a Chinese aunt and uncle (they taught him cultural things and celebrate certain holidays and take him for dim sum every couple of weeks).

We’ve been taking him to China every two years since he was eight. We weren’t trying to force him to take up his culture as an ‘other’ in our family, but we didn’t want to rob him of it or completely whitewash him either. We try and be PC as possible and we thought we were doing the right thing.


When filling out his college application, the father realized his adopted son’s biological parent’s surnames were Kim and Park – Korean names, not Chinese.

We are filling out his college apps/financial aid applications and doing that whole thing. I go to my home office and go through some files and find his old adoption records. I’m not really paying much attention to them and then his biological parents surnames pop out and basically punch me in the face. His parent’s last names were PARK AND KIM. FUCK. FUCK. FUCK.

For those of you that do not know, those are Korean last names. My son is not Chinese. Not even a little bit.

He’s Korean.

I suppose I just assumed it because we live in an area on the west coast where there are a lot of Chinese immigrants and Chinese-Americans have been living for generations and generations. I don’t always assume every Asian is Chinese, but I did assume this for my son.

Now I have a seventeen-year-old Korean son that thinks he’s Chinese. Now that I look at him, he looks INCREDIBLY Korean in comparison to all of the photos of Korean men that I have just googled. Very square jaw, less hooded eyes, very broad build.

None of this ever crossed my mind. I’ve dedicated nearly two decades to helping my son be close to roots that aren’t even his. I realize that I’ve just been fucking up. I feel like a complete asshole to the nth degree. I’m that dumb liberal white dickhead. Fuck.”


The father was obviously beating himself up about the mistake, but many netizens praised his efforts in raising his son with strong ethnic ties.

Image: Gold Star TEFL
  • Bottom line: you and your wife obviously love him and have striven to do what you think is best for him and as long as he knows this, everything else will work itself out. Young people with a strong foundation of love and support are very resilient. Trust that you raised your son to be strong enough to roll with the punches and have a sense of humor about his parents’ good but misguided intentions.
  • I’m laughing hysterically at the thought of OP finding this so awkward that he gives his kid up for adoption to avoid the shame of telling him. This is my favorite fu’kup on here yet!! But in all fairness, no this guy sounds like a really sweet dad. This is a great family story in the making.
  • When I got to ‘Kim’ I put my phone down and started clapping at this epic fuckup. This is next level shot right here. Made my day. OP shouldn’t feel too bad though seeing that he seems to be an awesome person.

The father updated the thread shortly afterwards, revealing that he had told his son, and while his son was a little upset that the father had told the internet before him, he wasn’t upset with his parents. Looks like they did a great job raising him!

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