Oh yeah, maybe I should’ve mentioned this before. But for you adoptees out there who have basic information about your birth family such as name and year of birth, one possibility is to look for them on the website nateon.com! Only thing is, you have to be able to write Korean characters.
If you have one or even both parents’ name and also the paper they signed, they might’ve left their civic registration number. I’ll update this post on how to “decode” that one later, but it’s usually lots of strange numbers and hidden among them is the year of birth, month and day.
Then, if there are siblings mentioned like in my case, the papers might mention year of birth. Most young people in Korea are members of cyworld, similar to what facebook is for most westerners. So nateon will link to the cyworld homepages with the name you’re looking for! And some, if not most, of those homepages comes with pictures.
And for the record, Korean names don’t change when they get married although change of names do occur if they are (extremely) unpleased with their given names.Like one of my older sisters who was named with the same characters as when pronouncing “Beautiful boy” (미남) by our eldest sister – the parents didn’t prioritize naming her and our then-6 years old eldest sister chose the name on a whim.
Well, my sister changed her name shortly after a drama with the same name came out.
Be careful if you’re being too exact when entering the person’s information – Koreans do move around a lot so it’s best to leave out things like hometown from your search, at least at first. Try to narrow it down to 10-or so people at first; yes there are +50 million Koreans on that peninsula so it’s not gonna be easy. But good luck anyway!