Shin, Paull H.

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Shin was born in Korea. His birth mother died when he was four and he was abandoned to the care of his grandmother by his father. He ran away from home and his village to live as a street child in Seoul to escape discrimination as an orphan and aged 15 was taken on as a houseboy by a US serviceman during the Korean War.

When he was nearly 18 he was adopted by a US Army dentist, Dr. Ray Paull, and emigrated to the USA. His new family included three brothers and their mother. He had had no education at all in Korea, and was too old for American schools, but studying with a tutor and his parents he completed a GED in only 18 months and continued on to gain a PhD from the University of Washington.

He became a university teacher and served in the Washington State House of Representatives in 1993-94, and is currently the state senator for Western Snohomish County.

He and his wife are also adoptive parents.

He returned to Korea as an adult and traced his birth father and brought him, his new wife and their children all to the US to live. He is active in adoption matters, especially working with other Korean-American adoptees.


"KAAN's Board of Directors." [Includes portrait]. Available at:
Washington State Senate. "Senator Paull Shin." [Includes portrait]. Available at:
Shin, Paull H. "Senator Paull H. Shin: His Story." Available at:
CAPAA. "Asian Pacific American History Month of May 2001: Noteworthy APA: Sen. Paull Shin." [Includes portrait]. Available at:
Kimble, James. "Korean-American Adoptee Tells of Childhood Struggles." [Includes portrait]. Available at


20th Century
21st Century
Education, Teaching, Libraries
Government, Politics, Civil Service, Public Administration
Adoptees/fosterees Who Are/were Also Adopters or Foster Parents
Poor Educational Opportunities, Self-taught
Formal, American/European-Type Adoption
Pre-school Years
School-age Years, Adolescence
Unmarried Mother, Single Parent (Mother or Father) Unable to Cope
Priest, Religious, Teacher, Coach, Mentor, Patron, Apprentice Master or Owner
Trans-Racial, Trans-Tribal, International or Trans-Cultural Adoption or Fostering
Street Children, Children Who Grew up Without Adult Supervision (at Least Temporarily), or Ran Away
Parent(s) Died, Disappeared or Became Incapacitated
Adoptee/Fosteree Traced Family
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