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me b zola

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Member since: Thu Nov 11, 2004, 09:06 PM
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Jean Paton and the Struggle to Reform American Adoption -

Jean Paton and the Struggle to Reform American Adoption

One woman’s tireless crusade for better understanding and social justice for adopted people -


Adoption activist Jean Paton (1908–2002) fought tirelessly to reform American adoption, dedicating her life to overcoming American society’s prejudices against adult adoptees and women who give birth out of wedlock. From the 1950s until the time of her death, Paton wrote widely and passionately about the adoption experience, corresponded with policymakers as well as individual adoptees, promoted the psychological well-being of adoptees, and facilitated reunions between adoptees and their birth parents.

She also led the struggle to re-open adoption records, creating a national movement that continues to this day. While “open adoption” is often now the rule for adoptions within the United States, for those in earlier eras, adopted in secrecy, the records remain sealed; many adoptees live (and die) without vital information that should be a birthright, and birth parents suffer a similar deprivation. At this writing, only seven of fifty states have open records. (Kansas and Alaska have never closed theirs.)

E. Wayne Carp’s masterful biography of Jean Paton brings this neglected civil-rights pioneer and her accomplishments into the light. Paton’s ceaseless activity created the preconditions for the explosive emergence of the adoption reform movement in the 1970s. She founded the Life History Study Center and Orphan Voyage and was also instrumental in forming two of the movement’s most vital organizations, Concerned United Birthparents and the American Adoption Congress. Her unflagging efforts over five decades helped reverse social workers’ harmful policy and practice concerning adoption and sealed adoption records and change lawmakers’ enactment of laws prejudicial to adult adoptees and birth mothers, struggles that continue to this day.

Read more about Jean Paton at http://jeanpaton.com/
- See more at: http://www.press.umich.edu/6242018/jean_paton_and_the_struggle_to_reform_american_adoption#sthash.5SrUT9HD.dpuf

- See more at: http://www.press.umich.edu/6242018/jean_paton_and_the_struggle_to_reform_american_adoption#sthash.5SrUT9HD.dpuf

So you say you care about human & civil rights?

Who am I? U.S. adoptees finally winning birth certificate rights

Source: Reuters

Who am I? U.S. adoptees finally winning birth certificate rights
By Richard Weizel

MILFORD Conn. Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:52am EDT


Some 42 of the 50 U.S. states still keep birth records tightly sealed under measures that started as early as the 1930s and ran as late as the mid-70s. They stemmed from what opponents say was a well-intentioned "but failed social experiment" to protect unmarried women from ridicule for sexual activity, and adoptees from the shame of being born out of wedlock.

Without birth certificates, both adoptees and birth parents are forced to turn detective, or use private investigators, to piece together small bits of non-identifying information with the little data in adoption papers.

Such searches can take days or decades, and many adoptees never find their birth parents.

"Those who approved these laws didn't think about what would happen when adopted children became adults. (They also) lied to birth mothers that they would forget their offspring. These are archaic laws that do not fit our society's current social mores," said Connecticut State Rep. David Alexander, an adoptee who helped draft language for the new law.

Alexander believes Connecticut is among a number of states “on the cutting edge of a major social reform movement” that will result in access to birth records for every adult adoptee in the nation, regardless of when they were born.

~more @ link~

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/16/us-usa-adoption-birthcertificates-idUSKBN0ER1JV20140616

We are making progress, but it is painfully slow. Although I am in reunion with my family, I am still not entitled to my original birth certificate and records from the state of California.

Why are adoptees not entitled to the same rights as other citizens?

Prime Time: The Secret Baby Trail

Prime Time: The Secret Baby Trail

This programme uncovered the export of Irish children in Mother and Baby homes to adoptive parents in America. The programme talks to mothers whose children were taken from them, to the children who grew up in the US, and to nuns as well. First broadcast: 20/06/1996


This is a 37 minute video first broadcast in Ireland June 20, 1996. Excellent show that will shed light on not only the homes for unwed mothers in Ireland, but to the entire Baby Scoop Era as well.

The Sister interviewed here may only reluctantly agree to "registers" for mothers and their children to find each other, but Ireland is now on the brink of opening the records completely. Woot!

It was my mother sent off to the nuns (domestic, US)

I don't know if my grandparents sent money, I expect they did. But what I do know is that my mother was forced to work as a nanny for an upper middle-class family to "pay for her keep", and she never saw a dime of that labor. I also know that my adoptive parents paid $550 for me (I have the receipt), above and beyond their legal fees.

What sticks in my craw the most is the shaming that was done to my mother, the torture of having to care for another's child to "show her" what a "good" family was and what "she could never provide for me".

I don't understand your point of view. I do know that people who share mine have been shamed for decades into silence and we are now standing up to those who wish us to remain silent.

I have no patience with people who make excuses for the abuse hurled upon these women and the sorrow carried both by mother and child for the rest of our lives.

I saved a woman's life without a weapon~and the same night a cop saved mine also without brandishing

Its a long story, but my neighbor was about to shoot his wife in the face. When I walked in she was sitting in the corner sobbing for her life with her hands in front of her face hoping to shield herself from the rifle. He was bearing down on her and it was, to say the least, a volatile situation. I tried talking him down, but he was ramped up. Women who have faced an abuser knows that crazed look in their eye.

Long story short, I kept him from shooting her until the police arrived. When they got there an officer got me out. As I left the house, I began to leave the porch in the normal manner which would have had me walk in-front of the window of the room where my armed to the teeth neighbor was. Just as I began to walk in front of the window, another cop grabbed my arm and whispered, "this way", indicating to jump the rail in the other direction. Just as I did as he instructed, my neighbor shot through the window where he expected me to be~almost hitting a state trooper.

After another half an hour or so of a stand-off, the local sheriff got neighbor to surrender himself without any injuries.

Just thought that I would share this. Saving someone's life more often then not requires a clear mind, not necessarily a weapon.

'We can offer a better class of baby with a good background'

'We can offer a better class of baby with a good background': The 1961 letter from nuns to adoptive parents

Nuns at Sean Ross Abbey, Co. Tipperary sent letter to Mary Lawlor's parents before she was adopted in 1961
Letter sheds light on attitudes towards children of poorer single mothers
'They adopted me out with an instruction book,' says Ms Lawlor

ByAlison O'reilly

Published: 21:55 EST, 7 June 2014 | Updated: 03:36 EST, 8 June 2014

Read the article @

The Church was only one player in the Baby Scoop Era

Here in the states, the "mother of modern adoption", Georgia Tann has plenty of blood on her hands:

Georgia Tann: adoption architect, child advocate, and baby killer


Tann and her crew stole newborns from hospitals, kidnapped and abducted children from their homes or on the street, and tricked single and widowed mothers into signing over their parental rights. From the 1920’s into the 1950’s it is impossible to know how many children went through Tann’s Tennessee Children’s Home Society. Many children died as a result of neglect and abuse; in 1945 it is estimated 40-50 children died in less than four months while housed in the illegally operated home. Children were starved, beaten, molested, mentally abused, and received no medical attention. Pedophiles were employed at the home, including Tann. She sold the children without conducting background checks on the adopters. She falsified records and extorted adoptive homes. She used the children as pawns; for example, she adopted out children to politicians, and then threatened to take the child back if the political families did not support legislation in her favor. Children were sold or given away like prizes in Memphis newspapers. “(We have) the merchandise in hand and in stock to deliver to you” a 1944 letter read to a prospective client. “We can never tell when we can fill an order,” another letter explained (source). There seemed to be no limit to what the Tennessee Children’s Home Society could do.


In public, Georgia Tann spoke out loudly against child abuse, baby selling, corruption, and advocated child welfare reform. In private she sexually, physically, and mentally abused her charges, some of which were buried in the yard due to neglect.

Tann was never punished for her deeds. Some of the practices she utilized are still part of the adoption process today. Many adults, sold as children, continue to seek out their siblings, family members, and birth parents and reveal horrific memories of abuse. It seems the evil done by Georgia Tann will never be undone.

More @ link

Georgia Tann is the person responsible for sealing adoption records. Prior to her efforts, newborns were not stripped of their identity if raised by someone other than the biologic parents. The sealing of our own identities has absolutely nothing to do with protecting children or their mothers who relinquished them; it was only a marketing ploy to make her product (other people's babies) more desirable to upper middle class families.

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