Adoption Search—the history of voluntary adoption registries

“The adoption reunion experience is like water in the desert—scarce, desired, fought for. The adoptive search, when guided by sufficient balance and understanding, can enable a Seeker to become well in an age of illness and anxiety.” —Jean Madeline Paton, Mother of the Adoption Reform Movement.

Jean Paton | Mother of the Adoption Reform Movement | Adoption Registries

Jean Paton and the Struggle to Reform American Adoption by E. Wayne Carp will be available in hard cover from Amazon, December 28, 2013

Jean Madeline Paton, author and herself an adoptee, is the “Mother of the Adoption Reform Movement.” She was highly active during a time in American history when closed adoptions were the norm. She lobbied congress and worked tirelessly to protect and expand the rights of adoptees. She believed adoptees and birth parents had a God-given-right to reconnect with their lost, and tirelessly promoted adoption reunions as natural, healthy, appropriate and beneficial events.

She was a visionary search activist who presented her rationales for why adoptees and birth mothers should search: 1) the equality of all citizens; 2) the self-determination of individuals; 3) and adoptees’ emotional need for a curative and breakthrough reality that would finally make sense out of their disrupted life stories. Above all, she insisted that adoptees were not “permanent children” in need of lifelong supervision and protection. They were responsible, mature adults, fully capable of making their own decisions about search and reunion.

Jean Paton’s vision of an independent, voluntary adoption registry through which natal relatives might be reunited dates to an article she wrote in 1949, making it one of the earliest such suggestions in the documentary record. Mutual consent registries proliferated after 1975.

To birth mothers who grieved she sent assurances that not everyone had forgotten them, especially not their children, many of whom when grown, think of them with growing wisdom and in the spirit of forgiveness. She believed that birth mothers and adoptees who experience the grief of separation from kith and kin can never understand the reason for this lifelong punishment.

Jean Paton provided me with much needed encouragement during the initial phase of my adoption search, and enthusiastically supported the writing of my memoir recorded in the book Adoption Detective: Memoir of an Adopted Child. Jean and I gave public presentations to Rotary International and others highlighting the difficulties, fears, emotional depths, and barriers encountered by seekers, as well as, the joys, benefits and appropriateness of adoption reunions. Her legacy will be long-lasting. She was a grand lady, a tireless worker, a prolific writer, and wonderful human being. I applaud author E. Wayne Carp for recording and sharing her story with others.

Adoption Search | Adoption Reunion | Parenting & Relationships | Adoption Detective

Reunion Adopción | Adopción Detective | Adopción Buscar | Adopción Historia


About Judith Land

Judith Land lives in Colorado and Arizona with husband and coauthor Martin Land. Judith is a former nurse, retail shop owner, college instructor and avid outdoor person. Her book "Adoption Detective: Memoir of an Adopted Child" is a true story detailing the journey of Judith Romano, foster child and adoptee, as she discovers fragments of her background, and then sets out to solve the mystery as an adult. She has reached readers in 192 countries. "Mothers and fathers everywhere in the world need to understand that children are forever and always." --Judith Land
This entry was posted in Adoption, Books, Life, Parenting and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Adoption Search—the history of voluntary adoption registries

  1. Pingback: Adoption Registries | Judith Land | Adoption Detective | Adoption Detective | A Novel By Judith Land

  2. Pingback: Adoption Search Registries | Judith Land | Adoption Detective | A Novel By Judith Land

  3. Pingback: Adoption Detective is a story that is hard to forget—keep a hanky close at hand | Judith Land | Adoption Detective | A Novel By Judith Land

  4. Pingback: “Xenophobia Parentis”—fear of birth parents | Adoption Detective | A Novel By Judith Land

  5. Pingback: Adoption—a course in miracles! —Judith Land | Adoption Detective | A Novel By Judith Land

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.