An adoption reform movement campaigning for full disclosure of adoption records emerged in the United States during the 1970s. The paper reveals that the struggle began much earlier, with the lifelong work of Jean M. Paton, beginning in the late 1940s until her death in 2003. Paton's activities included research of the adoptees' world, alongside the establishment of adoptees' groups nationwide, through her organization, Orphan Voyage, and other arenas. Paton's life and work provide a vantage point from which to gain a new perspective on the transformation of the American adult adoptees from isolated individuals into a vibrant community striving for civilian equality. Moreover, Paton's story expands contemporary evaluations of the breadth of women's engagement to social and civic reform in states and locales, not typically associated with the women's movement during the repressive culture and conservative politics of the 1950s.
|Keywords:||Jean M. Paton, Adoption Reform, Adult Adoptees Community|
Lecturer, Department of General History, Bar Ilan University, Pardesia, Israel