Jean Paton and the Struggle to Reform American Adoption
By: E. Wayne Carp (author)Hardback
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Pioneering adoption activist Jean Paton (1908-2002) fought effectively for 50 years to reform American adoption. Paton gave adult adoptees a voice and provided them with a healthy self-image; facilitated thousands of meetings between adult adoptees and their families of origin; fought to open sealed adoption records; and indefatigably explained the adoption experience to a wider public. Paton's ceaseless activity created the preconditions for the explosive emergence of the adoption reform movement in the 1970s. She was also instrumental in the formation of two of the movement's most vital organisations, Concerned United Birthparents and the American Adoption Congress. Using previously unexamined sources, historian E. Wayne Carp offers the first-ever biography of Jean Paton. Beginning in 1951, Paton, a twice-adopted, middle-aged ex-social worker, dedicated her life to overcoming American society's prejudices against adult adoptees and women who give birth out of wedlock.
Her unflagging efforts over the next 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.
E. Wayne Carp is Benson Family Chair and Professor of History at Pacific Lutheran University, USA.
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- ID: 9780472119103
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