Jean Paton at an American Adoption Congress Protest
In this photo, Jean Paton is in the background at this 1989 protest by the American Adoption Congress (AAC), an organization she helped found in 1979. The ACC declared the first week in August of 1989 as “National Open Records Week,” which would be celebrated by a march on Washington, D.C. beginning at the Statue of Liberty in New York City during that last week of July and ending in the nation’s capital during the first week of August. The woman with the sign “Birthmothers Care Forever” is Marilyn Burson, a birth mother (deceased). The woman with the sign “Adoptee Rights Are Human Rights” is Molly Johnson, adopted adult and executor of the Jean Paton Papers. The woman with the sign “Cut the Tape Break the Seal” is Judy Taylor, birth mother. The woman behind her, with the partial sign saying “Free,” might be Joyce Barr, an adoptee from NYC. The woman holding the “American Adoption Congress” sign is Sharon Bell. And the woman holding the sign “Equal Rights for Triad Members” is Nancy Horgan. I am indebted to both Molly Johnson and Joe Soll for identifying the protest and the participants.