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.


About E. Wayne Carp

I am the Benson Family Chair in History and Professor of History at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA. To read more about me, please visit my website,

Posted on November 24, 2009, in Jean Paton and Social Movements and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Hi Wayne…The photograph was taken during the summer/spring of 1989 in Washington D.C. at the end of the march from New York, Statue of Liberty to D.C. Seven of us did the entire march and were joined by others for a day or two along the way. The woman on the right, with the AAC sign, I believe is Sharon ?. The man standing behind, his face is not visible is Dirck Brown, adoptee (deceased). The woman with the sign Birthmothers Care Forever is a birthmother (deceased). The woman with the sign Adoptee Rights Are Human Rights is yours truly, adoptee. The woman with the sign Cut the Tape Break the Seal I believe is Judy Taylor,birthmother. The woman behind her, partial sign says Free, continued….

  2. I think might be Joyce Barr, adoptee, NYC. Sharon, the deceased birthmother, Judy and I were 5 of the original 7.. Joe Soll was there, he might remember more than I do.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: