Jean Paton and the Girl Scouts of America


Even before she finished writing The Adopted Break Silence, Paton began marketing the book. Indeed, sometime in December 1953, Paton wrote to the Girl Scouts of the United States of America and to the Camp Fire Girls. Both organizations turned down Paton’s solicitation to call attention to the publication. Mrs. Lewis A. DeBlois, director of the Girl Scouts Program Department, explained to Paton that her adoption study was not suitable to the membership of the Girl Scouts. The organization consisted of girls age from seven to seventeen, and it was the policy of the organization to publicize only materials that would be of direct help to the membership.  Paton responded immediately, correcting what she believed to be DeBlois’s misunderstanding.

Paton was quite aware that scouting had nothing to do with adoption, per se.

Her idea in approaching the Girl Scouts was that “the adoptive parent of the teen-age child, so often confused about her status, might receive help from such a publication.” Paton explained that she was simply looking for likely places where adoptive parents might turn to for help, since it was so hard to discuss the matter through ordinary channels.


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 January 12, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Reblogged this on The Life Of Von and commented:
    Jean Paton and the Girl Scouts of America…..

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