In 1980, five women from New Jersey found one another and formed the original "ORIGINS: an organization for women who lost children to adoption."
We put out a national bi-monthly newsletter and held local in-person meetings for more than a decade.
We were pioneers! I was on the Mort Downey Jr. Show twice with adoptees and adoptive parents bringing light to the issue that was never even spoken about before. I was later on the Joan Rivers Show talking about the Joel Steinberg case, with Grace Smeigel.
The five founders of The Original ORIGINS were: MaryAnne Cohen, Allison Ward, Lucy Pare, Evelyn Ziemtez and myself.
Mary Anne Cohen is the poet laureate of adoption reform.
Lucy Pare gained national infamy in a "sting:" set up by a TV news network to catch evil mothers trying to find and "stalk" their lost children by paying money to an "underground" searcher. They sent a couple pretending to be birthparents to infiltrate one of our meetings! The news reports of her being "caught in the act" made her look like a dug dsealer exchanging money for information in a parking lot. But, when they made it known it was a sting and shone lights and cameras on a stunned Lucy, she stood her ground and compared her work to the underground railraod that helped slaves escape and let them know it was CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE to disobey laws that kept mothers and their children apart!
Left to right: MaryAnne Cohen, Sherry Chait, Mirah Riben, Washington DC, 1989.
First national Match on Washington DC to unseal adoption records.
We are holding our ORIGINS quilt made with patches for our lost children and our logo in the center.
This hearty group including Marilyn Bursen, Judy Taylor, Sharon Bell, and Joe Soll...
marched from NYC to Washington where they were joined by hundred of others of us.
This entire March and SpeakOut at the Washington Memorial was organized by Origins, the AAC and Council for Equal Rights in Adoption (CERA), without the Internet! We were a powerful and strong network of support group across the country!