Yay! The University of Michigan Press has just released the 3rd ed. of Betty Jean Lifton’s classic Lost and Found: the Adoption Experience, the book that launched the contemporary adoptee rights movement.

From the UMP webpage:

The first edition of Betty Jean Lifton’s Lost and Found advanced the adoption rights movement in this country in 1979, challenging many states’ policies of maintaining closed birth records…

This expanded and updated edition, with new material on the controversies concerning adoption, artificial insemination, and newer reproductive technologies, continues to add to the discussion on this important topic. A new preface and afterword by the author have been added, as well as a greatly expanded resources section that in addition to relevant organizations now lists useful Web sites.

The UMP site also includes a long list of online adoption resources–including Bastard Nation.

Congratulations BJ!

Here is BJ’s webpage.


  1. the best! What a great picture of her and her kitty. Anyone who does not own this book, please get it and read it. I intend to order a copy of the new addition, even though I have the old one.

    Unlike so many who have put out various adoption books since, B.J. is a real writer with style and grace as well as wisdom about being adopted and the psychology of triad members. I am glad to see a new addition come out so that a new generation can enjoy her work.

  2. YES! I had to borrow this book from a friend – and now I can get my own copy. Maybe I can even persuade our local library to order it too.
    I love the way she thinks and writes. And it makes me extra partial that she’s written on Janusz Korczak of whom I’m also a fan (I found ‘King Matt the 1st’ in a second hand book shop, and was astonished by it. Just one of those serendipitous things).

  3. This is a long time coming. I have my own older copy, but I’ve heard that library copies are full of handwritten notes, underlines, comments. The book changed my life in 1980 when I got my records. It was the first time I’d ever heard the adoptee voice. I wasn’t crazy!

    The first time I met BJ I was in awe. It was at the AAC in Seattle. Later during the conference we sat together in the hospitality suite where she held my hand when we talked I thought, Holy Shit! I’m sitting in this room holding hands with a legend. I never dreamed I’d meet her. It was sort of like meeting Emma Goldman or Elizabeth Taylor.

    It’s a great idea to recommend your local library buy a new copy. Or we could also buy two–one for us and one for the library.

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