Jean Paton, the mother of the adoptee rights movement, is the forgotten woman of our movement. Even though Jean was alive, well, and kicking in the 1990s, when Bastard Nation started the Second Wave of the Adoptee Rights , I’d never heard of her until I attended the 1998 Seattle AAC. She was a featured speaker–and what a revelation she was! Who knew that the Bastards are Beautiful slogan we were so clever to invent, was actually coined by Jean 40 years earlier! So much for re-inventing the wheel. Why Jean was excised from our history, I don’t know, other than the history of our movement, even as late as 10 years ago, was as secret as our birth certificates. As bastards, we sprung from the head of Zeus, each generation starting anew. Unless you were an old oldtimer, you didn’t know who Jean Paton was. Much has changed since then, and adoption studies is now cutting edge. Though there is still much to dig out, research, and write, we are no longer a shameful secret except in the eyes of legislatures of 44 states who insist we are. When Jean died in 2002, veteran firstmom/bastard reform activist and writer Continue Reading →