The Las Vegas Sun yesterday published a really nice article on Tony Vilardi and ISRR written by Tony and Emma May’s niece, Stefani Evans. Registry helps adoptees find biological familiesEmma May’s mother, my grandmother, was an adoptee who did not have her original birth certificate until Emma May persuaded an Indiana judge to unseal her mother’s birth and adoption records. Emma May succeeded on behalf of my grandmother, but most adult adoptees do not have the ability to retrieve their original birth certificates. The adoptees-rights movement began lobbying state legislatures in the early 1970s to enable adult adoptees to obtain the original documents of their births that name their biological parents, state their correct places and dates of birth, and provide leads to their genetic backgrounds. A mutual-consent registry such as ISRR does not violate privacy rights of birth parents, because individuals register only when they wish to be found by their lost family members. In more than 34 years, the independent, not-for-profit, mutual-consent ISRR has reunited thousands of adoptees with their biological parents free of charge.
We are sad to learn of the passing yesterday of Tony Vilardi, co-founder with his late wife Emma May of ISRR, the International Soundex Reunion Registry. Tony is a pioneer and real adoptee rights hero who touched countless adoptees and their families with his work. Tony retired from the day-to-day oversight of ISSR in October 2001, but remained an Executive trustee until 2007. He is survived by his wife Mary Braun Vilardi. This is from the ISSR memorial page: The number of adoptees, birth parents, siblings and other family members who have been touched by Tony’s generosity and commitment is in the tens of thousands. Most will never know it was he who paid for the telephone bills or stamps that resulted in their reunion. Most will never understand how their lives are different because he quietly and consistently made sure that ISRR stayed strong and open. You can share your thoughts about Tony here ISRR is a volunteer organization. Tony paid many of the expenses himself. There is no mention on the ISRR page, but I think it would be nice to send ISRR a donation in Tony’s memory here or through planned giving/wish list or by mail: ISRRP.O. Continue Reading →