Our Mission

Bastard Nation advocates for the civil and human rights of adult citizens who were adopted as children. Millions of North Americans are prohibited by law from accessing personal records that pertain to their historical, genetic and legal identities. Such records are held by their governments in secret and without accountability, due solely to the fact that they were adopted.
Bastard Nation campaigns for the restoration of their right to access their records. The right to know one’s identity is primarily a political issue directly affected by the practice of sealed records adoptions. Please join us in our efforts to end a hidden legacy of shame, fear and venality.

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Bytes: read about open records


Baer, Janine. The History and Consequences of Sealing Adoption Records. (privately printed)

Carp, E. Wayne. Family Matters: Secrecy and Disclosure in the History of Adoption. Harvard U. Press, 1998.

Haimes, Erica and Noel Timms. Adoption, Identity and Social Policy: The Search for Distant Relatives (Studies in Social Policy and Welfare, No 23). Ashgate Pub. Co., 1985.

Pertman, Adam. Adoption Nation: How the Adoption Revolution is Transforming America. Basic Books, 2001.

Pierce, William (Editor). National Council for Adoption Factbook III. National Council for Adoption, 1999.

Sachdev, Paul. Unlocking the Adoption Files. Lexington Books, 1990.

Sorosky, Arthur D., Annette Baran, and Reuben Pannor. The Adoption Triangle: Sealed or Opened Records: How They Affect Adoptees, Birth Parents, and Adoptive Parents. Taylor Pub., 1989.

Wegar, Katarina. Adoption, Identity, and Kinship: The Debate over Sealed Birth Records. Yale U. Press, 1997.

©2003. Bastard Nation: The Adoptee Rights Organization
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bytes: read about civil rights and activism


Alderman, Ellen and Caroline Kennedy. The Right to Privacy. Vintage Books, 1997.

Alinsky, Saul. Rules For A Radical: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals. Vintage Books, 1989.

Arditti, Rita. Searching For Life: The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo and the Disappeared Children of Argentina. U. of California Press, 1999.

Babb, L. Anne. Ethics in American Adoption. Bergin & Garvey, 1999.

Browning, Graeme and Daniel J. Weitzner. Electronic Democracy: Using the Internet to Influence American Politics. 2nd ed. CyberAge Books, 2002.

The Center for Public Integrity, et.al. Citizen Muckraking: Stories and Tools for Defeating the Goliaths of Our Day. Common Courage Press, 2000.

Etzioni, Amitai. The Limits of Privacy. Basic Books, 2000.

Freire, Paula and Myra Bergman Ramos (Translator). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Continuum Pub Group, 1995.

Griffith, Keith. The Right to Know Who You Are: Reform of Adoption Law. Katherine W. Kimbell, 1992.

Jeffers, Susan. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. Fawcett Books, 1992.

Moore, Michael. Downsize This: Random Thoughts From an Unarmed American. Harper Perennial, 1997.

Shaw, Randy. The Activist’s Handbook. U. of California Press, 1996.

Shaw, Randy. Reclaiming America: Nike, Clean Air and the New National Activism. U. of California Press, 1999.

Solinger, Rickie. Beggars and Choosers: How the Politics of Choice Shapes Adoption, Abortion, and Welfare in the United States. Hill and Wang, 2001.

Solinger, Rickie. Wake Up Little Susie: Single Pregnancy and Race Before Roe v Wade. Routledge, 1994.

Spence, Gerry. How to Argue and Win Every Time: At Home, at Work, in Court, Everywhere, Every Day. St. Martins Press, 1996.

Tzu, Sun. The Art of War. Samuel B. Griffith (Translator). Oxford U. Press, 1963, 1971.

Watson, Jessica Lewis. Illegitimacy Empowered. (Women in History Vol 76) Ide House, 1994.

Zingo, Martha T. and Kevin E. Early. Nameless Persons: Legal Discrimination Against Non-Marital Children in the United States. Praeger Pub., 1994.

©2003. Bastard Nation: The Adoptee Rights Organization

bytes: read about the birth parent experience


Barton, Elisa (Editor). Confessions of a Lost Mother. Gateway Press, 1996.

Collins, Pauline. Letter to Louise: A Loving Memoir to the Daughter I Gave Up for Adoption More Than Twenty-Five Years Ago. HarperCollins, 1992.

Fox, Paula. Borrowed Finery: A Memoir. Holt & Company, Inc., 2001.

Johnston, Patricia Irwin (Editor). Perspectives on a Grafted Tree: Thoughts for Those Touched by Adoption. Perspectives Press, 1983.

Jones, Merry Bloch. Birthmothers: Women Who Have Relinquished Babies for Adoption Tell Their Stories. Chicago Review Press, 1996.

Mander, Rosemary. Care of the Mother Grieving a Baby Relinquished for Adoption. Avebury, 1995.

Mason, Mary Martin. Out of the Shadows: Birthfathers’ Stories. Howard Pub., 1995.


Moorman, Margaret. Waiting to Forget. W. W. Norton, 1996.

Robinson, Evelyn Burns. Adoption and Loss – The Hidden Grief. Clova Publications, 2000.

Roles, Patricia E. A Counselor’s Guide to Birthparent Loss and Grief in Adoption. Child Welfare League of America, 1990.

Roles, Patricia. Saying Goodbye to a Baby: Birthparents’ Guide to Loss and Grief in Adoption. Volume 1, Child Welfare League of America, 1990.

Romanchik, Brenda. Birthparent Grief. R-4Squared Press, 1999.

Romanchik, Brenda. What is Open Adoption? R-4Squared Press, 1999.

Romanchik, Brenda. Your Rights and Responsibilities: A Guide for Expectant Parents Considering Adoption. R-4Squared Press, 1999.

Savage, Dan. The Kid: What Happened After My Boyfriend and I Decided to Go Get Pregnant. Dutton Books, Penguin, 1999.

Schaefer, Carol. The Other Mother: A Woman’s Love for the Child She Gave Up for Adoption. Soho Press, 1991.

Severson, Randolph W. Dear Birthfather. Hope Cottage, 1992.

Waldron, Jan L. Giving Away Simone: A Memoir. Times Books, 1995.

©2003. Bastard Nation: The Adoptee Rights Organization

bytes: read about baby abandonment


Ashby, LeRoy. Endangered Children: Dependency, Neglect and Abuse in American History. Twayne Pub., 1997.

Boswell, John. The Kindness of Strangers: The Abandonment of Children in Western Europe from Late Antiquity to the Renaissance. The U. of Chicago Press, 1988.

Fuchs, Rachel G. Abandoned Children: Foundlings and Child Welfare in 19th Century France. SUNY Press, 1984.

Gager, Kristin Elizabeth. Blood Ties and Fictive Ties: Adoption and Family Life in Early Modern France. Princeton U. Press, 1996.

Hardy, Sarah Blaffer. Mother Nature: A History of Mothers, Infants and Natural Selection. Pantheon Books, 1999.

Kertzer, David I. Sacrificed for Honor: Italian Infant Abandonment and the Politics of Reproductive Control. Beacon Press, 1993.

Meyer, Cheryl and Michelle Oberman. Mothers Who Kill Their Children: Understanding the Acts of Moms from Susan Smith to the “Prom Mom.” New York U. Press, 2001

Panter-Brick, Catharine and Malcolm T. Smith (Editors). Abandoned Children. Cambridge U. Press, 2000.

Piers, Maria W. Infanticide: Past and Present. W. W. Norton, 1978.

Ransel, David. Mothers in Misery: Child Abandonment in Russia. Princeton U. Press, 1988.

Rose, Lionel. The Massacre of the Innocents: Infanticide in Britain, 1800-1939. Routledge, 1986.

Schwartz, Lita L and Natalie K. Isser. Endangered Children: Neonaticide, Infanticide and Filicide. CRC Press, 2000.

©2003. Bastard Nation: The Adoptee Rights Organization

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