MIRAH RIBEN is author of two internationally acclaimed books: "shedding light on...The Dark Side of Adoption" (1988) and "The Stork Market: America’s Multi-Billion Dollar Unregulated Adoption Industry" (2008) and dozens of articles, including many on Huffington Post since October 2014.
As a proponent of human rights with a focus on the rights of mothers, fathers, children and families in crisis, she has been researching, writing and speaking about the need to reform and de-commercialize adoption practices since 1980, exposing corruption, coercion, exploitation, commodification and trafficking of children for adoption. Riben opposes all profiteering in adoption and is a staunch proponent of equal access for adoptees to their original birth certificates. As an advocate of family preservation she promotes an end of the falsification of such vital records, and believes that adoption as it currently practiced should be replaced with guardian adoption, after all attempts to provide resources for children to remain safely within their extended family have been exhausted.
Riben is former Director of the American Adoption Congress and Past Vice President of Communications of Origins-USA. Riben was among the very first pioneering mothers to publicly address the lifelong pain of losing a child to adoption and confront the myth that birth mothers asked for or were promised anonymity from their children.
She co-founded the original Origins, a New Jersey-based national organization for women who lost children to adoption. She has been keynote and invited speaker at numerous national and state adoption conferences as well as the 6th Annual PLI Adoption Law Institute Conference panel, “Costs of Adoption: A Survey and Ethical Considerations”; the 7th Annual NJ Research Conference on Women, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey; the 2007 Adoption Ethics and Accountability Conference sponsored by The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute and Ethica, Inc., and the Association for Research on Mothering Conference, York University, Toronto, Canada 2009.
Riben has appeared as an adoption expert on several national television programs as well as appearing on Russia-Today television numerous times discussing the murder and abandonment of Russian adopted children and the ban on Russian adoptions. In 2009 she traveled to Guatemala to support mothers of children kidnapped for adoption.
A former foster parent, Riben also housed expectant mothers in need and reunited hundreds of adoption-separated families. After the 1987 murder by Joel Steinberg of his illegally adopted daughter, Lisa, Riben worked with authorities and the family to reunite the toddler boy found in the Sternberg home with his original family, who had agreed to his adoption under duress.