MIRAH RIBEN writes about many issues of social injustice with a focus on exposing the adoption industry's exploitation and corruption.
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). She has also authored dozens of articles.
Riben has been researching, writing and speaking about the need to reform and de-commercialize American adoption practices since 1980. She writes and speaks to expose coercion, child commodification and trafficking of children for adoption. As a proponent of human rights with a focus on the rights of mothers, fathers, children, and families in crisis, Riben supports family preservation and opposes all profiteering in adoption and the falsification and sealing of original birth certificates.
Antiquated and discriminatory laws that deny adopted citizens access to their own authentic original certificates of birth need to be repealed and states need to stop the falsification of adoptee amended birth certificates that name their adoptive parents as parents of birth, and can also change their date and place of birth.
Families in crisis need support and resources and extended family should be sought to provide care for children when needed. If all such resources have been exhausted, as a last resort, children who need the care of non-relatives, they deserve simple adoption or permanent legal guardianship. Such alternative child care would legally maintain the child’s name and allow for knowledge of, and contact with, their kin.
There is a need for more government oversight of all persons and agencies who facilitate transactions that redistribute children to ensure that the children are truly in need of placement, and to vet prospective care givers. International and interstate adoptions most especially need governmental oversight and regulation as they are most subject to corruption.
Riben has appeared on several national television programs, and 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.
She organized the Speak Out at the culmination of the NY to Washington DC march for equal access in 1989 as well as the Red Tape demonstration in NYC and a candlelight vigil in NYC to call attention to adoption abuse upon the 1987 murder of Lisa by Joel Steinberg. Her book, The STORK MARKET reveals how following Steinberg's arrest for the murder of his illegally adopted daughter, Riben reunited the toddler boy found in the home of Steinberg and Hedda Nussbaum with his original family who had been pressured into allowing the child to be adopted.
She traveled to Guatemala to support mothers of children kidnapped for adoption and has appeared on Russia-Today television numerous times discussing the murder and abandonment of Russian adopted children and the ban on Russian adoptions.
Riben, former Associate editor of three national magazines, is retired from Rutgers University. She is former Director of the American Adoption Congress and Past Vice President of Communications of Origins-USA, a national non-profit that advocates for mothers' rights and keeping natural families together. In 1980 Riben co-founded the original Origins, a New Jersey-based national organization for women who lost children to adoption (unaffiliated with any other similarly named organization).
Riben was a pioneer - among the very first mothers to publicly address the lifelong pain of losing a child to adoption - she put a face on women who had been called the invisible party in adoption. Risking imprisonment, Riben has reunited hundreds of families separated by adoption, helped mothers prevent unnecessary loss, and has housed expectant mothers in need.
Riben is a former foster parent, has raised three children, and has three grandchildren.
Published articles and presentations at: works.brepress.com/mirah_riben