About Us

Karen Wilson Buterbaugh

(United States)
Karen is Executive Director of the Baby Scoop Era Research Initiative, Executive Director of Origins International, co-founder of Mothers for Open Records Everywhere (MORE) and founding member of Mothers Exploited By Adoption (MEBA).Karen’s personal story appears in Ann Fessler’s book, The Girls Who Went Away, the Hidden History of Girls Who Surrendered Babies for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade.  She is co-author of Adoption Healing: A Path to Recovery for Mothers who Lost Children to Adoption, author of “Setting the Record Straight,” Moxie, “Not By Choice,” Eclectica, co-author of “In the Best Interests Of Whom?” (Associated Content) and author of “Adoption Induced Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Mothers of the Baby Scoop Era” (Associated Content). Karen’s newest book is The Baby Scoop Era: Unwed Mothers, Infant Adoption, Forced Surrender. 

Lily Arthur
(New South Wales, Australia)
Lily is the New South Wales Coordinator of Origins Inc. For over 20 years Lily has volunteered tirelessly for the local community, focusing on people who been forcibly removed or separated from their families, including working with the Aboriginal community as part of the Stolen Generations Alliance as the NSW Non-indigenous Delegate. Lily is committed to fight for justice for those who have been affected by past policies and unlawful practices of separation, as well as being an advocate for those who do not have access to mainstream services, which include the issue of mental health of those who have been affected by removal and separation from their families. Lily has also stood at 2 federal Elections and has been involved in at least 10 State and Federal Parliamentary Inquiries.Closest to Lily’s heart is bringing about an alliance of Australians Affected by Family Separation, including those who identify as Forgotten Australians, Stolen Generations, and Australians Separated by Forced Adoption.Lily’s personal story of loss to forced adoption features in a documentary titled, “Gone to a Good Home,” while her defeat in landmark court case, Arthur v the State of QLD did not divert her from campaigning for the rights of mothers and their lost children.
Linda Bryant

(Queensland, Australia)
Linda has been an adoption activist since the late 1980′s and has participated in lobbying for reform and openness in adoption allowing mother, fathers, and adopted offspring to access to adoption records.. All adoption records are now available in Queensland and Original Birth Certificates can be accessed by adopted people and their mothers.Linda co-facilitated the 2004 Mental Health conference organised by Origins Queensland. She is currently on the advisory committee for the Post-Adoption Services Queensland, a service that has been set up by the state government. She is also a director of Mental Health Association Queensland and a director of A.C.C.S. (Australian College of Community Services) which merged with Drug Arm Australia and provides wider spread of services to all who need help in this area.

Valerie Andrews

Valerie is an adoption activist, and a Masters graduate in Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies with a research interest in the unmarried mother in Canada. Valerie lost her son to adoption after spending her pregnancy in a Salvation Army “Home for Unwed Mothers” in Toronto, Canada in 1970. In addition to compiling the most comprehensive list and images of maternity homes in Canada, other works include: The Language of Adoption, Crimes Against the Unmarried Mother in Post WWII Canada, Sales and Marketing in Modern Domestic Adoption, #Flip the Script on Teen Mothers, Motherhood Denied: Canada’s Maternity Homes, Young Mothers and Modern Domestic Adoption: Choice or Reproductive Exploitation?, Scripting/Disrupting “Birthmother” Identities. Valerie’s book, White Unwed Mother: The Adoption Mandate in Postwar Canada is available from Demeter Press. Valerie has been the Executive Director of Origins Canada for the past 10 years, and was instrumental in obtaining Senate Hearings on the adoption mandate in Canada.
 Cynthia Childress
(United States)
Cynthia currently lives in Sedona, Arizona. She is originally from Rockford, Illinois. She is a mother, grandmother, artist, historian, healer and a spiritual sensitive. She has three adult daughters and three grandsons.Cynthia lost her firstborn infant daughter in 1979 through a systematic program of forced adoption within a Methodist church, an adoption agency and a hospital. She was drugged immediately after delivery and not allowed to see or hold her daughter by hospital staff and clergy. Her signature of surrender physically forced and illegally obtained while she was only seven months pregnant.
She was provided a single Polaroid snapshot to fill her empty arms and broken heart. She waited twenty-two years to be reunited with her first born child. Cynthia believes her loss was preventable and a fear-based tragedy born of ignorance, intolerance and greed.

 Susan Marks
(New Zealand)

Susan Marks is working to form a chapter of Origins in New Zealand. She described the first Origins meeting she attended, in Queensland: “As we went around the room, people told their stories, it got to my turn and I suddenly was able to tell it in an open non-judgmental forum — I will never forget that moment. Dian Welfare was my rock all the way through -— nobody had ever validated my feelings before, until she did. I learned more and more about what was done to me so I felt compelled to direct my anger into something positive.  Susan co-edits the magazine News and Views for everyone with an interest in adoption. News and Views has led to a drive to reform New Zealand’s 1955 Adoption Act.  She is involved in setting up a group under the Origins umbrella to ask for a full inquiry into past adoption practices. Susan states “I want redress for what happened in the past, I want justice — that will be my legacy to my lost family and to future women who are too young and vulnerable to understand the impact of adoption.”

Marion McMillan
Marion has worked as a volunteer in children’s homes, as a foster parent, and as a registered nursery nurse (NNEB).. She has worked 15 years in this field, as learning facilitator, supporting families in crisis, mostly single mums.Marion is pro-active in campaigning for justice for the “Forgotten Mothers” of loss to adoption, founding the local support group “Podanoit” for families separated by adoption, and lobbying at every venue of The Scottish Adoption Policy Review Board. Marion had the privilege of speaking at the Scottish Parliament in 2005 on how adoption had impacted her life. This led to participating in a televised documentary, and three articles in National newspapers.At the inauguration of the Scottish Christian Party (SCP) at St. Andrews, Marion was invited to speak on the subject of adoption history and trauma. Many gathered from within the U.K. and further a-field. Questions were invited from the floor which left many speechless at the injustices suffered by mothers during the baby scoop era. Earlier this year, Marion represented the SCP West of Scotland as a candidate in regional elections, campaigning on adoption issues featuring the absolute neglect of successive governments in every generation of the injustice and suffering of those seared by adoption.
   (coming soon)