Other Clips


Before making ADOPTED: for the life of me, Jean Strauss made a number of short films, including Vital Records: the debate about adoptee access, which is featured below in its entirety.  The other clips provide a more indepth view of some aspects of the need for adoption reform.


Vital Records
(22:00) This film frames the debate of adoptee access, providing both sides of the issue, with compelling comments from the US Surgeon General, the head of the Human Genome Project, as well as activists who've been successful in access legislation, and comments from the opposition.

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Pam Hasegawa: Testimony on Adoptees' Birthright Bill in NJ.
(3:11)

This excerpt from Pam’s testimony to the NJ Assembly on June 14, 2010, addresses the issue expressed by the opposition that birth parents were guaranteed privacy, either statutorily or by expectation, from the children they gave birth to and the adoptive parents. As Pam poignantly articulates in her testimony, it is clear upon examination of the law that a birth parent's right to life-long anonymity from their son or daughter was never a part of New Jersey policy.

This clip is a must see for anyone trying to understand what current state policies are and why they were enacted in the first place.

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 NJ Testimony Assembly Hearing
June 2010

Joanne Spencer Testimony

(6:40)

Joanne Spencer provided compelling testimony about the adoptee experience to the New Jersey Assembly Human Services Committee on June 14, 2010.

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Kansas Never Sealed Records
The Sue McKenna Interview

Sue McKenna has been the state administrator handling the release of records to adopted citizens in Kansas for over two decades. Her comments regarding how the state system works is something every state considering access legislation should see...

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California
The Need for Adoption Reform in the Nation's Largest State

(5:09)


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One of the main subjects of "ADOPTED: for the life of me", Joe DeGironimo cut a couple of records back in 1962. The lyrics of his song in this clip, "Give Me Back My Heart" are powerful in light of his search for his birthmother.

Since you left me baby,
I don't know what to do,
I'm so broken hearted,
This is all I ask of you,

Give me back my heart,
Now that we're apart,
Now we're apart,
Give me back my heart,
Come on baby,
Give it back to me,
Come on come on,
For just me,
Give me back my heart...


 

You know you left me alone,
Baby all alone,
I sit at home,
I'm all alone,
Give me back my heart,
Come on come on,
Hey yeah, hey yeah,
Give me back my heart, yeah.

You know you left me so blue,
Not over you,
What can I do,
I'm so blue,
Give me back my heart,
Come on come on,
Give me back my heart,
Give me back my heart… 

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Rhode Island
Why the Access Legislation is Important

(6:07)

As Rhode Island debates access to records laws, this short film, some of which is from "Vital Records", addresses concerns and issues that legislators can have regarding why such reform is necessary.

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Silver Shorts
Includes Trailer for
"The Triumvirate", "Vital Records"

(1:29) This short trailer highlights the original short films by Jean Strauss, three of which focus on adoption issues.

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Annette Baran, the Reformer
Lisa Scott and Jean Strauss

(6:08) This short film was included in the memorial service of Annette Baran, a pioneer in the adoption reform movement. Annette, a social worker who followed the old school of sealed records 'hook, line, and sinker', was transformed in the late 1960's by an adoptee who came to her seeking help finding his birthparents. Annette began to examine social policies, and ran several studies with colleague Reuben Pannor, ultimately writing the groundbreaking book "The Adoption Triangle" and spending the rest of her life working to reform the system she once advocated.

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New Jersey PSA
Why Registries Don't Work

(1:00) A short public service announcement addressing the often used suggestion that adoptees don't need access to legislation because states can have registries to reconnect adoptees and birthparents.

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Carol Cooke Interview on ABC online 

Carol Cooke, a New Jersey adoptee now in her sixties, discusses the way in which secrets from adoption have had a lifelong impact upon her.

 

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