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About Mirah Riben

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" (2007) and dozens of articles. She blogs at Huffington Post.

Riben has been researching, writing and speaking about the need to reform and de-commercialize American adoption practices since 1979. She speaks out against corruption, coercive and exploitative practices in both domestic and international adoption including kidnapping and trafficking for adoption.

Riben is a proponent of human rights with a focus on the rights of mothers, fathers, children and families in crisis, and a long-time proponent of adoptee equal rights.
Riben supports family preservation and opposes all profiteering in adoption and falsification of original birth certificates. She supports repeal of the laws that sealed original birth certificates from American citizens who are adopted and the replacement of closed, secret adoptions with simple adoption or permanent legal guardianship, after all attempts to provide resources for children to remain safely within their extended family have been exhausted. Such alternative child care would legally maintain the child’s name and allow for knowledge of and contact with, the original family. Riben opposes all anonymous reproductive technologies that create children who grow into adults with fraudulent birth certificates that list their social parents as parent son birth and which denied them knowledge their progenitors and their accurate medical history.

Riben has appeared on several national television programs (some are available in Presentation section herein), 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.; Association for Research on Mothering Conference, York University, Toronto, Canada 2009.

Former Associate editor of three national magazines, Ribenis 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 in the nation 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 and helped mothers prevent unnecessary adoptions.

The STORK MARKET reveals how in 1987, after Joel Steinberg was arrested for the murder of his illegally adopted daughter, Lisa, 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.
Riben has housed expectant mothers in need, is a former foster parent, and raised three children.

THE STORK MARKET is available at:
Riben blogs at

Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

adoption, family preservation, reproductive technologies

Honors and Awards

  • Author of the Year, 1989, People Searching News

Contact Information



Adoption / Family Preservation (28)