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
adoption, family preservation, reproductive technologies
Honors and Awards
- Author of the Year, 1989, People Searching News
Adoption / Family Preservation (28)
Reproductive Rights and Responsibilities: Genetic Inheritance Dissident Voice (2013)
Article raises questions facing society today: What responsibilities do biological parents have to the products of their DNA? Where do one’s right to know their roots, heritage, lineage – their truth – end, and another’s ...
Adoption Hype: Media Misrepresentations and Accepted Myths Dissident Voice (2013)
The author argues that media reliance solely on adoption industry experts is akin to interviewing only the NRA on the issue of gun control. Coverage is slanted, often containing intentionally misleading information to increase the ...
Child Removal for Adoption: Financial “Solution” Versus Humane and Cost Effective Remedies DissidentVoice (2012)
"Solutions" to single parenthood, is often punative for moral/religious resosns or now as a financial remedy to reduce the cost to tax payers. Yet, we reward those who adopt others' children with tax credits that ...
Defining Ethics in Domestic and Global Adoption Practice Open Arms, Open Minds: The Ethics of Adoption in the 21st Century (2010)
Adoption practitioners and agencies all speak about ethics. However, without definition, the term is as subjective meaningless as "nice." This presentation points out the lack of definition or agreement of what constitutes ethical adoption practice ...
Universality of grief experienced by mothers who lose children to adoption Adoption Community of New England. Inc. (2010)
Mothers who lose children to adoption, voluntarily or involuntarily, suffer grief that is not socially accepted. They often suffer in secret and in silence. Whether they are American, or Asian or African. All mothers grieve ...
Reverse Robinhoodism: Pitting Poor Against Affluent Women in the Adoption Industry Conducive Magazine (2009)
This article was originally submitted to a Canadian feminist journal, for a special issue on marginalized mothers. It speaks of the fact that adoption pits women against women; haves against have nots. The article was ...
THE STORK MARKET: America's Multi-Billion Dollar Unregulated Adoption Industry (2007)
Expose of the privatization of the adoption industry; the indistinguishable line between gray and black market; the scams and rip-offs; exploitation in both domestic and international infant adoption markets where the children are the commodity ...
Open Adoption: Optimum or Oxymoron? Adoption Therapist, Dallas, TX: Hope Cottage (1995)
Open adoption, an improvement over closed adoption, provides advantages when it works, unfortunately, in too many cases it turns out to be a an unkept promise that is unenforceable. A theoretical concept in the best ...