I never met her in person, but I consider Susan Perry a friend, and I mourn her death today. Like me, she was a mom, a grandmother, a teacher, a writer. Unlike me (an adoptive parent), she was an adopted person, denied her original birth certificate and her medical history. Had she had access to her medical history, perhaps we would not be grieving today. That, to me, is a sobering reality.
She wrote a wonderful blog, Nanadays.blogpost,com. She wrote about her beloved family, two children and 6 grandchildren. She wrote about finding her two sisters just last September. She wrote about the basic human right all people should have to their own birth certificates. She testified about the adoptee birthright bill in New Jersey, writing about it in her blog: “Every adopted child is worthy of truth and respect, and, as an adult, should certainly be entitled to equal treatment under the law.” She was a vital voice with Lost Daughters, who called her “our friend, our colleague, and, most importantly of all, our sister.” She was involved with the New Jersey Coalition for Adoption Reform and Education (NJCARE), and with the Adoptee Rights Coalition. So many people will miss her.
In recent weeks, Susan’s daughter wrote on her blog, expressing eloquently the vibrancy and depth with which her mother lived her life. I wrote about Susan last October, in my post Information and Access: An American Civil Right Denied. I send my condolences to Susan’s family. She will be missed, and many of us will carry on her legacy to provide basic civil rights to adopted people.