Press Release


Media Advisory: For Immediate Release


NEW YORK, February 22, 2011 – The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute today announced that it will hold a unique educational event to highlight the need for states to restore adult adoptees’ access to their original birth certificates, a right currently denied to millions of Americans simply because of the way in which they entered their families. There is no cost to attend the event, which will take place from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday, March 10, at the Hard Rock Café, 1501 Broadway in Manhattan.

This unprecedented gathering – entitled Learning the Right Lessons about Adoption: What the Oprah Winfrey Reunion Story Teaches Us – is designed to bring together individuals affected by so-called “sealed records” laws, including celebrities such as Darryl (DMC) McDaniels; politicians and policy-makers from affected states; experts on the subject, including Adoption Institute Executive Director Adam Pertman; professionals in the field; adoption reform advocates from around the country; journalists; and members of the public interested in social justice and equal rights for all families.

There has never been an effort before to bring together such a broad cross-section of parties involved in and affected by the issue. The co-sponsors of the event demonstrate the breadth of support for the cause on which it will focus; they include: the Child Welfare League of America, the American Adoption Congress, the Center for Family Connections, the Center for Adoption Support and Education, Adoptees Have Answers, Concerned United Birthparents, the New York State Unsealed Initiative, and the New Jersey Coalition for Adoption Reform and Education.

Among the highlights on March 10 will be the world premier of the music video “I’m Legit“, by Darryl McDaniels and Zara Phillips; it is the first new release in years by the rap superstar, who is himself an adoptee. In addition, a nationwide contest will be announced in which the winner will get to do a remix of “I’m Legit.” Two new books will also be featured at the event: Adoption Nation: How the Adoption Revolution is Transforming Our Families – and America, by Pertman; and Mother Me, by Phillips. McDaniels, Pertman and other participants will also be on a keynote panel that will discuss the issue of original birth certificates, with a focus on two research-based reports on the subject by the Adoption Institute, “For the Records I and II,” available at

The Adoption Institute (, a national nonprofit, is the pre-eminent research and education organization in its field. Its mission is to improve the lives of everyone touched by adoption through better evidence-based laws, policies and practices. For more information about the Hard Rock event, please email info@adoptioninstitute.orgor call 617-332-8944. To RSVP (we need a head count for seating and the free breakfast), email Donaldson Adoption Institute’s Chief Executive, April Dinwoodie can be reached at or 212-925-4089. To learn more about our cosponsors:

Child Welfare League of America:

American Adoption Congress:

Center for Family Connections:

Center for Adoption Support and Education:

Adoptees Have Answers:

Concerned United Birthparents:

NY State Unsealed Initiative:

NJ Coalition for Adoption Reform and Education: