Annette Baran Memorial Website

This site is a place to remember Annette Baran.

As one of her colleagues, Sarah Burns, wrote to Annette’s daughter, “Your Mother was a HERO to our movement, the GODMOTHER to us all!”

Annette Baran passed away on July 11, 2010. Testimonials and memories may be sent to Please feel free to post comments on this site.

Memorial for family and friends is August 1. Contact:

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Mirah Riben July 21, 2010 at 7:26 pm

I am honored to have known this great woman and tireless advocate. Annette listened to those most affected by adoption policies: adoptees and their natural mothers at a time when no one else heard us. She then had the courage to follow her heart, going against what she had been taught and how she was trained as a social worker, against the generally accepted notions about the necessity for secrecy in adoption.

Way ahead of her time, Annette spoke out against secretive adoption practices – a very unpopular thing to do – suggesting it be replaced with a form of simple adoption or guardianship that proves safe, loving, family care for children without all of the secrecy involved in current U.S. adoption practice.

Her wisdom and fortitude are exceptional and most admirable. yet, through it all Annette remained a sweet, gentle, caring, down-to-earth, approachable and helpful friend and colleague.

I have posted about Annette and her work, including her five-part video, on my blog:

To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


Margaret LyBurtus July 21, 2010 at 8:48 pm

I did not know her personally but I am greatful for all she did to educate others about the need for adoption reform. She will be missed by the adoption community. My sympathy to her family.


Charlene Emerson July 27, 2010 at 6:43 am

My deepest sympathy to Annette’s family and friends. I met Annette while I was involved with Triadoption Library (I was on the Board). As a birth mother, I was so relieved to finally be considered with respect, which Annette gave to all those involved with adoption. She was an eloquent advocate of the open adoption movement and for the rights of adoptees to gain knowledge of their birth origins. Annette was an angel and will be missed.


Mimi Janes July 28, 2010 at 5:07 am

I will be forever grateful I had the opportunity to know Annette. The Adoption Triangle was the first book I read when I began this journey back in the mid-80’s. It gave me the strength to search for my firstborn daughter who I found in 1988. Annette was also a strong supporter of CUB, Concerned United Birthparents, which I have been actively involved with since 1986, faciliting the Los Angeles Branch support group as well as serving on the National Board of CUB. It was Annette’s encourgement and support that gave a group of us the strength to keep CUB alive 10 years ago when it almost folded. For those of us in the adoption reform world, she was a pioneer, mentor and loving friend. It’s hard to think of her passing as a loss because she touched so many people and those of us who knew her gained so much from having her in our lives. Thank you Annette, for paving the way and always supporting us in our journey for truth! My life was so blessed to have you in it!

Mimi Janes
Past President, Concerned United Birthparents


Wilma Cogliantry October 6, 2010 at 11:49 am

Dearest Annette,

It was my honor to meet you almost forty years ago.
You were one of the very few people in 1970 who dared speak the truth about adoption. You saw the reality. You had a keen understanding that adoption is not about ghosts, or phantoms, or intangibles. You knew that adoption is not about shadows, or reflections, or death. You had the insight to know that just because something cannot be seen, it does not mean it does not exist.
If I, as a now sixty year old mother who lost two children to adoption forty years ago, spoke these words to anyone, anyone but you, you would be the one who would not turn away.
You would be one of the only who would see me.

If I Were to Wail

If I were to wail,
Black smoke
Would rise from every chimney.

If I were to wail,
The eardrums of the dead
Would shatter like crystal in the night.

If I were to wail,
Napalm would run like quicksilver
Through the veins of the unborn.

If I were to wail,
Levies would burst. Bridges would collapse. Mud would slide.
Volcanoes would erupt. Towers would fall.

If I were to wail,
The blind would cover their eyes. The deaf would cover their ears.
God would beg for mercy.

If I were to wail,
Angels would pray for death. Demons would shudder.
Banchees would flee from the sound.

If I were to truly wail.

Annette, I thank you for not turning away from my words.

Wilma Cogliantry


Valri Bromfield February 7, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Annette was one of the most influential people in my life. She was my counsel and therapist. She was honest and intelligent and those of us who had the privilege to know her will remember forever. Exceptional people live. Unfortunately life is too short. I will always be grateful and never forget.


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