Sandy Musser - Adoption Reform Activist & Author

Sandy Musser,  Adoption Reform Activist 
since 1976, was sent to Federal Prison in 1993
for her work of reuniting families.  
Below is the narrative of how long the government tracked her and the set-up method used to entrap her. 

The charges, the indictment, the trial,  
the aftermath, and how it all unfolded
 are revealed in her book ~
 An Indecent Indictment & America's Adoption Travesty

~~~   Also Author of   ~~~
Sandy's Search for the Child she Surrendered during the Mid 50's
An Adoption Reconciliation Story
Available on Kindle only
  • Began Adoption Reform work in 1976, soon after joining
     the Adoption Forum of Philadelphia, founded by Penny Partridge; 
  • First Branch Coordinator  of Concerned United Birthparents in 1977,  founded by Lee Campbell; 
  • Charter & Lifetime Member of the American Adoption Congress (AAC)  founded in 1979 (aka Year of the Child);  
  • Served on the Board of the Int'l Soundex Reunion Registry (ISRR), founded by Emma Mae Vilardi.
          In 1976, Sandy was invited to speak to The Children's Bureau in Wilmington, DE (pictured on right) to share her birthparent experience with adoptive parents and social workers. That became the catalyst for her ongoing reform work.  During the 1980's she founded the following national organizations: 
 Adoption Triangle Ministries 
 (Distributed spiritual flyers written by triad members )  
Adoption ALARM Network
(Advocating Legislation for Adoption Reform Movement)  
Adoption & Family Reunion Center  
(Reuniting families separated by adoption)

     In August 1989, at the First AAC March on Washington, she presented a rendition of MLK's Dream speech which was called THIS TIME MUST COME.  In that speech, Sandy posed the  question:

     "How many of us are going to have to stand trial, pay fines, and be prosecuted for demanding or exercising our God-given right to our original birth certificate or other records concerning our own lives?"  
     From the day that speech was given, the government began a three and a half year investigation.  A state investigator with the NY Dept. of Health created a bogus case and a taped phone call in order to set her up, and finally indicted her in March 1993 for her work of reuniting families.  There were 39 charges; the primary one being  "conspiracy to defraud the government of confidential information" even though she never had access to any adoption records.  

     Sandy has questioned how any individual can break a law that is an illegal law to begin with?  In other words, how can a free democratic government, who touts civil rights for all their citizens, seal an entire class of individuals'  personal identities by altering and falsifying their birth certificates and then seal those original birth certificates "forever?"  This has been America's practice since 1917 when the first state sealed their records and the others followed suit.  This is blatant discrimination against one class / group of people known as ADOPTEES and a is an obvious breach of their civil and constitutional rights!!

     Sandy became the scapegoat in the government's saga, albeit a willing one. Those closest to her said she often mentioned her willingness to go to jail for adoption reform because she believed it would take civil disobedience, in one form or another,  for real sweeping reform to occur. 

      During her trial in July 1993, she was true to her commitment.  Prior to closing arguments, the prosecution offered her a generous plea deal which she refused to take. Standing firm in her commitment that every adoptee has a right to their true identity, and for refusing to accept their deal, she was sent to Federal Prison in Marianna, FL on November 5, 1993.  She said that the most difficult part of being in prison was spending the holidays away from her family. She missed her oldest son's 35th birthday, her own 55th birthday, and her mother's 81st birthday as well as Thanksgiving and Christmas.  

     But this indictment was never really about Sandy Musser.  It was about the government's effort to slow down or shut down the adoption reform movement and the number of families that were being reunited. In a newspaper article, the prosecutor stated:  
"We hope this will be an example to others who are doing the same thing."    
Henry David Thoreau in "Civil Disobedience" (1849) said: "Individuals should refuse to obey any government rule they believe to be unjust." In 1845 he refused to pay poll taxes and 
was sent to jail.  

 Please visit us at: 
or check out our "work in progress" website at
We have lots of documents in our FB Files Folder 
which you are free to download and print. 
You will find our 
 calling for an Executive Order / Federal Mandate 
which will provide an OBC  to every Adult Adoptee 
based upon the 14th Amendment. 

Your financial support is needed in order to continue this 
work. We are mailing a 12x18 copy of the ARA 
to every legislator in the country!  
For a donation of $10.00 you can receive a copy.

If you have a talent to share with ALARM or TRIA 
or need suggestions or ideas as to how you can become
Debbie Dorr-Ismail at

Sandy lives in Cape Coral, FL. 
 She is now raising her 10 year old great-grandson,  has
 Co-Coordinates  Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, 
an addiction recovery program for women in SW Florida.

This website was created  by Sandy's daughter, Sherri Zimmerman.  

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