Hi! I am Jeff, and I am an adoptee. I’ve been working on a project photographing adoptees and sharing their stories. It’s called the ‘Innocent People’ project, as we are all the innocent byproduct of adoption.

The photos are an ongoing series aiming to change the narrative: get our stories out there, help adoptees ‘out of the fog’ and to better understand our ‘Chapter One’ and it’s impacts on our lives going forward.

There is healing in sharing.

And although our stories are unique and varied, they all share common threads.
It’s a journey to the center of self.

April Dinwoodie 1920 1280 wordadmin

April Dinwoodie

April Dinwoodie In October of 1971, April’s mother of origin, Helen June, a 33 yr old single mother of three, gave birth to and named her June Elizabeth.  June was her maternal grandmother’s first name – everyone called her “June Bug”. Soon after she was born, she was placed in temporary foster care while Helen…

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Brian Stanton 2250 1500 wordadmin

Brian Stanton

Brian Stanton   Actor Brian Stanton was born, adopted & raised in Kansas City. At age 23, he reunited with his birth mother. Upon reuniting, she shared the dark possibility that Brian was most likely born from a non-consensual situation with 3 boys in high school. After 10 years of living with monster fantasies of…

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Chris Thomason 1920 1280 wordadmin

Chris Thomason

Chris Thomason Chris was adopted around age of 4 – 4 ½ years old, number “3” of 4 kids in the adopted family. 10 months after he was adopted the adopted father suddenly died at age 30. He was removed by the county and eventually ended up with the adopted father’s younger brother (Chris’s uncle)…

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Dan Matthews 1920 1280 wordadmin

Dan Matthews

Dan Matthews Dan Matthews is a Korean-Adoptee from Southern California, currently based in Los Angeles.  Dan has been lucky enough to work as a musician most of his life, performing as an indie rap artist. Most of his songs are about identity, love, and life – inspired by much of his adoption experience. Dan is…

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Jeanette Yoffe 1920 1280 wordadmin

Jeanette Yoffe

Jeanette Yoffe Jeanette Yoffe is a foster-adoptee from New York. She was raised in the New York State Foster care system from ages 15 months old until 7 years old. It was deemed unsafe for her to remain with her first mother, Celia, due to mental illness and she went to live in a foster…

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Krista Cain 1920 1280 wordadmin

Krista Cain

Krista Cain Krista was born January 26, 1974 and adopted out of Children’s Home Society in Oakland, CA. by Robert and Patricia Meinbress. They had one biological son, Eric, but because of Patricia’s type one diabetes, she was advised not to birth another child. Krista had a beautiful childhood on a small farm in Lafayette,…

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Louise Browne 2250 1500 wordadmin

Louise Browne

Louise Browne Louise Browne is adopted. A Baby Scoop Era baby, she was born Tiffany Lyn in 1968. She spent a few days with her biological mother (age 19), before being relinquished. Louise was adopted into a loving home outside Denver, Colorado and has one older brother who was not adopted. (Louise and her brother…

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Magda Rivera 2250 1500 wordadmin

Magda Rivera

Magda Rivera Born in Manhattan, Magda Rivera was sent to Puerto Rico to be adopted by a Puerto Rican couple. It was considered an international adoption. Her birth mother had requested she be sent to Puerto Rico where she thought her biracial baby would “blend in.” At 27 prompted by heart condition and living in…

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Mindy Stern 2250 1500 wordadmin

Mindy Stern

Mindy Stern Mindy Stern was born in 1968 in New York City and adopted through the infamous Louise Wise Agency (Three Identical Strangers). The agency told her adoptive parents that Mindy’s first mother kept her for 3 months before realizing she couldn’t handle single motherhood. In 1992, Mindy began to search for her first parents,…

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Nicole Rademacher 2250 1500 wordadmin

Nicole Rademacher

Nicole Rademacher   Nicole “Nic” Rademacher is a transcultural (Caucasian American/Mexican) adoptee, artist, and art therapist. She was adopted into the Rademacher family at 2 months and 13 days. When she was 25, she started the search for her biological family. Just 2 months later (and after she turned 26), she found out that her…

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Rob Bilensky 2250 1500 wordadmin

Rob Bilensky

Rob Bilensky Robert Jeffrey Bilensky was born August 21, 1968 in Yonkers, New York. Born into a family consisting  of his two parents, Gerald and Nancy Bilensky as well as an older adopted brother. While still a baby, his family relocated from New York to Moraga, California. Against a seemingly idyllic backdrop of a rural…

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Roslin Real 1500 2250 wordadmin

Roslin Real

Roslin Real Roslin Tamsine Real is an actor & trans-racial adoptee living in Redondo Beach, CA. The name on her original birth certificate is Lela Elizabeth Balli, after which her adoptive parents named her Caitlin Elizabeth Staebell. Upon learning more about her multiple birth names later in life, she decided to choose a name that…

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Santana Dempsey 2250 1500 wordadmin

Santana Dempsey

Santana Dempsey Santana Dempsey was taken away from her biological mother Sandy at the age of three alongside her younger sister Gala for child neglect and placed into the foster care system. Their biological father Juan Manuel abandoned them months prior and has never been heard from again. Santana spent over three years in a…

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Sarah Reinhardt 2250 1500 wordadmin

Sarah Reinhardt

Sarah Reinhardt   Sarah was born in 1965 in St. Louis after her first mother’s water broke on the ascent out of JFK, spending the two-hour flight in labor. Sarah would later find out that her first mother, Tilda, was also adopted. Tilda’s adoptive mother was on the plane and when Tilda gave birth, refused…

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Shepherd Frankel 1920 1280 wordadmin

Shepherd Frankel

Shepherd Frankel Shepherd Frankel is adopted.  Raised with other adopted siblings he looked nothing like, he insisted his parents look for his biological parents. As that didn’t happen for young Shepherd, his thirst to find his roots continued to grow and when he was 22 he told his parents he wanted to find his biological…

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