The featured image for May on Researching Reform is by Paul Brian Tovey, an adult adoptee who was abused by his adoptive parents as a child.

Paul now campaigns for adoptees to have the legal right to revert back to their birth identities.

Paul’s paintings reflect his experiences as an adoptee including the loss of identity he suffered as a result of being forcibly adopted.

The painting is titled, “Meeting Scriffyjannibiter.” Speaking to Researching Reform, Paul said:

“I found a first (birth) cousin who had punk rock hair and we talked a lot on the phone. Really it made me weep afterwards. So I realised I had to do a picture to make the fondness come alive and be cheeky too. The picture was for her (my cousin) to smile at for her having wonderful mad hair.

Her name is Jane Ann and she has a wonderful sister named Lynn. They are my birth father’s twin sister’s daughters, so that’s a wonderful plus for me to find. It hurts to find people who were alive for years when I was so isolated. So it’s a blessing by the Tragic Spirits of Fate, paid for in tears and wisdoms. Silvered grief.

She only had punk rock spiky hair back in the 1980’s now she has gone really sensible like me. Time does not matter to me though. I live in all of it for the sake of collecting up my identity, here and there. In my bucket.”

Paul is our “artist in residence,” and we are very grateful to him for allowing us to share his unique and brilliant work.