This was a fascinating book. I couldn’t help but make comparisons to the current social philosophy regarding expectant mothers, poor single mothers and their children.
From the author’s website comes this synopsis:
For almost three decades, Georgia Tann was nationally lauded for her
work at her children’s home in Memphis, Tennessee. In reality she was
selling many of the boys and girls – often stolen from their parents –
to wealthy clients across America. While building her black market
business Georgia also invented modern adoption, popularizing it,
commercializing it, and corrupting it with secrecy by originating the
policy of falsifying adoptees’ birth certificates – a practice that
continues to this day.
Not only did Georgia Tann exploit women and children, she also capitalized on the zeitgeist of the times in post-WWII America and essentially "created" the adoption "market" as it is today. Anyone interested in adoption history should read this book. As I read this book I was continuously surprised by how much of the current practices in the adoption industry today is direct descendant of Tann’s unethical adoption work, and how both the courts and society still pretend that closed records are for the "protection of the birth mother" when it’s evident that no one ever really cared a damn about birth mothers.
Author Barbara Bisantz Raymond is an adoptive parent who investigated Georgia Tann. This is the story of America as well as the individual person; without a society that turns its back on the most vulnerable, a single woman – no matter how evil – could not have accomplished such horrific acts alone. This book implicates us all.