The Baby Thief: The Untold Story of Georgia Tann, the Baby Seller Who Corrupted Adoption is an amazing book. It is a must read for all adoption reformers and anti-adoption groups. This book was written by an adoptive mother. As she is telling Georgia's story, she intertwines her own story with her daughter. I am overwhelmed by her ability to own up to her own culpability in adoption. I am thrilled by her acknowledgement of her daughter's natural family. It added a truly touching reality to adoption.
As I read this book, I had already started Wake Up Little Suzie by Rickie Solinger. That is a hard read and I have not quite gotten one third of the way through it. It is hard to read that in my own natural mother's era, women weren't mothers until they were married. Its hard to read that my own mother was considered "feeble minded" and therefore could not take care of me. It is difficult to understand why only white women were considered reformed after they gave up their children. Its beyond my imagination to know that unwed black mothers were considered the sole cause of the black people's poverty in America. So I went into reading Barbara's book understanding some of this. I will review that book later.
You get a few interesting tidbits about Georgia herself. She was gay and even adopted her partner, Ann. Both women were also adoptive parents. What is horrifying is that Georgia and her staff, sexually, physically and emotionally molested and abused children in their care. She intimidated everyone in her quest for power. She had received her law degree but her father would not let her practice law. It was through her father, a county judge in Mississippi, that she began the practice of putting children inadoptive homes. It was because of her that adoption became acceptable. It was when she got to Memphis, Tennessee that she began to corrupt adoption. This woman stole countless children to give to the rich and famous in California and New York. This woman also ignored these children's basic human needs by starving them. Countless children also died in her care.
One particular thing that I found totally flooring. Many doctors, social workers, and such protested her practices. They took it to the higher levels of the government. Sadly because one of her buddies held some serious political clout, she was beyond reproach and discipline for many years. One of the things that boggles my mind is that she created the sealed record system in adoption and the amended birth certificate. Other agencies did complain about her tactics of using "adoption recruiters or spotters" and of her child and maternal abuse. It got them nowhere but they realized that her tactics did work. They incorporated many of them into their policies. Those policies are still in place now. Many states had black markets for babies. Indiana, Texas and Florida are just a few that I know of.
Sadly this is still going on today. All you have to do is type in adoptee or adoption into your google search engine to find what I find. It is time to take adoption back. Its time to make the laws about the rights of those living adoption. They should be equal in all respects. Its time to legislate adoption agencies and attorneys out of their power over us.