The Baby Thief: The Untold Story of Georgia Tann, the Baby Seller Who Corrupted Adoption

The Baby Thief: The Untold Story of Georgia Tann, the Baby Seller Who Corrupted Adoption

by Barbara Bisantz Raymond

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The shocking story of Geogia Tann, a notorious dealer in black-market babies between 1920 and 1950 whose actions ultimately popularized--and corrupted--adoption as we know it today.

For almost three decades, renowned baby-seller Georgia Tann ran a children's home in Memphis, Tennessee--selling her charges to wealthy clients nationwide, Joan Crawford among them. Part social history, part detective story, part expose, The Baby Thief is a riveting investigative narrative that explores themes that continue to reverberate today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786733743
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 04/29/2009
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 25,622
File size: 617 KB

About the Author

Barbara Raymond has written extensively for Good Housekeeping, Ladies' Home Journal, Redbook, McCall's, Parents, Reader's Digest, Working Mother, Writer's Digest, and USA Today. She contributed to The Handbook of Magazine Article Writing (Writer's Digest Books), and was an author of a Good Housekeeping Child Care section that won the National Magazine Award for Public Service. She has been nominated for a National Magazine Award in Reporting and received two awards for feature writing from Women in Communications.

Table of Contents

Prologue     vii
Georgia's World
Georgia's Home     1
Georgia's Disappearance     5
Billy     15
The Plague     21
Mollie     31
Georgia's Youth     37
Georgia's Memphis     59
The Little Wanderers     65
Georgia's Crimes
Georgia's Methods     89
Georgia's Adults     127
Georgia's Children     145
Georgia's Secrets
Georgia's Lies     201
The Fallout     219
The Beginning of the End     227
Epilogue     243
Notes     253
Sources     289
Acknowledgments     297
Index     301

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Baby Thief: The Untold Story of Georgia Tann, the Baby Seller Who Corrupted Adoption 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As an adoption social worker, I found this book both disturbing and educational. It suprises me that the illegal activity of one woman could have such a profound effect on how adoption is facilitated today. This book proves that open adoption is what is best for all people affected by adoption. This is must read for all families that are built by adoption and those of us who are commited to ensuring that adoption is never corrupted again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very informative and eye-opening.
meggyweg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was an excellent, well-written and -researched social history, thoughtfully interlaced with the author¿s own adoption experience. I had no idea Georgia Tann was so important a figure, and so evil (almost deliciously so). This is a must-read for anyone interested in adoption, from any perspective.
xuesheng on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fascinating book about a woman named Georgia Tann and her impact on the adoption industry. Georgia was born in Mississippi and grew up wanting to be a lawyer, but her father, a judge, wouldn¿t have it. So, she turned to one of the careers available to women at the time¿social work. After starting to work in Mississippi and then mysteriously leaving, she ended up in Memphis in 1924 in an environment ripe for exploitation. There she coerced impoverished mothers to relinquish or stole some of their children. Her practices were repulsive, yet she was allowed to continue her work until her death in 1950 by a system that looked the other way. Those that did try to fight her were stymied by her power and supporters.As an individual who, during my youth, spent considerable time in Memphis, I found this book informative and intriguing. Barbara Bisantz Raymond uses the history of Memphis to show how Georgia Tann was able to establish and continue her appalling methods of adoption. I was not aware of the Yellow Fever epidemics of 1878 and 1897 and their impact on the city¿a loss of many of its prominent citizens, the arrival of more rural poor, and a trust of people caring for orphaned children. As Ms. Raymond lays out the story of Georgia and her crimes, she also tells the stories of some of her victims, the adopted children and their birth parents. Theirs are tragic, yet in some cases, hopeful stories of survival.I have but one complaint with the book. I found myself wanting conclusions tied more to facts. For instance, she claims that Georgia made adoption of orphaned children acceptable, but I wasn¿t sure if that was Georgia¿s doing or changes in the times when others involved in adoption might be doing the same. However, it¿s a minor complaint, so I still recommend this book for anyone interested in adoption and its history in the United States.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago