On November 6 Publisher’s Weekly announced it’s best picks of the year. For Top 20 Non-Fiction–you guessed it–The Baby Thief: The Untold Story of Georgia Tann, the Baby Seller Who Corrupted Adoption by Barbara Raymond. “A rigorous page-turner.” And is Barbara ever in grand company: Pulitzer Prize winner Rick Atkinson (The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944), Jonathan Gould (Can’t Buy Me Love: The Beatles, Britain, and America), Naomi Klein (The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism), Milan Kundera (The Curtain: An Essay in Seven Parts); and Studs Terkel (Touch and Go: A Memoir). Allow me to exclaim a great big WOW! Bastardette can only imagine how Barbara is taking this! If you have not yet read The Baby Thief, DO IT NOW! Buy an extra copy for your local public or university library. Donate a copy to a nearby law school. Give them to your family and friends this holiday. The Baby Thief makes sealed adoption records radio active! Use what’s in the book to take back your records! This is our story! (Photo by Bastardette. Fred Greenman and Barbara Raymond, AAC, March 2007)
Barbara Raymond author of The Baby Thief, appeared on the Diane Rehm Show today (June 7) for an hour-long interview that must have given the adoptacrats indigestion. If you missed it, you can download it at www.wamu.org/programs/dr Once more, I can’t speak highly enough of the book. Adoption secrecy is the legacy of The Baby Thief: Georgia Tann. Ask your local politician who supports sealed birth certificates why she or he endorses the crimes of Georgia Tann. Adoptees are not dirty little secrets. Adoption is not the witness protection program. Boot the identity thieves out of office.
The Associated Press recently ran a remarkable story on the Nazi Lebensborn program. Those of us involved in US adoption reform were quick to see similarities between the “modern” US adoption practices of fake birth certificates, identity erasure, eugenic child distribution and secret adoption and Lebensborn. Author Barbara Raymond articulates those similarities in the essay below, published here with her permission. Like many involved in adoption, I read with interest and sadness the recent AP story about the World War Two-era Lebensborn program, which involved the kidnapping of “racially pure” non-German children and their placement with German adoptive parents. Social engineering at its worst, it was meant to strengthen what Hitler considered the master race, and its victims have had long-lasting repercussions. The victims of America’s own Lebensborn program may suffer even longer than their European counterparts. Our Lebensborn program was run by Georgia Tann, who operated out of Memphis, Tennessee from 1924 to 1950, kidnapping children from poor Southern families and giving them to wealthy adoptive parents. She considered her goal — to make poor children middle class citizens — noble enough to justify the deaths of more than 50 children in her care. Protected by political boss Edward Continue Reading →
The Baby Thief : the Untold Story of Georgia Tann, the Baby Seller who Corrupted Adoption by Barbara Bisanz Raymond will hit the stands on May 5. And oh what a book it is! I’ve known about this book and its various incarnations for a long time. In 2001 Barbara sent me an early draft. Unfortunately, this was around the time of my prolonged stay in Eugene and I didn’t follow up on it like I should have. I am happy to say, though, that Barbara did, and the result is a fascinating but sickening account of how adoption got to where it is today. For those of you who aren’t familiar to Georgia Tann, she was a baby thief who worked her evil with the full knowledge of courts, social workers, and politicians. Between 1924 and 1950 she arranged 5000 “adoptions”–many of them of children she’d kidnapped or obtained by other illegal or unethical means. Tann stole from the poor to sell to the rich. Sometimes she just gave babies away to the child-hungry denizens of Tennessee’s power structure, all too happy to turn their backs on justice in order to fill their nurseries with undocumented children to call Continue Reading →