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Another Book on Infamous Memphis Adoption Queen Georgia Tann

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Georgia Tann, who is credited as the “inventor” of adoption and who was the founder of the now-defunct Tennessee Children’s Home Society, is the subject of a new book, The Baby Thief, written by Barbara Bisantz Raymond.

Tann was a native of Mississippi, but it was in Memphis that she founded her children’s home and ran a famously corrupt adoption racket responsible for the kidnapping and death of many children. Her methods of collecting kids included stealing them from single mothers, recent divorcees, and families in temporary financial difficulty, claiming that the child had died or that it had never been there in the first place. Prophetically, a lot of the kids did end up dying, due to the squalid conditions in the children’s home.

Tann would routinely adopt out her charges after minimal background checks. Joan “no wire hangers” Crawford was among her more famous clientele.

Her children’s home was shut down in the 1950’s, after Tann’s death. Read more about Raymond's new book here.

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