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Who do we have to thank for the modern practice of adoption…

Who do we have to thank for the modern practice of adoption as it exists today? This monster right here: Georgia Tann, baby trafficker.

Georgia was the child of a prominent attorney and had aspirations herself of being a lawyer. Of course, back in the early 1900's such a career was not open to women, so she chose the next best thing for a woman of her station: social work.

In 1922, Georgia got a job working at the Mississippi Children's Home Society. By 1924, she was terminated from her job due to "dubious child placing practices". The records from that time are pretty lacking in details.

Not one to be held back from her goals, Georgia moved on to the Tennessee Children's Home Society as an Executive Secretary. Using some pretty aggressive tactics, she managed to take over the organization, placing herself as the head so she could begin selling babies in earnest.

Up until that point, Tennessee law permitted placement of children in appropriate homes, but in an effort to prevent trafficking, the price was capped at $7 per child. With Georgia running things, that changed. Georgia began selling children in private adoptions out of state, mostly in California and New York. By doing this, she was able to charge a premium for the children she was peddling. Each couple paid $700 per child. In addition, Georgia would charge for extra fees - background checks she never performed, travel to deliver the children, and the processing of the paperwork. These practices are still in place in modern adoption.

Georgia made a LOT of money. The estimates are that she trafficked at least 5000 children between 1924 and 1950 when her reign of terror finally ended.

Georgia used some pretty heavy handed tactics to acquire these children. Through pressure tactics, threats of legal action, and other ways, she would dupe or coerce birth parents, mostly poor single mothers, to turn the children over to her custody, often under false pretenses. Alma Simple, one of Tann's victims, described her as "a stern-looking woman with close-cropped grey hair, round wireless glasses and an air of utter authority." Tann also arranged for the taking of children born to inmates at Tennessee mental institutions and those born to wards of the state through her connections. To meet demand, she resorted to kidnappings.

In some cases, single parents would drop their children off at nursery schools, only to be told that welfare agents had taken the children. In others, children would be temporarily placed in an orphanage because a family was experiencing illness or unemployment, only to find out later that the orphanage had adopted them out or had no record of the children ever being placed. Tann was also documented as taking children born to unwed mothers at birth, claiming that the newborns required medical care. When the mothers asked about the children, Tann or her accomplices would explain that the babies had died, when they had actually been adopted. When that wasn't enough, she resorted to snatching children off the street.

Life in the Children's Home was no picnic. Georgia hired unqualified people. Children were sedated if they proved "too difficult" - in other words, they cried too much from being removed from their mothers. Children were horribly mistreated. Physical abuse, medical abuse, sexual abuse...all perpetrated by Georgia and her staff. To this day we do not know how many children died in that home under her care.

She was enabled by the legal system by using her clout. The judge was in on it, the mayor and local law enforcement. All were profiting under her enterprise and happy to keep the business going. This went on unchecked until 1950 when the governor finally decided to launch an investigation after hearing numerous complaints about the trafficking operation going on. Georgia escaped punishment by dying of cancer before she could be held accountable, but the damage was done.

The practices she invented continue to this day. Adoption agencies have very little oversight and are free to charge any amount of "processing fees". It is a $15 BILLION dollar industry. The only difference between what Georgia Tann did and your local friendly adoption agency today is that modern agencies have gotten more efficient at the practice. No matter how you slice it, adoption is human trafficking. A human being is being sold for profit.


— @mujerstillregal, thought you might need a history lesson on adoption and why it exists in the form it does today. Which is human baby trafficking

— To bad she's not a live. Old as hell or not. I would like to see her face in person

This hit really close to home.. It took my grandmother kids a long time to find my great uncle. Because of a bitch like her.

— I have a friend who was adopted. Her birth certificate was written in pencil 👀

— @monstermommax3, there’s a documentary on the Hicks babies. It’s called Taken at Birth.

— @monstermommax3, I was bought for 10K

— @squishymommy1, sounds like something her parents could’ve and would’ve done. Her mom was infertile. They had tried for years. Both college professors. The way the stories sound they just had an infant one day.

— It’s crazy how much of this shit that goes on! You’ve posted before and it lead me to Hick’s and Cole’s babies 🥺 I don’t even know how people can be so disgusting!

— That's terrible. Thanks for sharing, I never heard of her.

— That is absolutely horrific!