Another Book on Infamous Memphis Adoption Queen Georgia Tann 

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.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Top Viewed Stories

ADVERTISEMENT

Flyer Flashback

Looking Back at the Flyer’s $50,000 Giveaway

To celebrate the Flyer’s 25th year, we’ll be using this space each week to look back on stories from past issues.

Read Story

Site Search

From the Archives

  • Before Memphis Got the Blues

    Based in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, Arcadia is a specialty publishing company that cranks out a seemingly unlimited series of books that focus on regional history. Its “Images of America” collection has previously spotlighted historic Memphis, The Peabody, Overton Park, vintage postcards, and even the community of Collierville. ...
    • Apr 9, 2007
  • Comics on the House

    Wednesdays are new-comic-book day, but this Saturday, May 5th, is Free Comic Book Day....
    • May 4, 2007
  • More »

Most Commented On

© 1996-2014

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Memphis Business Quarterly
Powered by Foundation