By Trace Hentz (adopted by strangers in 1958)
I have a few words about this: I was not chosen. I was delivered. Seriously. I was available and handed over. Chosen? No. And I am no angel or angelic, not even close. I am sitting here shaking my head, thinking that ADOPTION PROPAGANDA WON! They won for years and are still winning.
What do I mean? The movies. The incredible amount of movies that depict adoption as heaven-sent, a miracle, a privilege. I think about the movies Arthur, Juno, Annie. Think of who adopted? Jane Fonda, Angelina Jolie, Sandra Bullock, Bob Hope, and that’s right off the top of my head? It’s hundreds of celebrities! I think about tons of old movies that got buried deep in our subconscious. That my friends is propaganda. And some Hollywood Stars (true serial adopters) were adopting from the notorious baby-seller serial-killer Georgia Tann.
Read this if you don’t believe me.
A single woman gives birth in a Memphis hospital to a healthy, blonde-haired, blue-eyed baby girl. The mother hears the baby’s cries but is so drugged she cannot respond; later, she requests to hold her child. “It was born stillborn,” says the nurse. “It’s been disposed of.” In reality a woman named Georgia Tann has taken the child, paid the nurse, and now the baby is in the care of Tann’s children’s home because a wealthy couple has requested a blonde haired, blue-eyed female. Scenes like this played out for almost 30 years in Memphis, Tennessee.
Georgia Tann was probably one of the most prolific child abusers, murderer, and baby thief in United States history. The repercussions of her work have had a ripple effect for decades. Tann was able to buy, sell, steal, and murder children without punishment, making millions of dollars in her lifetime. She did not work alone; she bribed and paid off judges, law enforcement, media, attorneys, medical personnel, and the Memphis Mayor known for his political shadiness and illegal activity: E.H. “Boss” Crump. These people assisted in arranging illegal custodies, skirting adoption laws or creating loopholes from which to operate, changing birth and death certificates, and falsifying background information. Tann employed “spotters” to scout for children to steal and parents to scam.
Tann and her crew stole newborns from hospitals, kidnapped and abducted children from their homes or on the street, and tricked single and widowed mothers into signing over their parental rights. From the 1920’s into the 1950’s it is impossible to know how many children went through Tann’s Tennessee Children’s Home Society. Many children died as a result of neglect and abuse; in 1945 it is estimated 40-50 children died in less than four months while housed in the illegally operated home. Children were starved, beaten, molested, mentally abused, and received no medical attention. Pedophiles were employed at the home, including Tann. She sold the children without conducting background checks on the adopters. She falsified records and extorted adoptive homes. She used the children as pawns; for example, she adopted out children to politicians, and then threatened to take the child back if the political families did not support legislation in her favor. Children were sold or given away like prizes in Memphis newspapers. “(We have) the merchandise in hand and in stock to deliver to you” a 1944 letter read to a prospective client. “We can never tell when we can fill an order,” another letter explained (source). There seemed to be no limit to what the Tennessee Children’s Home Society could do.
Georgia Tann dealt with only white children.
Blonde hair and blue eyes brought the highest price. She lied about the child’s intellect and health to fit the adoptive parent’s desires. People ordered children as if they were ordering furniture, and Tann gladly supplied the demands, charging astronomical figures. She sold children to known molesters, abusers, for labor (one child toiled in a field at 18 hour days, eventually running away). She sold a baby to replace a dead baby. If the adoptive family angered her or would not bend to her extortive demands, she would remove the child. Her client list included Joan Crawford, June Allyson, Pearl Buck, Lana Turner, politicians, sports figures, mobsters, and those in societies “upper crust.” Her victims were poor, desperate, or worst. A few reporters bravely penned the truth about Tann; they were taken to state lines, beaten near death, and run out of town.
In public, Georgia Tann spoke out loudly against child abuse, baby selling, corruption, and advocated child welfare reform. (Sure she did!) — In private she sexually, physically, and mentally abused her charges, some of which were buried in the yard due to neglect.
Tann was never punished for her deeds. Some of the practices she utilized are still part of the adoption process today. Many adults, sold as children, continue to seek out their siblings, family members, and birth parents and reveal horrific memories of abuse. It seems the evil done by Georgia Tann will never be undone.
And we always have new books and movies to contend with – like adoptees as the Chosen One. Not one word about child trafficking, or how people who will do anything to buy a baby, or how someone has to lose their baby so someone else can adopt… (sigh) The fact that across American laws exist that prevent adoptees from receiving their adoption file or their original birth certificate is also a sign that ADOPTION PROPAGANDA won – at least in all but 14 states so far. There are too many secrets – it’s those who adopt who don’t want the truth to be told or known…
Laurice Elehwany Molinari’s Vero Rising hits February 4th, the book that debuts “The Ether” series. It’s an action-packed fantasy wrapped in the magical adventures of twelve-year-old Vero Leland (adoptee) reminiscent of the award winning “Harry Potter” books, a series readers of all ages will identify with and want more of.
Veteran Hollywood film and TV writer Laurice Elehwany Molinari bursts into the children’s book world with an outstanding debut novel, The Ether: Vero Rising—a fantastical middle grade story on good vs. evil.
As a baby, Vero had been left abandoned at a hospital. Under very unusual circumstances he was adopted by a loving family, Nora and Dennis Leland and their daughter Clover. Although his mother, Nora, does her best to provide the most normal family experiences possible, it is clear that Vero is anything but. Throughout his childhood, Vero has had the most incredible sense that he can fly. When the urge becomes so strong that he steps off the roof of his house, his life changes forever as his destiny to become a guardian angel begins to manifest. After some dangerous and otherworldly experiences, he finds himself in a surreal place known as the Ether, the spiritual realm that surrounds Earth, where he must go through training and practice skills like flying and listening to his inner voice. While these activities sound angelic and blissful, competition between budding guardian angels (fledglings), battles against mythical creatures, as well as demons known as maltures, keep Vero and readers on the edge of their seat challenging the spiritual and moral mind.
Molinari does a wonderful job building tension, drama, and suspense as Vero is transported back-and-forth between the Ether and Earth. With her carefully plotted storytelling, readers come to realize that there is a connection between what Vero needs to accomplish in the Ether and in his life on Earth if he is to become fully actualized as a guardian angel—and possibly not just any guardian angel, but a Chosen One meant to fulfill an even bigger prophecy.
This is a book for children that live for action and excitement. Molinari has created a well-developed protagonist to connect with, and kids ready to take on Vero’s spiritual journey will not be disappointed—they’ll be more than ready for the next book in what’s shaping up to be an exciting series. -Children’s Book Review
*****************The Best Adoption Movies
*Note: my software detected a virus in the Georgia Tann link so it’s been removed.