Recommended Books about the Adoption Industry
Origins-USA, Inc. recommends the following books that provide the current and historical social context of adoption.
The books may be available in your local library. In addition you can purchase them at Amazon.com and earn money for Origins-USA!
If you know of other books that might be appropriate to recommend, please send a brief description to firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Riben, Mirah. The Stork Market: America's Multi-Billion Dollar Unregulated Adoption Industry (2006). An in-depth examination of the corruption in the adoption industry; the fine line between black and gray market adoption, scams, coercion, exploitation, international adoption and foster care. A myriad of adoption experts are interviewed and quoted who agree that adoption has changed from being child-centered and altruistic social arrangement to one of finding solutions for the medical problem of infertility, putting the needs of adults, and those who profit from their desperation, before the needs of children who need homes. Receive a FREE autographed copy with a donation of $100 or more to Origins USA. See also Advocate Publications website.
Raymond, Barbara Bisantz. The Baby Thief: The Untold Story of Georgia Tann, the Baby Seller Who Corrupted Adoption (2008). The shocking story of Georgia Tann, nationally lauded for arranging adoptions out of her children’s home in Memphis, Tennessee, was actually a baby seller who terrorized poor, often unwed mothers by stealing their children and selling them to wealthy clients like actors Joan Crawford and Dick Powell. During her 26 years of operation from 1924 to 1950, Tann virtually invented modern American adoption, popularizing it, commercializing it, and corrupting it with secrecy.
Babb, L. Anne. Ethics in American Adoption (1999). This book describes ethical problems in current adoption practice, suggested changes, and challenges to to changing the system.
Aigner, Hal. Adoption in America Coming of Age (1992). This book begins by stating, "The reigning myth of American adoption has been that of the voluntary relinquishment of children by their birth parents for placement in new homes." The material presented relies heavily on information found in court cases, statutes, and law review essays, which contain much of the record of the proceedings of adoptions in the U.S.
Freundlich, Madelyn. Adoption and Ethics Volume 2: The Market Forces in Adoption (2000). This book, developed by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute for the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA), discusses: market forces surrounding domestic infant adoption in the United States, market forces in international adoption, market forces in foster care and the public adoption system, and the role of marketing in adoption.
Szumski, Bonnie (Publisher). Adoption: Opposing Viewpoints (2006). This book, a volume in Greenhaven Press's Opposing Viewpoints Series, contains a collection of essays presenting opposing viewpoints on adoption issues. Examples of topics include natural family preservation, protection of the rights of mothers and fathers who are considering surrendering their children to adoption, international adoption, and unsealing adoption records.
Baker, Nancy C. Babyselling: The Scandal of Black-Market Adoption (1978). In this book, freelance journalist Nancy C. Baker exposes the babyselling market in the United States. The book includes a forward by Senator Harrison A. Williams, Jr., who authored legislation to outlaw babyselling and expand opportunities for legitimate adoption.
McTaggart, Lynne. The Baby Brokers: The Marketing of White Babies in America (1980). For this book, award-winning investigative journalist Lynne McTaggart posed as both an unmarried pregnant student and a prospective adoptive parent to find out how the baby market really works. She also interviewed numerous parents who lost children to adoption, people who adopted, law-enforcement officials, and baby brokers. From these interviews, plus transcripts and documents, she provides a revealing account of the baby broker business in the U.S.
Landau, Elaine. Black Market Adoption and the Sale of Children (1990). This book discusses a range of topics including black market adoptions in the U.S., "surrogate" mothers, and adoptions from overseas. "With numerous stoires and examples of people caught in this world of illegalities, the author succeeds in painting a harsh picture of this current social issue."
DelBalzo, Jessica. Unlearning Adoption: A Guide to Family Preservation and Protection (2007). Introduces readers to the history of adoption in the United States, the many problems inherent in past and present adoptions, and happier alternatives for children that both preserve families and protect children. Also included are tips for social workers, doctors, and other professionals who counsel expectant mothers and at-risk families.
*Riben, Mirah. Shedding Light on the Dark Side of Adoption (1988). In a well-researched book, Riben presents facts about adoption in a clear yet passionate journalistic style that illuminates the complex and controversial issues of the abuses it explores. Adoption has a dark side--that for too long has been hidden behind sentimentality, lies, mindless stereotypes, and the travesty of sealed adoption records. See also Advocate Publications website.
Spar, Debora L. The Baby Business: How Money Science, and Politics Drive the Commerce of Conception (2006). This book, published by Harvard Business School, provides "a bold examination of the thriving market for babies." Although readers may not agree with all of the author's comments, the book provides some interesting information on the adoption market, in addition to other topics such as the fertility market and surrogacy. Topics related to adoption include: market forces in adoption, promotion of adoption, regulation of adoption, overseas adoptions, black market adoptions, and adoption brokers.
Raymond, Jane G. Women as Wombs: Reproductive Technologies and the Battle over Women's Freedom (1995). In this book, Janice Raymond, PhD, professor of women's studies and medical ethics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, writes about a wide range of reproductive rights issues, including adoption. Topics include advertising promoting adoption surrender to expectant mothers, adoption from "baby farms," criticisms of international adoption, international trafficking of children, and "surrogacy".
Armstrong, Louise. Of 'Sluts' and 'Bastards': A Feminist Decodes the Child Welfare Debate (1995). The author reveals the critical link between the issue of welfare and that of child welfare: between the will to punish women and intervention to remove their children. Armstrong guides the reader through the nightmarish foster care system. With razor sharp wit, she exposes the prejudices -- and professional pride – that infest the social services bureaucracy and destroys so many children’s lives.
Solinger, Rickie. Wake Up Little Susie: Single Pregnancy and Race Before Roe v. Wade (2000). Historian Solinger lays out the society’s response to both black and white unwed pregnancy between 1945 and 1973. Black women were deemed morally deficient who needed to be punished. White women were thought to be corrigible IF they gave their babies to deserving couples. These women were hidden away in maternity homes which sought to rehabilitate them and prepare them for their accepted future role as wife and mother. Shockingly, government and child welfare “experts” led this assault on motherhood.
Kunzel, Regina G. Fallen Women, Problem Girls: Unmarried Mothers and the Professionalization of Social Work, 1890-1945. (1993). This book, published by Yale University, provides insight into the history of how social workers began pressuring unmarried women to surrender their children for adoption.