Adoption shifted the focus of charitable organizations from providing homes for truly homeless and orphaned children to the profit motivated supply of infants to childless couples with the financial resources to afford it.
A number of reasons were used to justify separating mothers and their infants. Not because it was profitable – of course.
Punishing unmarried mothers, preventing a reliance on public assistance which might raise the cost to taxpayers – the planned removal of white infants from white unmarried mothers who were deemed unfit for whatever reason – including a perception the mother was neurotic for wanting to keep her baby – was perpetrated by adoption social workers.
Unmarried mothers were sometimes viewed as breeding machines when the demand for these infants exceeded supply. A high demand coupled with low supply increased the pressure on unmarried mothers to surrender their babies.
It isn’t difficult to see how this created serious abuses around a mother’s relinquishment of her child. Georgia Tann opportunistically profited from the shift.