I am enough of a realist to know that the influence of money is not going away anytime soon. Even so, in adoption, I believe it can be a corrupting factor.
Had it not been for cooking the books and overcharging the prospective adoptive parents, Georgia Tann’s crimes may never have been discovered. When someone is making a lot of money off of an altruistic effort, it attracts attention. It also buys protection as in the case of Tann and the Boss Crump political machinery in Memphis Tennessee.
I do believe that my dad’s parents probably paid less for him at The Salvation Army than my mom’s parents paid for her through Georgia Tann. The Tennessee Children’s Home Society was careful not to document the money that was changing hands or was at least doing so in a very hidden way. There is no doubt in my mind their eagerness to go looking for yet another baby after my grandparents had already adopted two must be an indication of a monetary motive.
In a novel I finished reading yesterday, there grew an awareness that the Catholic Church was making money selling babies. I’ve no doubt that it is likely the truth. Adoption is a kind of human trafficking that has the approval of society in general. Who can object to people wanting to give unfortunate children a good home ?
But society has no interest to providing enough support for mothers to keep and raise their babies. Something is terribly rotten in such a system of priorities. The reason adoption records have remained sealed in most states in the US for so long is for the protection of the people who have the money – the adoptive parents. Agencies, lawyers and social workers as well as the courts are all making money by taking the product of unfortunate young women and delivering babies to those who can afford to pay.
It was not lost on me in the recent NY Times article that the two men in a stable marriage who adopted out of Foster Care not only had no out of pocket expenses directly related to that but received subsidies for doing so. This is where money actually helped the situation.