Georgia Tann

About 60 years ago, my father was adopted to my grandparents through a Memphis, TN adoption agency. My grandparents had nothing but praise for the “good, Christian woman who was doing God’s work putting babies where they belong”. The agency was The TN Children’s Society Home and it was run by Georgia Tann. Ms. Tann has been the subject of several books and made-for-tv movies. She took babies from desperate families looking for temporary assistance and had them sign away their rights without them even knowing it. Ms. Tann lied to large numbers of the birth parents and told them their babies died. Couples who had large quantities of money ($5,000 or more was a lot in the 40s) were given the babies. Exchanges were made in empty fields and other places that would allow no witnesses. Growing old and physically as well as emotionally very ill, Ms. Tann destroyed most of her records. My brother and I have tried in vain to find out something about my father’s birth family but despite numerous letters, fees and phone calls, we have almost nothing. I’m certain that my father’s birth mother is dead, but it would be nice to know what her occupation was, how long she lived, her medical profile, etc. We have a possible name for a birth father, but who knows what is right and what is wrong in the tangled mess of lies left behind since most of the people involved are long gone and all that is left are the now adult children who will never know if they were “stolen babies”.

15 thoughts on “Georgia Tann

  1. Dear god, I had heard about the Tann babies and have even watched a couple of shows about that evil evil woman. I can only wish you the best of luck trying to find out something about your fathers biological family tree. OOOO it just makes me so angry thinking about that horrible Tann woman – may she rot in hell.

  2. I ust wanted to tell you there\s a new bok out now on Georgia Tann called The Baby Thief: The Untold Story of Georgia Tann, the Baby Seller Who Corrupted Adoption. I’m the author — Barbara Bisantz Raymond. The book might tell you more about Tann than is generally known. Email me directly if you have any qetions. And good luck in your search.

  3. I had a cousin that was adopted from there. I would like to find her. Years ago I did some research and a lady in Memphis has some records. I found out she was adopted by a family named Madison. I have more detail somewhere. She was born in 44 or 45

  4. Sometime between 1944 and 1948 my mother lost her son in Memphis, Tenn. The court took him from her. She left him in the care of a lady in Memphis,Tn, to go home to Oklahoma and talk to her mother and father and ask for help. This lady put him up for adoption. My mother never got over this loss, even after I was botn in 1948 she still cryed for her son, Kenny.She finally suffered a neverous breakdown in 1956 and I never got all the information. I really believe that he was taken by Georgia Tann and I would give anything to find out what happened to her baby boy. He must have een born about 1946, or 1947. His name was Kenny Klinglesmith. Anyone with helpful information please email me at the email address above. Praying that someone knows, Carol Lynch

  5. I am posting this information any and everywhere I can. My brother was a Georgia Tann baby. The documents from the state of TN say that he was born Raymond Lewis Bradley on Sept. 14, 1947 at Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga, TN to a Vera Bradley of Chattanooga, TN or Sprata, TN and Cecil Cruse of Jamestown, TN or Detroit, MI. He supposedly was surrendered for adoption at the Florence Crittenden Home. Another document says that he was surrendered at the Vine Street Orphanage. Supposedly there are other relatives: Grandparents Everett and Callie Bradley, Uncles Bethel Bradley and James Bradley, and an unnamed male sibling that is 6 years older, all from the Chattanooga area. If this matches any information for anyone searching for a stolen baby boy, please feel free to email me at the email address listed. Thank you, Ayn Maddox

  6. My mother and her sister were two of the children taken by Georgia Tann. They were taken from Lenoir City Tennessee in 1945. My mom Audrey Ann Hatley was sent to NYC. Her sister Linda was sent to Ca. My mother was passed off as German Hebrew to Mr and Mrs William Jacobs of NYC. They were provided with a fictitious birth certificate and false documents. My mother was one of the lucky ones. She returned to Nashville Tn after she became 21 and was able to find some of her family who had by that time moved to Cincinnatti Ohio. The family was told that the children had died. I am looking for any surviving relatives for Geneology purposes. You have 12 blood relatives that you are not aware of. Please contact me at the email provided. Thank you Jo Olsen.

  7. My sister, cousin and I are looking for our fathers birth family. My dad and my uncle are red headed identical twins. We were all told a long web of lies only to find out that they were Georgia Tann babies. All we were told that may be part of a truth was that their birth parents were very poor and “left” three of their children in the care of the TN home on a TEMPORARY basis. Our “granny” ran in the same social circles as Ms. Tann. Our fathers were born sometime around the 1950’s possibly the late 40’s, no one is certain of the exact year. They have a sister, we belive younger and know she was blonde, who we would love to find. Our dads suffered numerous forms of abuse and refuse to speak of any memories of their early childhood but do remember the blonde sister as did my “granny”. In fact our “granny” mentioned to my mother that my sister looked like our dads sister! The three of us are trying to find any information that would help. I have ordered Barbara Raymonds book. We are all still residing in the Memphis area. ANY help, guidance, assistance, etc would be wonderful. My email is:

  8. My mom is also from this home. We saw the story on unsolved mysteries and called and they found my mothers birth records with her real birth name and her parents name . I have been desperately trying to find any living relative of hers to find out if she was stolen from her birth mom. She was not raised in such a warm loving home so this has affected her life. I thought about sending her story to the locator.

  9. My brother is believed to be one of the babies taken by that Tann witch. His name was Kenny Klinglesmith born around 44 – 48. Lou Gene Klinglesmith was his mother.

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