Radio Waving

Published 17 years, 2 weeks past

If you happened to be listening to “The Diane Rehm Show” yesterday and caught the segment with Barbara Bisantz Raymond, author of “The Baby Thief: The Untold Story of Georgia Tann, the Baby Seller Who Corrupted Adoption“, I was “Eric from Cleveland”.  There was more I wanted to say, especially concerning our particular adoption agency and how they deal with openness, but as soon as they said “Very good question, Eric; Barbara?” I was cut off and had to download the podcast to hear her answer.

I’d love to have a chance to talk to Ms. Raymond at length, because she seems to have a different view of adoption than we do.  Also because, as she said, she lived in Cleveland when she adopted, and I’d be fascinated to hear how her experience differed from ours.  For that matter, I’m now a lot more interested in the history and current practice of adoption.  I never really thought about the origins of the current system, simply accepting it as How It Is And Always Was.  An odd failing for a history major, to be sure.

Let me tell you something, though.  I have never been as nervous and scared on a conference stage as I was on that call.  My voice almost locked up twice.

Comments (4)

  1. I went looking for the pod cast on NPR’s website.

    I had better luck finding it on the show’s website:

    Unfortunately it’s only offered in Real Audio and Windows Media.

  2. If you follow the link for “the podcast” in my post, you’ll land right on the Diane Rehm show’s podcast page. There you can subscribe to the feed and grab the relevant program, or any other available. That was the only way I found to get an actual MP3.

  3. So, why the nerves? I can’t simply can’t picture someone who has spoken publicly as often as you nearly locking up. But I guess everyone has different triggers. Like me, my trigger is public speaking. period.

  4. For that matter, I”m now a lot more interested in the history and current practice of adoption.

    I haven’t read these in their entirety, but a few books I’d recommend include Family Matters: Secrecy and Disclosure in the History of Adoption by E. Wayne Carp (1999, should address your questions about openness, as it relates to history), Pricing the Priceless Child: The Changing Social Value of Children by Viviana A. Zelizer (1985), and Endangered Children: Dependency, Neglect, and Abuse in American History by LeRoy Ashby (1998).

    You’ll find that a lot of the discussion of early 20th-century adoption in the US (at least by current historians) focuses on scientific management, psychology and other sciences, and the role of government and social workers in shaping families.

    I’m sure there’s some comparative history out there as well, comparing the history of adoption among different cultures and countries. It’s a very fascinating topic, with lots of different ways to study it, and lots of implications for our society.

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