The compelling, poignant true stories of victims of a notorious adoption scandalsome of whom learned the truth from Lisa Wingates bestselling novel Before We Were Yours and were reunited with birth family members as a result of its wide reach
From the 1920s to 1950, Georgia Tann ran a black-market baby business at the Tennessee Childrens Home Society in Memphis. She offered up more than 5,000 orphans tailored to the wish lists of eager parentshiding the fact that many werent orphans at all, but stolen sons and daughters of poor families, desperate single mothers, and women told in maternity wards that their babies had died.
The publication of Lisa Wingates novel Before We Were Yours brought new awareness of Tanns lucrative career in child trafficking. Adoptees who knew little about their pasts gained insight into the startling facts behind their family histories. Encouraged by their contact with Wingate and award-winning journalist Judy Christie, who documented the stories of fifteen adoptees in this book, many determined Tann survivors set out to trace their roots and find their birth families.
Before and After includes moving and sometimes shocking accounts of the ways in which adoptees were separated from their first families. Often raised as only children, many have joyfully reunited with siblings in the final decades of their lives. Christie and Wingate tell of first meetings that are all the sweeter and more intense for time missed and of families from very different social backgrounds reaching out to embrace better-late-than-never brothers, sisters, and cousins. In a poignant culmination of art meeting life, many of the long-silent victims of the tragically corrupt system return to Memphis with the authors to reclaim their stories at a Tennessee Childrens Home Society reunion . . . with extraordinary results.
Advance praise for Before and After
"In Before and After, authors Judy Christie and Lisa Wingate tackle the true stories behind Wingates blockbuster Before We Were Yours, of the orphans who survived the Tennessee Childrens Home Society. With a journalists keen eye and a novelists elegant prose, Christie and Wingate weave together the stories that inspired Before We Were Yours with the lives that were changed as a result of reading the novel. Readers will be educated, enlightened, and enraptured by this important and flawlessly executed book."Pam Jenoff, author of The Orphans Tale and The Lost Girls of Paris