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The Disturbing Story Of Georgia Tann

The Disturbing Story Of Georgia Tann

In 1941, the Child Welfare League of America learned that Georgia Tann had regularly destroyed records of the adoptions, and the children's home lost its endorsement from the organization, per the Tennessee State Library and Archives. A judge also found that Tann's practice was all about profit without regard for the children's welfare. 

An investigation was finally launched in 1950. The findings were scandalous. 


According to the Tennessee State Library and Archives, the investigation evoked headlines like, "Babies Carted Off At Midnight, Says Former Foundlings Nurse"; "State Investigator Says Force, Persuasion Used In Memphis Baby Racket"; "'Farmed-Out' Children's Plight Revealed in Baby Profit Case"; "Doctor Charges Baby 'Deathtrap' Memphis Home Losses in Diarrhea Flurry Declared 'Hushed Up'"; and "Movie Stars Bought Babies at Memphis, State Charges."


According to Insider, two of Joan Crawford's children were adopted from Tann in 1947. Other celebrities like Lana Turner along with former governor of New York, Herbert Lehman, had adopted children from the Tennessee Children's Home Society. 

Tann was never charged for her abhorrent life's work, nor was anyone else held accountable, according to the Tennessee State Library Archives. Three days before the state was going to file charges against the children's home and Tann, she died of uterine cancer.