BABYSELLING: The Scandal of Black-Market Adoption by Nancy C. Baker

BABYSELLING: The Scandal of Black-Market Adoption

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Easily accessible birth control methods, liberalized abortion laws, and a tendency for unwed teenagers to keep their newborn babies have combined to reduce the number of healthy white infants available for adoption and led to the kinds of odious profiteering catalogued here. Baker looks at (often duped) buyers and sellers and at the generally untouchable middle men who capitalize on prospective parents' desperation and a network of fuzzy, unenforced, or strongly differing state laws. Most states countenance ""independent"" adoptions, arranged by lawyers for those who wish to avoid agency methods, and Baker notes several advantages to the practice; what she finds indefensible are the outrageous fees charged for an uncomplicated legal procedure, the pressure tactics used to up the ante, a flagrant disregard for investigating the suitability of adopting parents, and signs of breeding farms which arrange liaisons between consenting adults or import pregnant women with desirable physical traits. More precise laws and reconsidered policies (adopting non-white, older, or handicapped children) are partial solutions. Baker's impassioned account, written after visiting the more profitable facilities and reviewing the few cases brought to trial, is quite serviceable although it lacks the edge needed to generate broad support.

Pub Date: June 14th, 1978
Publisher: Vanguard