Hailed a “Best Book of the Year” by Publishers Weekly, The Baby Thief was written by nonfiction author and Lakewood resident Barbara Raymond, who will be signing books on Sunday, August 13th, at the Root Café from 1-2:30pm EST. The book signing will feature special appearances by Academy Award® Winner Octavia Spencer, who optioned the book, and Executive Director of Adoption Network Cleveland Betsie Norris.
Raymond, author of the award-winning book, says, “I’m excited to bring this important story to light to a wider audience.”
The Baby Thief tells the long-buried story of Georgia Tann, who, operating out of Memphis, Tennessee from 1924 to 1950, was widely known as an “angel of adoption.” Tann was, in reality, a child trafficker who stole thousands of children from poor people and sold them to wealthy people across the United States. Her friendship with a political boss ensured that, even after her death, only two robbed parents ever got their children back. Tann’s legacy continues today in the form of sealed birth certificates that often prevent adopted adults from finding their birth families and learning their health histories. Some adoptees have died because of this. Barbara Raymond was the first person to discover the connection between Tann and the secrecy in adoption that has hurt so many Americans.
Octavia Spencer, an Academy Award®-winning actress of The Help and Oscar® nominee for the 2017 movie Hidden Figures, will appear as a special host of Raymond’s book signing. As an actress and a producer, Spencer is drawn to compelling stories and has optioned the rights to the book and will produce a movie based on Georgia Tann and The Baby Thief.
Betsie Norris, Executive Director of Adoption Network Cleveland, spent decades working to change legislation to finally allow access to original birth certificates to adopted people in Ohio. Adoption Network Cleveland is co-sponsoring the event along with Author Barbara Raymond.