Atlanta 1986

“We think caged birds sing, when indeed they cry” – John Webster

In 1986, in an apartment building in Atlanta, Georgia, several expectant moms lived, courtesy of an agency, in a psuedo-maternity home. It was actually more of a staging area for pregnant moms. Biding their time, counting the days until they delivered and handed their child over to a baby broker all in the name of doing the best thing for the child and being a "good" mother.   The agency position was that good mothers abandon their children. Bad mothers keep them.  The apartment was filled to capacity with good mothers.

Every so often strangers would come to the apartment and say hello to the expectant mothers. They would walk through the apartment and quickly scan the women.  They did not stay long and never explained why they were there. Since the apartment was attached to the agency offices the expectant moms assumed they were employees of the agency. The moms were always friendly and welcomed the company. It was lonely being there, away from their family and the fathers of their children. The days became dark and depressing. They looked forward to meeting new people and having contact with the agency workers.

Misty was a mom that stayed at the home. After she delivered and surrendered her child, she inquired about the strangers.  She never saw the same person twice and had become suspicious. Misty was informed that the odd interlopers were prospective adoptive parents. The agency was giving "birth mom" showings much like real estate agents would conduct showings for a house for sale. In the case of the birth mom showings, there were children for sale.  The prospective adopters were being granted a rare opportunity to view the moms in their natural state, without the moms knowledge, much like some might view caged animals in a zoo.

I wonder if the agency charged extra for that service?

7 Thoughts.

  1. Apologies for my language, but all I can think is, “those FUCKERS.” Just, horrifying. And to not tell the moms who the people were? Inexcusable.

  2. Libby – Swear away, dear one. I did. Too bad they did not tell the moms in advance, they could have done their best parade wave, smile and pose, eh?

  3. That’s just absolutely disgusting. It sounds like they were treated like animals. I mean, we were all treated as less than human, but to not even be told what these people were doing…
    Disgusting.

  4. That’s where B was… althought my AP’s never visited (highest bidders never have to). I wonder if they knew each other.

  5. Reminds me of being directed to bring a picture of me and the birth father to the adoption attorney (no agency, no social workers). He said both parents had to be white. That was in 1970. I thought things had changed over the years, but am constantly reminded that they did not — and likely still have not.

  6. Oh my God. I have to throw up now.
    Really, the only thing missing was parading the moms all around a paddock to show off their glossy hides and healthy teeth. That’s what brood mares are for, after all. Got to make sure we have the best possible breeding stock before we write our checks, don’t you know.
    Damn it.

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