The Tennessee Children's Home run by Georgia Tann did exist for decades. The stories of children whisked away from poor parents, as they walked to school, were born in hospitals, played on their front porches, is a sad tale of the subterfuge used by this woman who made millions on "adoption fees". In many cases, the children were adopted by wealthy parents, satisfied by their obtaining the child they had so wanted. But, there were others, who disappeared forever, were abused in the children's home, while waiting for a home, or more likely, waiting to go back home to their birth families. Few adoptive parents knew about these terrible conditions, nor did the state, nor the birth families, who were left wondering what happened to their children.
This novel takes the facts and the recounted stories of the children who later were able to locate family members, when the documents were unsealed in 1995 (the home was closed in 1950). Lisa Wingate weaves a plausible story of a group of siblings caught up in this scheme. It is heart breaking to ponder, but presents a real situation that occurred in our country. Read this, along with "The Orphan Train", to get a sense of how fortunate you may be.