It’s 3 a.m. on a hot September morning in 1949. A dark sedan pulls to the rear of a home known as an unwed mothers’ birthing clinic in Jasper, Tennessee. The small, quiet package is slipped past the screen door and slipped away in the dead of night, never to be seen again. It is a scenario replayed over and over in the 1940s by the infamous Tennessee Children’s Home Society and Ms. Georgia Tann, its unholy matron. Stolen after birth, my mother was told I was dead. I was sold for five thousand dollars to my adoptive parents in Southern California.
Children ripped off the streets and playgrounds, or simply removed from their home under color of authority, the Tennessee Children’s Home Society stretched their tentacles throughout Tennessee as the Black Market Baby scam grew to unimaginable proportions. Doctors, nurses, lawyers, judges, social workers, welfare workers, and others joined on Tann’s payroll, never daring to ask the question as to where all the children came from. Over five thousand children were illegally placed for adoption during Georgia Tann’s reign. My agency-assigned number was 7,702.
This is the story of James Arnold Bowman, my birth name given by my mother, Flossie, and my life as an adoptee. After being told I was adopted at age seven, it became a life of questions unanswered until I was sixty years old. My adoptive parents elected to keep the details of my adoption a secret, never admitting they knew who I was, and the names of my parents. An accidental discovery in 2008 would reveal the secrets kept for so long and begin my search for my birth family. Search for my true families would take over five years of genealogical studies, correspondence, and ending with DNA testing to finally determine my true origin.
The reader will be the investigator, following the trail of evidence presented in the suspect’s own words, contained in personal and business letters and state forms filed in California and Tennessee, from ill-documented birth in May 1949 through sanction of the California adoption in 1953. You will also receive an insight as to what it is like to be an adopted child and labeled as not being blood related. It’s a journey you don’t want to miss.