Through the story of one unwed mother in the early 1960s and her son, journalist Glaser reveals how adoption in the 20th century became a lucrative and exploitative industry, often using lies and coercion to permanently close the door between birth parents and their children.
... comprehensive and damning ... Glaser tells a singular story to illuminate a universal truth ... That Margaret and [baby] David find each other is not a spoiler ... The hows of the search, and what happens next, read like a novel, one likely to bring tears ... One powerful message of American Baby, though, is that the shadows of the past cannot be easily dismissed as mistakes of an unenlightened moment ... The stories of Margaret and David and the millions of others who lived through the Baby Scoop are vivid evidence that policy and culture change the trajectory of individual lives.
... eye-opening, gut-wrenching ... Glaser skillfully guides the reader through the socio-economic forces arrayed against an unwed mother and her bastard child ... Interweaving the saga of Margaret’s fight to keep her baby with copious data and deeply researched history, Glaser’s essential and long overdue study should be required reading for anyone touched by, or considering, non-intrafamily adoption ... Glaser painstakingly documents, brick by brick, the wall that is erected between parents and relinquished children ... But the adoption narrative is changing ... And American Baby provides a much-needed resource for [adoptees'] continuing struggle.
She tells [the story] in lucid and often pleasurably novelistic detail, based on years of research and interviews. The inclusion of family photos...adds even more emotional punch. Many readers will find themselves moved to tears in the culminating scenes, perfectly orchestrated by all that has come before ... Based on the statistics that Glaser cites, many readers will have a personal connection to this story, but a connection isn't required to be moved and enriched by reading it.