cover image The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption

The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption

Kathryn Joyce. PublicAffairs, $26.99 (352p) ISBN 978-158648-942-7

A natural extension of investigative journalist Joyce's 2009 Quiverfull, which probed a fundamentalist Christian movement with goals of re-establishing biblical patriarchy by encouraging women to bear large numbers of children, this volume examines America's Evangelical Christian adoption and orphan-care movement that has come to dominate domestic and international adoptions. Joyce will grab readers' attention with shattering accounts of birthmothers and adoptees from around the world. She skillfully navigates the global adoption system's layers of greed, corruption, and cultural blindness, identifying the faulty logic at the root of well-meaning yet harmful actions. From South Korea's well-oiled adoption machine that reinforces a cruel double-standard against single mothers and their children, to Rwanda's efforts to keep native children within its borders by bypassing agencies and de-institutionalizing orphanages, Joyce presents the enormous scope of big-business adoption. While international adoption is often called a "win-win" situation for everyone concerned, she provides ample evidence of a zero-sum game with single pregnant women and their children used as source and product for a lucrative industry. Joyce's report, backed by interviews with people on all sides of this complex issue, highlights the need to redefine what it means to "come home," a phrase embraced by the Christian adoption community and questioned by those on the losing side of the equation. Agent: Kathy Anderson, Anderson Literary Management (April)