Here are some quotes from social work literature illustrating how the adoption industry viewed natural mothers and their babies.
“… the tendency growing out of the demand for babies is to regard unmarried mothers as breeding machines…(by people intent) upon securing babies for quick adoptions.” – Leontine Young, “Is Money Our Trouble?” (paper presented at the National Conference of Social Workers, Cleveland, 1953)
“Because there are many more married couples wanting to adopt newborn white babies than there are babies, it may almost be said that they rather than out of wedlock babies are a social problem. (Sometimes social workers in adoption agencies have facetiously suggested setting up social provisions for more ‘babybreeding’.)” SOCIAL WORK AND SOCIAL PROBLEMS, National Association of Social Workers, (Out-of-print) copyright 1964
“. . . unwed mothers may have placed their children for adoption for any of the following reasons . . . (2) they were advised or pressured to release the baby . . .” COUNSELING THE UNWED MOTHER, by Helen E. Terkelsen, copyright 1964
“If the demand for adoptable babies continues to exceed the supply then it is quite possible that, in the near future, unwed mothers will be “punished” by having their children taken from them right after birth. A policy like this would not be executed — nor labeled explicitly — as “punishment.” Rather, it would be implemented through such pressures and labels as “scientific findings,” “the best interests of the child,” “rehabilitation of the unwed mother,” and “the stability of the family and society.” Unmarried Mothers, by Clark Vincent, 1961
“Not all unwed mothers in this country are regarded as presenting the same degree of social problem. For example, the unmarried mother who has financial means or supporting relatives and friends, who can leave her own locality or state to have the baby in privacy or whose baby is needed for adoption by particular social agencies, and particularly the unwed mother who does not become an economic liability on the tax-paying public – these receive less public attention and blame. Censure is strong and unwavering… in the case of unwed mothers whose babies do not serve a social function. CHILD WELFARE: POLICIES AND PRACTICE, Lela B. Costin (1972), McGraw-Hill Book Company, (Professor, The Jane Addams Graduate School of Social Work, University of Illinois)
“Faced with insufficient money, an unwed pregnant girl may find herself forced into an unsuitable marriage or pressured into an ill-considered plan to surrender her child for adoption in return for the payment of her medial and living expenses during pregnancy.” CHILD WELFARE: POLICIES AND PRACTICE, Lela B. Costin (1972), McGraw-Hill Book Company, (Professor, The Jane Addams Graduate School of Social Work, University of Illinois)
“… the unmarried mother may well come to feel that her own needs were disregarded, that she was helped, not out of any concern for her, but only because she could supply a baby someone wanted to take from her.” CHILD WELFARE: POLICIES AND PRACTICE, Lela B. Costin (1972), McGraw-Hill Book Company, (Professor, The Jane Addams Graduate School of Social Work, University of Illinois)