“Groundbreaking investigative and explanatory reporting.”
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“This exemplary study deserves a wide audience among all readers involved with adoption.”
Library Journal

the child catchersAdoption has long been enmeshed in the politics of abortion. But as award-winning journalist Kathryn Joyce makes clear in The Child Catchers, adoption has lately become entangled in the conservative Christian agenda. To tens of millions of evangelicals, adoption has become a new front in the culture wars: a test of “pro-life” bonafides, a way to reinvent compassionate conservatism on the global stage, and a means to fulfill the “Great Commission” mandate that Christians evangelize the nations. Influential leaders fervently promote a new “orphan theology,” urging followers to adopt en masse, with little thought for the families these “orphans” may actually have. Christian adoption activists have added moral weight to a multi-billion dollar adoption industry intent on increasing the “supply” of adoptable children, both at home and overseas. The Child Catchers is a shocking exposé of what the adoption industry has become and how it got there, told through deep investigative reporting and the heartbreaking stories of individuals who found that their own, and their children’s, well-being was ultimately irrelevant in a market driven by profit and now, pulpit command.

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Published by: PublicAffairs
Public Affairs

Advance Praise for The Child Catchers:

“The Child Catchers takes us for a fast and frightening ride down a road to hell that’s paved with ‘good intentions,’ willful ignorance, and outright deception. The facts, presented here with care and fair-mindedness, are terrifying. And Joyce’s analysis, calm and powerfully perceptive, is devastating. It’s the best and most revealing thing I’ve read on Christian nationalism in years. May this book stand as a landmark work of investigative journalism.”
—Jeff Sharlet, bestselling author of The Family and C Street

“In this chilling exposé that promises to become a muckraker classic, Kathryn Joyce rips the veil off a sacrosanct institution in America and other rich nations and reveals how adoption can harm both individual birth mothers and adoptees as well as the progress of children’s and women’s rights globally. The Child Catchers is essential reading for adoptive parents, those thinking about adopting, and anyone concerned with democracy— nationally and throughout the world.”
—Debbie Nathan, journalist, coauthor of Satan’s Silence, and author of Women and Other Aliens, Pornography, and Sybil Exposed

“The Child Catchers fills an important gap in the national conversation, not just about adoption, but about imperialism and feminism as well.”
—Jessica Valenti, founder of Feministing.com and author of The Purity Myth and Why Have Kids?

“The Child Catchers shatters conceptions about how and why Americans adopt, deftly exposing the connections between adoption trade groups, the religious right, and U.S. policymakers, while delicately revealing a horrific series of ongoing crimes and mis- deeds perpetrated against children. A timely, important book.”
—Erin Siegal, author of Finding Fernanda

“A compelling, meticulously researched, and insightful dissection of conservative Christians’ participation in the international adoption complex. The Child Catchers unmasks the fertile new ‘mission field’ adoptable children have become and gives voice to those hurt by this neo-colonial Christian mission. An important must-read.”
—Anthea Butler, associate professor of religious studies, University of Pennsylvania