What Next

Why Adoption Isn’t Enough

The “pre-Roe” world of adoption is not something to aspire to. Neither is the current system.

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Episode Notes

Adoption is often invoked as an alternative to abortion. But looking back at how adoption worked before Roe v. Wade—and looking at how it works now—the option is cold comfort for many people facing unintended pregnancies.

Guest: Ann Fessler, author of The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade.

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Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Elena Schwartz, Carmel Delshad, and Madeline Ducharme, with help from Anna Rubanova, Anna Phillips, and Jared Downing.

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About the Show

The problem with the news right now? It’s everywhere. And each day, it can feel like we’re all just mindlessly scrolling. It’s why we created What Next. This short daily show is here to help you make sense of things. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for new episodes every weekday morning.

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  • Mary Harris is the host and managing editor of What Next, Slate's new daily news podcast. She has reported throughout the public radio system, for NPR, Marketplace, and WNYC.

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