By J. Keating

ISBN-10: 0230582842

ISBN-13: 9780230582842

ISBN-10: 1349355550

ISBN-13: 9781349355556

The heritage of adoption from 1918-1945, detailing the increase of adoption, the expansion of adoption societies and contemplating the expanding emphasis on secrecy in adoption. Analyses adoption legislation from legalization in 1926, to law and reform within the Thirties, with laws ultimately being enforced in 1943 amid drawback approximately informal wartime adoptions.

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Extra info for A Child for Keeps: The History of Adoption in England, 1918–45

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59 It is little wonder that ‘adoption’ gained slightly sinister overtones. This case, and other contemporary baby farming cases, received a great deal of publicity and the movement for legislation to prevent the 24 A Child for Keeps practice, led by concerned doctors, gained momentum. The campaigning activities of the Infant Life Protection Society which they established led to the setting up of the Select Committee on the Protection of Infant Life whose report on baby farming in 1872 resulted in the passing of the first Infant Life Protection Act.

106 2 Developments in the Voluntary Sector Informal adoption had always existed in all social classes. Neighbours might take in the children next door when they were left orphans to save them from the workhouse. Or relatives would look after children left motherless, while their father went off to look for work. Medieval pages and Tudor apprentices grew up in families not their own; aunts, uncles, grandparents and neighbours brought up orphaned relatives and friends’ children. 2 But with the exception of the Poor Law adoptions described in the last chapter, there were no organised programmes of widespread domestic adoption prior to the First World War except for the limited examples described here.

They will treat [her] as an unclean person who has been meddling with important things in an unpleasant manner’. And, following correspondence from politically correct Clarion readers who declared marriage an oldfashioned and dangerous irrelevance, she recommended: [E]very correspondent who asserts that an unmarried mother suffers no social discredit to announce casually before a few friends that he and his wife are not legally married. My arguments would then be enforced by his wife. If he required any further conviction, let him consider that a servant who has an illegitimate child loses her situation, that the Board of Education suspends the certificate of a schoolmistress, that no hospital nurse or typist would expect for a second to keep her position … And the social stigma [of the illegitimate child] is an indefensible but quite real consequence of the degradation of the unmarried mother.

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A Child for Keeps: The History of Adoption in England, 1918–45 by J. Keating

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