A History of Adoption in England and Wales 1850-1961

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Media: BOOK - hardcover, 288 pages
Author: G. Rossini
Year: 2014
ISBN: 9781781593950
Other: b&w photos, appendix, further reading, glossary, index
Publisher: Pen & Sword

Adoption is one of the most emotive and complex subjects in social and family history. Gill Rossini's social history of adoption between 1850 and 1861 uncovers the perspectives of all those concerned in adoption: children, birth relatives, adoptive families, and all the agencies and organisations involved.

Rossini charts the transformation of the adoption process from a chaotic informal arrangement to a legal procedure. Set againt the backdrop of the moral, cultural, and legal climate of the times, the contemporary voices of those who played a part in this often turbulent period in their lives. Discover how shocking stories of baby farmers and unwanted orphans fuelled the campaign for change, and hear previously untold stories.

For those who wish to conduct their own research into an adoption, Rossini has compiled a comprehensive guide to resources.

Adoptions can be fiendishly difficult to research and as a readable social history offering insightful research advice, this book will appeal to genealogists as well as social history fans and anyone interested in the topic of adoptions.

A Note Regarding Confidentiality
A Note Regarding Terminology
A List of Illustrations
1. Introduction and Backgroun
- What Exactly is Adoption?
- Why Adopt?
- A Word about Illegitimacy
- How Easy is Adoption to Research?
- What Was Happening Before 1850?
2. "Our Innocence is all a Sham": Fallen Women, Displaced CHildren and Public Sensibilities 1850-1918
- Children in England and Wales in the 1850s
- The 'Displaced Children' of Victorian England and Wales
- The 'Fallen Women'
- 'A Fater Worse than Death': Solutions to the Unwanted Pregnancy
- Baby Farming
- Public Outcry
- Adoption and Popular Culture
- Institutions
- Charitable and Campaigning Organisations
- 'Boarding Out' and Other Solutions
- The First World War
3.The Push for Legal Adoption 1918-1926
- The Aftermath of World War One
- Back to the Home
- Adoption Societies
- The 1926 Adoption of Children Act
- 'Not in Front of the Children': Adoption and Secrecy
4. From Perfect Families to Disrupted Lives 1926-1945
- How Legal Adoption Fared
- The Horse Report
- On the Eve of War
- World War Two
- Mass Observation
- Evacuation
- Helping the Unmarried Mother
5. For the Welfare of All Concerned? 1945-1961
- The Brave New World of the Welfare State
- The Adoption 'Boom'
- Mother and Baby Homes Post 1945
- Guiding the New Parents
- Eleanor's Story
- Changes on the Horizon: The 1960s and Beyond
- Postscript: Adoption as Quiet Revolution
6. Researching Adoption
- Taking a Wider View
- First of All: Family Sources
- Planning Your Research
- Resources for Researching Adoption Pre 1926
- Resources for Researching Adoption Post 1926
- Other Sources
- Adoption Procedure: Taken from the booklet "A Baby is Adopted", by Margaret Kornitzer and published by The Children's Society, 1920
Further Reading

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A History of Adoption in England and Wales 1850-1961


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