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

By J. Keating

The background 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 legislations from legalization in 1926, to legislation and reform within the Nineteen Thirties, with rules ultimately being enforced in 1943 amid challenge approximately informal wartime adoptions.

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

Example text

Whilst in these positions, I… held myself personally responsible for the welfare of neglected and unwanted children whose birth was kept secret, or who for various reasons, had not been brought before welfare organisations. 16 Miss Andrew appears to have been forceful and persistent, and sometimes perceived as impatient with those she considered her social or intellectual inferiors. Her work with Belgian war refugees in Exeter revealed all these traits, and her brother Sidney had considerable correspondence with the Lord Lieutenant of Devon, Lord Fortescue, sorting out a new committee structure for the project after she fell out with the city’s Mayor who was also involved with the refugee work.

80 However, by the end of the War the slight relaxation in punitive judgement was over, and if anything the perceived loosening up of sexual mores during the interwar period meant that there was more vigilance for overt immorality. The writers bleakly summed up the practice towards unmarried mothers in the 1920s and 1930s: [B]etween the wars unmarried mothers were more rigorously classified [than during the War]. Voluntary organisations took mainly ‘first offenders’ and tried to place them in domestic service.

16 Miss Andrew appears to have been forceful and persistent, and sometimes perceived as impatient with those she considered her social or intellectual inferiors. Her work with Belgian war refugees in Exeter revealed all these traits, and her brother Sidney had considerable correspondence with the Lord Lieutenant of Devon, Lord Fortescue, sorting out a new committee structure for the project after she fell out with the city’s Mayor who was also involved with the refugee work. A new Committee was established; the Devon County War Refugees Committee, with Exeter retaining a separate committee for looking after the refugees within the city boundaries.

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