Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Adoption in the 1800's

 Adoption in the 1800's

Adoption in the early 1800's was not even recognized as a legal entity. The Judges during that period could not cut biological ties. Adoption during this time usually only happened in secret without the courts knowing. Or, others in their community. It was a no-no to adopt someone from a different race or from a different financial status. The stigma that would follow someone who adopted in this way was too high a price to pay during this time period. 

Often if a parent was in a tough financial bind they would send their child to an orphanage for a period of time until they got on their feet. The orphanage paid for food and housing and education. Or, they might send their child to live with another family member or relative. It was never a legal separation since the courts did not recognize it as such.  

Some other reasons to send a child away was if a mother or father were ill, or perhaps a death of a parent. Sometimes the financial troubles of a farm or homestead caused parents to send their child to a relative as a means for the child to succeed and thrive when the parents were not able to provide for them.  

In 1851 the Adoption of Children Act was passed. This was a turning point for children's rights as the law was enacted for the well being of a child instead of the interests of an adult. As organizations lobbied, along with individuals and groups to give children a better life and to provide homes where they were accepted and loved, this law was passed by the courts. Usually, the courts didn't get involved, but this law changed all that.

Bachelors & Babies 
In my new book coming out October 1st, a baby is found in the barn that was left by its mother. When I researched on adoption in the 1800's, I had no idea the laws for children were never enacted until 1851. I hope you enjoy this story about babies.

Get Dallas - Now on Amazon


  1. Great story and I also had no idea! I love these blogs. I get so much information I didn't know about.

  2. This is interesting. I have wondered about time line for adoption, but never researched it. thank you for sharing this today.

  3. This is so very interesting! Thank you so very much for sharing these articles, I sure have been learning a lot on this blog. Your book sounds like a very good read, I will be adding it to my TBR. Have a Great rest of the week. God Bless you.