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BOOK - A History of Adoption in England and Wales (1850-1961)
By Gill Rossini
Published by Pen and Sword, Barnsley UK, 2014

Hardcover...39.95 (C$)

This is an indispensable guide for all family historians tracing the marriages of their English and Welsh ancestors between 1600 and the twentieth century!

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 1961 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 against the backdrop of the moral, cultural, and legal climate of the times, the contemporary voices of those who played a part in an adoption give real insights into 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.

Contents include:
  • Acknowledgements
  • Note Regarding Confidentiality
  • Note Regarding Terminology
  • List of Illustrations
  • Chapter I. Introduction and Background
    • What Exactly is Adoption?
    • Why Adopt?
    • A Word about Illegitimacy
    • How Easy is Adoption to Research?
    • What Was Happening Before 18507
  • Chapter 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 Woman'
    • 'A Fate 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
  • Chapter 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
  • Chapter 4. From Perfect Families to Disrupted Lives: 1926-1945
    • How Legal Adoption Fared
    • The Horsbrugh Report
    • On the Eve of War
    • World War Two
    • Mass Observation
    • Evacuation
    • Helping the Unmarried Mother
  • Chapter 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 19605 and Beyond
    • Postscript: Adoption as Quiet Revolution
  • Chapter 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
  • Appendix
  • Adoption Procedure
  • Further Reading
  • Glossary
  • Index
192 Pages
6.5 X 9.5"
Hardcover with dust jacket
ISBN: 978-1-473846-33-3
Published by Pen and Sword, Barnsley UK, 19th November 2014

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