Excerpt from the Archives of Spence-Chapin Adoption Service, 1916

Spence Alumni Society – Annual Report 1916

Here it might be well to point out the difference between our child placing work and that of the Department of Charities; the State Charities Aid Association and other public and quasi-public agencies with which we cooperate. In general terms, it is their object to place the largest possible number of the reasonably promising children in respectable homes. Our primary purpose is to place children of unusual promise in homes of uncommon opportunities. . . .

Out of 101 children referred to us for adoption 25 have been accepted and placed; 7 are awaiting placement; 5 have been sent to Miss Barter and Miss Spence for placement, 2 proved unfit for adoption, and 2 died. . .Of the remaining 60, some were rejected because of their family history. In the majority of these cases the remaining parent and relatives of the children decided to help them and to make other arrangements. Most of this investigating has been done by the Child Finding Committee. For those situations, however, which we felt were too complicated we employed the services of Miss Ellen Bablett a special investigator in work for babies. . . .

Applications have come from far and near, and represent States as widely separated as Georgia and Maine, Virginia and Minnesota and far away, Hawaii. Omitting those who applied and later withdrew their application, we now have on file 61 applications, of which six are for boys, 14 for either sex and 41 for girls. Why do so many people prefer girls! The majority seem to feel that a girl is easier to understand and to rear, and they are afraid of a boy. But. . .there are now more boy babies available than girls.

 

Source: “Excerpts from the Archives of Spence-Chapin Adoption Service (Formerly Spence Alumni Society; Alice Chapin Nursery; Miss Spence School Society,” Child Welfare League of America, Box 7, Folder: “Adoption 1925-1966,” Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota.

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To learn more about The Adoption History Project, please contact Ellen Herman
Department of History, University of Oregon
Eugene, Oregon 97403-1288
(541) 346-3118
E-mail: adoption@uoregon.edu
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