Miss Elizabeth Campbell to Bessie Irvin, April 4, 1956

Source:  John C. Caldwell, Children of Calamity (New York: John Day, 1957).

Children of mixed American and Korean parentage during the Korean War, 1950s.

April 4, 1956

Dear Miss Irvin,

I have been interested in the work of World Vision, Inc. for several years, and when they began bringing the little GI-Korean orphans to the United States (Harry Holt in charge of this phase) because they are not well treated by the other Korean children, even to the point of being murdered, I wondered if I might be allowed to take two small girls for adoption.

Mr. Holt wrote that an act of Congress is necessary as I am a single woman so Mr. Teague was written to and he sent forms and bulletins, also wrote that only in a few rare cases have single women been allowed to adopt children. However, the instructions were to write you for guidance, if I understand them correctly. Your advice will be appreciated.

The forms call for giving the names of the orphans, which of course I don’t know. If there are couples enough to take all the children Mr. Holt plans to bring (all GI-Korean) that’s fine, but if there were not available homes for all I would have liked two little girls as near school age as possible.

I am an elementary (2nd grade) teacher and am retiring shortly at the age of 60 with a pension of approximately $232 a month, I own my own home, and have further income from two pieces of property sold. I also have an insurance policy which would be put away for an education fund.

My health is good, no high blood pressure or anything like that. I belong to the Presbyterian church, also am one of a large family with nieces & grandnieces—also have brothers, & nephews—so there would be many contacts. The youngest brother & his wife have agreed “to take over” in the event that anything should happen to me before the children are old enough to be on their own. This brother has two small daughters of his own.

The process of adoption looks very complicated—seven forms were sent—but when you are heard from I will proceed to prepare them.

Sincerely yours,

(Miss) Elizabeth Campbell


Source: Elizabeth Campbell to Bessie Irvin, April 4, 1956, International Social Service, American Branch Papers, Box 10, “Children-Independent Adoption Schemes, Holt, Harry, vol. I 1955-57,” Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota.

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