This documentary [http://judithland.wordpress.com/2012/08/02/orphan-trains/] is worthy of reading as well as a novel by Judith Land called ‘Adoption Detective: Memoir of an Adopted Child’ = EXCERPT FROM BLOG: ‘Almost all children without parental care in the United States were in orphanages or foster arrangements until President Theodore Roosevelt declared the nuclear family was best able to serve as primary caretaker for the abandoned and orphaned. Inspired by his leadership, forces against institutionalization gathered momentum, and the practice of formal adoption gained popularity.’
Conscripting or enslaving children into armies and labor pools often occurred over the centuries as the consequence of war, pestilence and natural disasters when many children were left parentless. Abandoned children then became the ward of the state, military organization, or religious group. When this practice happened en masse, it had the advantage of ensuring the strength and continuity of cultural and religious practices in medieval society.
The largest migration of abandoned children in history took place in the United States between 1854 and 1929. Orphan trains, or baby trains as some called them, were highly popular as a source of free labor. Mothers simply abandoned their newborns in a special basket at the door of the hospital and rang a special bell, then disappeared. Their homeless and orphaned children were then transported from New York and Chicago and crowded Eastern cities of the United States to rural areas of the Midwest. Over two…
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