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Adoption in the 1930's!?

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Adoption in the 1930's!?

Postby Millfield64 » Fri Feb 10, 2017 3:54 pm

If a child was born to an unmarried mother in 1929, would it have been possible for the child to have been bought up by the brother of the unmarried mother and his wife without going through the authorties? Or, could they have done it without doing so? This would have been in Hull, East Yorkshire. The child then, is now an elderly person still living who is trying to find out the identity of her father if at all possible. Birth certificate does not hold a father's name. Would some kind of financial arrangements have had to be made by the father at that time to the mother for the child's care? Any help or guidance would be very much appreciated.

Many thanks
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Re: Adoption in the 1930's!?

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri Feb 10, 2017 6:33 pm

I have no certain idea what the legal situation would be but did find a discussion on a GenesReunited site where people quoted examples of informal adoption continuing after the Act of 1926.

Frankly, I would suggest that because of the importance of this, it is worth contemplating getting professional advice on this.

I'm only searching and trying to be logical - I could tell you quite the wrong thing.

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Re: Adoption in the 1930's!?

Postby peter kent » Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:29 am

Birth certificate does not hold a father's name.

Your best bet would be to search local court records for a maintenance order. It would be the court (petty sessions, I think) appropriate to where the mother was living at the time. I would ask the record office (Hull History Centre?) for advice.

There is also the possibility that any court hearing would have been reported in the local press. Newspapers are perhaps easier to search than court records.
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Re: Adoption in the 1930's!?

Postby Joss » Sun Mar 26, 2017 3:39 pm

The only useful-looking legislation before this date seems to be the Children Act of 1908 which you can see here - ... 067_en.pdf. It's a long read but as far as I can make out only applies if money is changing hands ie if someone is being paid to look after children.
My gut reaction based on evidence in my own family is that if another family member, in your case the mother's brother, steps in to take in a child, there would be no legal formalities.
After my grandfather had an accident in work somewhere around 1930, he was laid off and could no longer support a wife and three young daughters, so the middle daughter, Edna, who would have been about 9 or 10, went to live with relations who lived a couple of streets away. These relations had no children of their own and while not wealthy were certainly better off. Edna still was able to visit her own family and it worked very well, although my mother later said she was jealous as Edna had nicer clothes and toys!
A further example from an earlier date is Ella, who was born in 1909 - her mother died shortly thereafter and the following year, her father remarried to a woman who was physically cruel to her, particularly after she had a son of her own. In stepped my great grandmother, whose children were by now growing up, the youngest being 11, who took Ella in and made her one of the family.
To my knowledge there was no paperwork and certainly no money handed over in either case, just kind hearted people. Which is nice, but I'm guessing its paperwork you need! Good luck.
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Re: Adoption in the 1930's!?

Postby kamilla1960 » Thu May 04, 2017 12:59 pm

Hello my brother in law was "adopted" in1935. We knew little of what happened and why, however it appears that babies and children were offered for adoption through newspaper adverts, this is exactly what happened to my brother in law. I read in the Lincolnshire Echo his advert, some babies were offered with terms, mother willing to pay a certain amount for first six months etc. My brother in law was born in Grimsby, and we still don't know why his mother travelled all they way from the midlands to have him there. Perhaps we will never find out the whole truth now.

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