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richardstree
17-02-2010, 10:50 AM
Was it common for a single woman in the 50's to adopt a child?

Would a family connection have been necessary (ie the child being born to a sister/cousin) for the adoption to have gone ahead?

Jan1954
17-02-2010, 11:14 AM
According to a review of the book "A Child for Keeps: the History of Adoption in England, 1918-45" by Jenny Keating, by the Institute of Historical Research (history.ac.uk/reviews/paper/greyd.html),

"While the majority of adopters were married couples, there were also a small number of unmarried parents who adopted their own illegitimate child in order to legitimise them, and until the policy on this changed shortly after the Second World War, a number of single childless men and women also adopted children."

Does this help at all?

richardstree
17-02-2010, 11:47 AM
It may well help. Its an idea I never thought about.

So the childs own mother could have adopted her own child?

On the birth cert i have it gives place of birth, name of child, sex, blank for father, name and address of mother, fathers occupation blank, name and address of informant (same as mother), date registered, signature of registrar.

Then at the very end, outside the boxes it say "adopted, Superintendent Registrar" and his name.

Peter Goodey
17-02-2010, 1:32 PM
Now I'm lost and can't understand the question. What you have described is a birth certificate for a child that was subsequently adopted.

For an adopted child, there would also be an adoption certificate, bearing the child's adoptive name. There is no link in either direction between the original birth certificate and the adoption certificate.

David Benson
17-02-2010, 2:59 PM
Peter is quite right - I have a copy of my original birth certificate which says in the margin 'Adopted' and signed by the registrar. It gives my 'birth' mothers name and the name she gave me which is not the name I subsequently got when I was adopted.

richardstree
17-02-2010, 4:39 PM
Yes it is a birth certificate that I have.

It does say "adopted" in the margin.

I dont want to break any rules by giving too much information, but i will give it a go.

The birth cert that i have is for a family member, the given name on the certificate is the name that we know this person by.

The mother named on the cert is the same as the mother she has grown up with.

Does that make sense.

The word "adopted" is the thing i cant understand.

Was this person adopted - of course, otherwise the word wouldnt be on the cert.

But why is the mothers name on the birth cert the same as the person that she calls mum?

i hope this makes enough sense to someone.

As this is an adoption after 1900 I dont want to break the forum rules.

Peter Goodey
17-02-2010, 5:39 PM
I don't thnk you'll be able to draw any conclusions until you have more evidence.

You need to find out whether there is a corresponding adoption certificate and, if there is one, obtain a copy.

The Adoption Index ('Adoptions from 1927 – 2007') can be viewed at the designated sites. I don't know about on line sites. A certificate costs the usual amount.

richardstree
18-02-2010, 4:26 AM
I think I have solved the mystery.

The relative was born 1951, father either unknown or a decision was made to exclude the name.

1956 when the mother married, the new husband adopted the child and the certificate was altered to show "adopted"

I ordered the certificate 4 years ago and saw the word adopted, was surprised and then put it to one side.
I originally looked for the relative with the name we knew her by and then using the maiden name of her mother found her.

In the last few weeks I thought more about it.

On the cert it gives the childs name as Ann Mary (not the real name)
Gives the mothers name as Jean Carole Smith (not the real name) the name we know as being her maiden name.
Same address as on her marriage cert 6 years later.

We have always know Ann Mary as a Jones (not the real name)
Jean Carole married a Jones (not the real name)

Probably when Jean Carole Smith married Ben Jones he adopted Ann Mary and the cert was altered to show Ann Mary had been adopted.

christanel
18-02-2010, 5:47 AM
If a child of one parent was adopted by that parent's new marriage partner then the mother/father also had to adopt their own child in partnership with their new mate. Otherwise the non-blood parent becomes the sole parent and the blood parent loses custody. That is how it was in NSW in the 1950/60's. It still makes sense but I don't know how it works now.

Peter Goodey
18-02-2010, 7:49 AM
I think I have solved the mystery.

Sorry, surely you haven't solved it until you've obtained the adoption certificate as mentioned in my earlier message.

richardstree
18-02-2010, 10:25 AM
If a child of one parent was adopted by that parent's new marriage partner then the mother/father also had to adopt their own child in partnership with their new mate. Otherwise the non-blood parent becomes the sole parent and the blood parent loses custody. That is how it was in NSW in the 1950/60's. It still makes sense but I don't know how it works now.

That makes sense as well.


Sorry, surely you haven't solved it until you've obtained the adoption certificate as mentioned in my earlier message.

Well we thought we had solved it in our own minds, without obtaining the original adoption cert, which we wont be able to as the person is still living, was adopted before 1975. Of course, we could ask the people concerned but after all these years, if they wanted us to know they would have mentioned it long ago.

carolchipp
19-02-2010, 1:08 AM
Well we thought we had solved it in our own minds, without obtaining the original adoption cert, which we wont be able to as the person is still living, was adopted before 1975. Of course, we could ask the people concerned but after all these years, if they wanted us to know they would have mentioned it long ago.

Although, as Peter rightly says, without proof it isn't solved - given what you have said about the names and the mother's subsequent marriage, you are probably correct.
We have a family member, same era, exactly the same circumstances, and therefore this person has an adoption cert instead of a birth cert. I think at that time, recent though it is, such matters weren't talked about and certainly in the case of our relation the facts were known only to immediate family members of that generation, to the extent that the person-concerned's sibling weren't told either. And I agree, since they didn't choose to make it public knowledge, you can hardly ask.
Carol

Peter Goodey
19-02-2010, 8:01 AM
without obtaining the original adoption cert, which we wont be able to as the person is still living

I've never heard of such a restriction. It's the same as getting a birth certificate.

richardstree
19-02-2010, 4:43 PM
I've never heard of such a restriction. It's the same as getting a birth certificate.

I do think after looking at the form "application for access to birth records" it is probably pointed towards the actual person that was adopted to get in touch and have the meeting (not a curious, however well meaning relative) to ask questions.

This could leave the person who was adopted and the family that adopted open to many questions and unnecessary embarrassment.

HopeToFind
07-04-2010, 6:18 PM
I think I might know the answer to this question as this occurred in my own family to a child born in England. Here is what happened (NOTE: All the names below are not their real names !)

1. Miss Anna Adams married Mr. BAINS in 1930
This couple received a final decree of divorce in January 1952.
2. Anna (Adams) Bains gave birth to a daughter in September 1952. (The father of this child, Mr. CHURCH, was still married to his first wife at the time of the birth.)
3. A Birth Certificate was issued for the child giving the child's name as Mary Bains, listing the mother's maiden name as follows: Adams OR Bains ! It listed the father as C. Church and the child's surname as BAINS ! (The child was given this surname because it was still the mother's legal surname.)
4. In 1955, after Mr. Church had obtained his divorce, he married Anna (Adams) Bains.
5. After their marriage, an adoption certificate was issued in which both Anna and her new husband "adopted" their own biological child, Mary Bains, and her surname then became CHURCH.

When I asked the mother of this child why it was done this way she replied, "We had to do it that way so that she could have her real father's last name."

Kerrywood
07-04-2010, 7:13 PM
Hi HopeToFind, thank you for posting useful additional information, and welcome to the forums.

Anyone joining this thread please remember that discussion of personal details of adoption after 1900 are not permitted on this forum -- please see this Sticky (http://www.british-genealogy.com/forums/showthread.php?25022-Adoption-Personal-Details).

Jane Elderfield
30-05-2010, 7:15 AM
If a child of one parent was adopted by that parent's new marriage partner then the mother/father also had to adopt their own child in partnership with their new mate. Otherwise the non-blood parent becomes the sole parent and the blood parent loses custody. That is how it was in NSW in the 1950/60's. It still makes sense but I don't know how it works now.

Yes, same in Canada in the 1940's. Birth mother had to sign away all rights as a birth mother, then (along with her husband) adopt child and become adoptive mother. Seems bizarre, but it satisfied the law.

--Jane E