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A History of Adoption in England and Wales (1850-1961) (ePub)

Family History P&S History > British History > Victorian History P&S History > By Century > 20th Century P&S History > Social History World History > UK & Ireland > Wales

By Gill Rossini
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
File Size: 7.4 MB (.epub)
Pages: 192
Illustrations: 8-page plate section
ISBN: 9781473846449
Published: 19th November 2014


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Adoption is one of the most emotive and complex subjects in social and family history. Gill Rossini's social history of adoption between 1850 and 1961 uncovers the perspectives of all those concerned in adoption: children, birth relatives, adoptive families, and all the agencies and organisations involved.

Rossini charts the transformation of the adoption process from a chaotic informal arrangement to a legal procedure. Set against the backdrop of the moral, cultural, and legal climate of the times, the contemporary voices of those who played a part in an adoption give real insights into this often turbulent period in their lives. Discover how shocking stories of baby farmers and unwanted orphans fuelled the campaign for change, and hear previously untold stories.

For those who wish to conduct their own research into an adoption, Rossini has compiled a comprehensive guide to resources.

Referenced in 'Resources' part of author article on Adoption

WDYTYA? Magazine, February 2021

Referenced in resources part of Denise Bates article 'For the sake of the children' as featured by

WDYTYA? Magazine, March 2020

As any family researcher will know, adoption is a difficult problem to overcome in the family history and this book devotes 20 pages to sources and advice and it provides a guide to further reading which includes web sites.

A worthwhile book.

Federation of Family History Societies

Emotional stories are told through contemporary accounts. There is a comprehensive guide to resources available for researching adoption together with a bibliography and glossary of terms.

Bristol and Avon Family History Society

A very well written book which deals with a complex and emotive subject extremely well... The book will appeal to anyone wanting to know more about adoption, and the social context, its history such as family and social historians, as well as the general reader.

Bedfordshire Family History Society

A most informative and interesting book for those involved in adoption, but also anyone interested in social history... A 'must' for those professionally or socially interested in adoption.


The book uncovers the different perspectives of those who have been involved in adoption – the children, their birth relatives, the adoptive families and all the agencies and organisations concerned. Set against the backdrop of the moral, cultural and legal climate of the times, this book gives a real insight into this often turbulent world. Shocking accounts of baby farmers and unwanted orphans which fuelled the campaign for change are revealed, as are many previously untold stories. This book will appeal to genealogists as well as social history fans and anyone interested in the topic

Cambrian News

[A] highly welcome and indeed a rare guide on the subject.
A thorough social history, aided by a useful research guide at the end.

Your Family Tree Magazine

Adoptions can be particularly difficult to research so this book is all the more welcome to give the background and point family historians in the right direction.

Essex Family Historian

As featured in.

Cambrian News

As featured on.

BBC Radio Wales

A welcome exploration of this highly emotive subject. The author explores society's attempts to grapple with the problems of single mothers and 'displaced' children, charities and institutions, foster parenting and private adoption services.
This is a comprehensive and engaging guide to the history of adoption, as well as the perils faced by society's most vulnerable members.

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine

For those trying to trace adopted relatives, this clear-cut history may well set you on the right track. Family history tutor Gill Rossini presents a useful and fascinating background to adoption back to the early Victorian era, giving invaluable guidance and advice for those seeking to solve adoption mysteries in their family trees.
The comprehensive guide to resources in different periods should also provide some useful launch pads for your own research.

Family Tree Magazine

Looks at the different perspectives of those who have been involved in adoption, including the children, their birth relatives, the adoptive families and all the agencies and organisations concerned.

North Wales Pioneer
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