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HISTORY OF ADOPTION IN THE UNITED STATES


TIMELINE OF ADOPTION HISTORY IN BRIEF - 1693-1850

1693 - Governor Sir William Phips of Massachusetts adopts a son, marking the first recorded legal adoption in the colonies.

1729 - After Indians massacred adult settlers in Natchez, Ursuline nuns found the first orphanage in North America in Natchez, Mississippi. The name of the orphanage is unconfirmed.

1769 - William Russell of Georgia leaves 300 pounds in his will to Anna Hunter for her dowry. Hunter is a "foster child" who lives with Russell's family. During the colonial era, most orphans are taken in by relatives or people in their community, who either treat them as indentured servants or raise them as their own children, but never adopt them legally.

1801 - The Hebrew Orphan Society, the first Jewish orphanage in the United States, is established in Charleston, South Carolina.

1822 - The Colored Orphan Asylum, the first orphanage for African American children, is established in Philadelphia.

1850 - Alabama passes a law stating that an adopted child has the right to inherit property from adoptive parents.

1850 - The first "orphan train," initiated by the Children's Mission for the Children of the Destitute, leaves Boston. About 30 street children are taken to foster homes in New Hampshire and Vermont

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From: The Adoption History Project website www.uoregon.edu/~adoption/index.html Used With Permission.

 

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