HISTORY OF ADOPTION IN THE UNITED STATES
TIMELINE OF ADOPTION HISTORY IN BRIEF - 1901-1919
1904 - The first social work school, the New York School of Applied Philanthropy, opened its doors.
1909 - First White House Conference on the Care of Dependent Children declared that poverty alone should not be grounds for removing children from families. When children required placement for other reasons, however, they were to be placed in family homes, "the highest and finest product of civilization."
1910-1930 - The first specialized adoption agencies were founded, including the Spence Alumni Society, the Free Synagogue Child Adoption Committee, the Alice Chapin Nursery (all in New York) and the Cradle in Evanston, Illinois.
1911 - Dr. Arnold Gesell founded the Juvenile Psycho Clinic (later the Clinic of Child Development) at Yale.
1912 - Congress created the U.S. Children's Bureau in the Department of Labor "to investigate and report on all matters pertaining to the welfare of children and child life among all classes of our people"; Julia Lathrop was appointed as its first chief, the first woman to head a federal agency.
1912-1921 - Baby farming (the taking in of an infant or child for payment), commercial maternity homes, and adoption ad investigations took place in Boston, New York, Baltimore, Chicago, and other cities.
1915 - Bureau for Exchange of Information Among Child-Helping Organizations founded (renamed Child Welfare League of America in 1921).
1916 - Lewis Terman's revision of the Binet scale popularized the intelligence quotient, or I.Q. Worries about the "feeble-minded" mentality of children available for adoption, and trends toward measuring their mental potential as one part of the adoption process, usually with mental tests, grew out of the eugenics movement in the early part of the century.
1917 - Minnesota passed first law mandating social investigation of all adoptions (including home studies) and providing for the confidentiality of adoption records.
1919 - The Russell Sage Foundation published the first professional child-placing manual; U.S. Children's Bureau set minimum standards for child-placing.
1919 - Jessie Taft authored an early manifesto for therapeutic adoption, "Relation of Personality Study to Child Placing."
1919-1929 - The first empirical field studies of adoption gathered basic information about how many adoptions were taking place, of whom, and by whom.
From: The Adoption History Project website www.uoregon.edu/~adoption/index.html Used With