During and shortly after the Great Depression of 1929, agencies transported street children of large cities like New York, whose parents were financially unable to care for them, to foster-care-like families, mostly in the Midwest—a period that, because of the method of transporting them, became known as the period of the orphan trains.Although the purpose was usually to provide care in exchange for work by the children, some families adopted these children.Tags: Two Parts Of A ThesisJane Eyre Essays On Social ClassHook Bridge Thesis StatementEssay Literature OtherEmpirical Essay TopicsCurrent Topic For EssayDissertation Topic Help
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Although some infants remained available through private, independent adoptions, numbers were much smaller and biological mothers had increased control over the selection or eligibility determination of adoptive parents. Already accustomed to seeing international adoptees in their communities and supported by public policy changes, Caucasian couples began to embrace the adoption of Native American, Hispanic, and African American children.
A number of federal, state, and private agency policies provided financial, medical, tax, and employment incentives for the adoption of children considered otherwise hard to place.
A private social welfare system for placing the children with more advantaged, mostly Caucasian married couples ensued, and adoption became an avenue to family formation for married couples for whom infertility prevented biological births.
Children born out-of-wedlock to minority group mothers, particularly African American children, were generally informally adopted and raised by the mother’s extended family.