Demand exceeds supply of babies for adoption

Relates to:
Date: 1932-12-17

From: St. Joseph Gazette

Evanston, Ill., Dec. 18 - (AP) -- There's one commodity, a very human one, in which the demand fat exceeds the supply. It's babies for adoption.

The Cradle, widely known scientific child placing society, has a list of more than 1,000 desirable homes wanting babies to adopt, but only twenty-four babies currently available.

When Christmas decorations go up, mail for the Cradle, founded and directed by Mrs. Florence D. Walwarth [sic], increases with adoption applications - and this year it is heavier than ever.

"With the whoopee era passed, life today seems to have sobered folks," said Mrs. Walwarth [sic], through whose efforts in ten years more than 2,000 infants have found selected homes.

"Folks are returning to the hearth and many are finding that a home is empty without a baby."

"There is no reason," she continued, "why any adoptable baby should grow up in an orphan asylum, for it has been my experience that there are far more waiting good homes than there are babies to adopt"

Careful Studies Made.

The problem, she emphasized, is to bring the right potential home and the right child together.

And its solution, according to the system she has worked out, consists of careful study of the infant and all possible investigation into his background as well as into the histories of prospective foster parents.

The Cradle is, in its way, a laboratory for the new science of pediatrics, the care of babies. The infant during the forty days he is held for observation is assured the best scientific care. It costs $200 on an average to prepare a baby for adoption,, and while in the Cradle he (or she) has garments dainty as any mother would desire.

The Cradle staff normally embraces from six to nine graduate nurses and sixteen student nurses. Its physicians are recognized baby specialists, who donate their services.

In the delicate matter of placing a child in a foster home Mrs Walrath has developed a unique technique. Babies from her shelter have not only gone into many prominent families over the nation, but to Americans in Japan, South America, Africa and the Philippines.

"Baby Shopping" Prohibited.

Mrs. Walrath tries as far as possible, to "match" the child to his adopted parents in nationality, religion, color of hair and eyes and features.

A child whose mother or father was well educated is placed with a family of that type. But "shopping" among the cribs by prospective parents is not allowed. When a baby, seemingly fitted for the home of certain applicants arrives at the Cradle, the applications are notified and given opportunity to become acquainted with the infant. If he does not appeal to them they await the arrival of another.

After the child is adopted his bast is a closed book. He likewise passes out of the life of his natural mother. The new parents are given general information regarding the child's known background, but not the identity of the mother.

If nothing is known of the background, the foster parents are told that. In ever case a certificate of good health is given.

While the baby is being held for adoption his natural parents may claim him if they wish.

The Cradle is the outcome of Mrs. Walrath's efforts fifteen years ago to help a friend find a baby for adoption. It was officially opened March, 1923. It has no endowments, but its subscriptions list includes many socially prominent names.

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