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Would-Be Protectors Unable to Learn if They Are Orphans.
New York Times,
February 9, 1915
So many letters and requests have been received by the officials in charge of various Belgian charities in New York, in which the writers offer to adopt Belgian orphans, that the Commission for Relief in Belgium yesterday asked Dr. P. H. Williams of the College of Physicians and Surgeons. Columbia University, for at statement dealing with the question. Dr. Williams returned a few days ago from a sojourn of several months in Belgium. where he had charge of relief work affecting nearly 1,000.000 people in the Province of Liege.
"Even it it was possible," said Dr. Williams, " to bring these children to the United States, there would be no way of telling in the great majority of cases whether they were fatherless. Besides, the matter is complicated by the announced intention of the Belgian Government, when the war is ended, to bring all its homeless children back to their native land.
"The situation of the children in Belgium is pitiful in the extreme. If somebody in this country were to adopt a Belgian child now, the child would have to be given up later if the parents turned up. The British and French newspapers are already full of advertisements. the object of which is to reunite Belgian families whose members have been separated because of conditions due to the war."