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I know that before 1927 there wasn't any official adoption but if someone had a birth certificate with a mother's name on it but the father's name left blank would you assume the child was the mother's natural child? There is an instance in my family were a lady had one son born before WW1 but her next son was born 1920 after the war and 4 years after her husband was killed. There were rumours that she adopted him from the hospital but with her name on the birth certitificate as mother would you think this was a way of covering up his true identity?

Re: Adoption

Hi Lois,
My father was born in 1923 to a WW1 widow who already had 4 children born to her husband prior to WW1, her husband was killed in 1917.
My father's birth certificate has his mother's name and no father's name.
It took me 18 years of research to find that he'd been born illegitimately, his mother had died just 5 weeks after his birth, his birth was registered after her death.
He was placed in the workhouse and an "adoption" was arranged by his natural father (his name appears on the workhouse record as discharging him}.
My father was then Baptised by a couple who were in their 50's and he was given his "adopted" father's names.

It appears that many unofficial adoptions/fosterings were arranged this way as there were many illegitimately born children prior to 1927.

Hope this helps you.

Marlene C

Re: Adoption

Hi Marlene,
Lovely to hear from you again. Hope you are well and had a good Christmas. That really helps as I've only seen one adoption certificate and this was after 1927. I suspect that the story about the hospital was made up to cover up illegitimacy but I suppose happening before 1927 there isn't much hope of proving it though! :(

Re: Adoption

if I understand this correctly then either the birth certificate is correct and the rumour is a cover story OR the birth registration is false (a criminal offence). In addition the real mother would have committed a criminal offence by not correctly registering the birth, and any intermediary (hospital?) would also have committed a criminal offence. Unofficial adoption was common, but not by criminally creating false registration documents.

Re: Adoption

Thanks Dave for your information and thoughts ☺