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July 28, 1945


JAMA. 1945;128(13):955. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860300045011

In pioneer days the family physician was naturally the person with whom to discuss the adoption of a baby. He knew the unwanted babies. He was expected to maintain secrecy and to respect confidences. For many years the informal adoptions arranged by physicians were as satisfactory a way as could be found. Physicians have continued to function in this capacity. Here and there abuses have been observed, but the vast majority of physicians, in arranging adoptions, do so without profit to themselves and with a view only to the advantage of the baby, the real parents and the foster parents. Many nonmedical abuses have crept into the field of adoption. "Baby farms" and disreputable foster homes, in which unwanted babies were left and from which they are taken by foster parents, often profit both ways from such transactions; they charge mothers for "care" of the baby, often at prohibitive rates;