A Study of Twenty Families Who Legally Adopted a Child Through Catholic Home Bureau in 1948

Eileen Adelaide O'Reilly, Fordham University


Background of the Study. "Adoption was the ancient as it is the modern method of creating by law the relationship of parent and child." It is a very old institution in India and Japan. Adoption was recognized by Roman law and exists today in many European countries that derive their jurisprudence from that law. Under Roman law the religious headship of the family and the inheritance of property passed from father to son. The motive for adoption, recognized by the law, was the desire for an heir who would promote or continue the prestige of the family. In our western world adoption has been traditionally associated with legal procedure and was designed primarily to insure the inheritance rights of a child. However, legal adoption, as we know it, was not authorized in Great Britain until 1926 because under the common law it was possible for family titles to be continued without resort to adoption. The development of the master and apprentice system of caring for dependent children was probably responsible for the delayed development of adoption procedure. Under the apprentice system children who were reared in the homes of others were referred to as "adopted children" although no legal procedure had established this relationship.

Subject Area

Social work|Law|History|Individual & family studies

Recommended Citation

O'Reilly, Eileen Adelaide, "A Study of Twenty Families Who Legally Adopted a Child Through Catholic Home Bureau in 1948" (1950). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI30724981.