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I've seen several people recently say that babies in the U.S. wait in orphanages. I didn't think we had those in this country anymore. I thought that was why we had foster care - so the child could have more one-on-one attention. Am I wrong in thinking that orphanages are a thing of the past in this country?


Asked by Iamgr8teful at 3:37 PM on Oct. 6, 2009 in Adoption

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Answers (13)
  • It is a term that is not used widely since the de-institutionalization of many things in America in the 1970's. However, the basic premise of what orphange used to mean "a facility that houses many individuals who have paid staff to care for them" exists in many forms today. Group Homes, Independent Living Centers, Transitional Living Centers, anything other than a foster or adoptive home where children who are legally free and of an age available for adoption would qualify as such.

    Interestingly enough one of the most well respected support for former foster youth is called "OFA - Orphan Foundation of America" and does amazing work. They match foster youth who are attending college with mentor volunteers who promise to check in with them via email and send periodic care packages to encourage these students who don't have a traditional family to do that for them. Check it out.....

    Answer by PortAngeles1969 at 10:59 PM on Oct. 10, 2009

  • I didn't think the US had orphanages anymore either.

    Answer by Krystal.Ingalls at 3:40 PM on Oct. 6, 2009

  • i don't think so either. People like to say things even if they are untrue to prove their point.

    Answer by MHaney1980 at 3:43 PM on Oct. 6, 2009

  • Some people seem to think there's a big room of new born babies some place waiting for families to come get them. I truely dont think everyone understands how foster care works or the difference between newborn adoptions & foster care. If you voluntarily give up a baby at birth it goes to the family you choose, it doesnt go into the "system" to wait for someone to choose it. Foster care kids/babies are ones who are removed from the bio parents for whatever reason (abuse, neglect, drug use whatever) & go to live with a foster family who may or may not get a chance to adopt them.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:51 PM on Oct. 6, 2009

  • Orphanages do not exist in the traditional sense, but there are some group residential homes, especially for older teens who are too old for the foster care system and disabled children.

    To claim that children are wasting away in orphanages in the US shows how little the person knows about adoption today.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:51 PM on Oct. 6, 2009

  • Some few orphanages do exist in the U.S., but they are mainly a thing of the past, but, I know that there are at least a few in our state. There are many group homes and other places that children might be sent if they cannot live in their original homes.

    Answer by Southernroots at 4:05 PM on Oct. 6, 2009

  • If you google it you will find there are orphanages in our country. Now, I've never been in one, however I do recall having driven by one on a regular basis in the past and the building did not look ominous or crude.


    Answer by Knightquester at 4:10 PM on Oct. 6, 2009


    A link - I goggled too. I think the term is not used much anymore, but, there are still some places like orphanages. I thought our state had one because a client of ours mentions in their Xmas cards donating to an orphanage each year at Christmas, but now I think it may not be in our state.

    Answer by Southernroots at 4:22 PM on Oct. 6, 2009

  • Independent Order of Odd Fellows was the first fraternal order and first organization to establish an orphanage in the United States. Odd Fellows established countless orphanages throughout the United States, all funded through charity. More Odd Fellows orphanages existed than any other in the United States, before the government would pay for them. To this day Odd Fellows works to help and support orphans though SOS Village, just one of their many projects of charity.



    Answer by doodlebopfan at 4:34 PM on Oct. 6, 2009

    • Established in 1790, The Charleston Orphan House, located in Charleston, SC was the first public orphanage in the United States. Today the organization continues its 200 year legacy under the name of [Carolina Youth Development Center] A complete history of the organization entitled, A Legacy of Caring: The Charleston Orphan House 1790-1990 was published by Wyrick and Company, Charleston, SC 1991.

    Who knew?


    Answer by doodlebopfan at 4:34 PM on Oct. 6, 2009

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