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"OLD" Catholic Adoption - Information

Surprisingly I think I've found the "Foundling & Maternity Asylum" my Grandfather was left at upon birth in 1927.

The problem is it is a Catholic Sisters of Charity (Mother Steton) diocese; and they pride themselves on upholding their promise on anonymity to the family; indefinitely; unless the family approved the release of the information.

I understand at the time it was considered to be a shameful thing and they thought you'd never want anyone to know your shame; however we are talking almost 85 years here - the darn census records are released after like 75 or something!!

Does anyone have any experience with dealing with an organization such as this and do you know what the chances might be of obtaining more than the basic info on his mother's health at the time of birth; and hopefully uncover her name?

Thx for any insight/tips you might be able to share.

Answer Question

Asked by beachmamaof2 at 3:27 PM on Jun. 12, 2010 in Adoption

Level 17 (4,173 Credits)
Answers (17)
  • Ugh--no clue, but good luck!

    Answer by LiliMama18 at 4:24 PM on Jun. 12, 2010

  • Wow! That is fascinating. I'm not sure there is much you can do, but good luck. I hope you can find out more.

    Answer by Hazelnutkin at 4:27 PM on Jun. 12, 2010

  • Here is a link to the Adoption Search Resource Group


    Answer by onethentwins at 9:03 PM on Jun. 12, 2010

  • Interesting that they cling to the anonymity they claim to have offered since I don't know any birth moms who were ever promised anonymity, and I know many birth moms. Access to adoption records is different from state to state. Find out what the law is in your state as far as access to adoption records.

    Answer by Southernroots at 2:32 AM on Jun. 13, 2010

  • Thanks for the info - yeah southern this is what their site says:

    In this capacity, and in compliance with right to privacy laws, assistance is offered to adoptees seeking non-identifying birth and background information

    At the time a woman entered _____, along with the optimal medical care and emotional support provided to her, she was promised complete confidentiality. Safeguarding that pledge to the present day, no names nor specific place locations can be revealed in response to inquires, no matter how much time has elapsed. The non-identifying information that may be given includes the age, nationality, religion, occupation, family background, and significant health history of the birth-parent. The amount and type of information available, however, varies from case to case.

    Answer by beachmamaof2 at 12:32 PM on Jun. 13, 2010

  • It is over the top.The youngest she could be is 98 and no one would bother a 98 year old.So what they are doing is safeguarding her children ,grandchildren and on and on.The agreement wasn't with them and it is doubtful they are looking to be.safeguarded.So sorry.I don't know how helpful this would be but I have used for some genealogical stuff.Sometimes it is taking tiny bits if info finding a link and eventually finding the info.Good luck.


    Answer by drfink at 2:27 PM on Jun. 13, 2010

  • Geez, I don't know but good luck. That info could be very hard to come by after so much time has passed.

    Answer by Luuckymommy at 4:54 PM on Jun. 13, 2010

  • The 1930 census records are now available. So yeah 80 years. Don't expect to find anything though. I have a relative who was illegitimate, born in the late 1890's. On her death bed her mother still wouldn't tell her a thing about her father. Someone from that era would not want that information out there. It isn't going to happen.


    Answer by Anonymous at 9:06 AM on Jun. 15, 2010

  • Number one... take it up with the state and see if you can get them ordered to unseal the documents. Number two... take it up with the arch diosece. The sisters must answer to them, and even my uncle, who tried to hold on to the old ways as long as he could (he was a priest) eventually had to bow to progress, and most of the archdiocese are with the times. You just might have to explain what you are looking for and why to justify their intervention.

    Answer by armycoppertop at 10:45 AM on Jun. 15, 2010

  • You've stumbled upon an issue that many adoptees face once they become adults ... their birth records being sealed. Here is a link to a group that is focusing on opening records, especially original birth certificates.

    As Southernroots already said, each state has different laws. Currently there are 8 (i believe it is) states that are allowing access. But even in those states the information is available at differing stipulations.

    My suggestions would be, first find out the laws of the state where your grandfather was born. You may find information in different avenues than the organization you already communicated with.

    Please feel free to pm me if you want to dig deeper and I might be able to help you connect with folks who have better answers and wayy more experience. Don't give up though.


    Answer by JoesGirl at 2:11 PM on Jun. 15, 2010

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