Posted 9 months ago
This is an adoption / foster parent contract dated August 8, 1868, for the adoption of my great-grandfather when he was 6 years old. I don't know if they didn't have a dedicated form for adoption, because they used an "Indenture" apprenticeship form to write the contract.
The top left corner of the contract (photo #2) is printed adoption. It is an indenture contract between, The American Female Guardian Society, 1st part, and Mr. Adam & Mrs. Hahn of Buchanan, County of Berrien, State of Michigan, 2nd part, to be the foster parent of Albert York Lincoln, third part, who was 6 years old on the fourth day of January last, has been duly surrendered by the natural, or other legal guardians, to the care and management of the said Society; and whereas, (the said Mr. Adam & Mrs. Hahn)(handwritten) has applied to the managers of the said Society to put out and place child with (them)(handwritten) by adoption, and as an apprentice, until such child shall arrive at the age of (Twenty One)(handwritten) years.
Notice in photo #2 & 4 above, that the word "employer" is lined out and "Foster Parents" is handwritten in.
In the center body of the page, it states in part, that the party of the second part (foster parents), shall and will provide and allow unto the said apprentice, competent and sufficient meat, drink, and apparel, washing, lodging, mending, and all other things necessary and fit for an apprentice; and shall and will teach and instruct, or cause the said apprentice to be taught and instructed to read and write, and so much of arithmetic, spelling, and grammar, as is needful for persons in the ordinary ranks of life; and shall also give unto the said apprentice, at the expiration of the said term of service, a new Bible and (the sum of)(handwritten) dollars in money (no amount stated), or a satisfactory equivalent, and shall cause such apprentice to attend public worship on Sunday, and the Sunday-school, (whenever such attendance is not too inconvenient,) during all the term aforesaid, and frequently to read the Holy Scriptures aloud; and shall not allow the said apprentice to be absent from the service of (his)(handwritten) said (Foster Parents)(handwritten) without express leave; nor suffer (him)(handwritten) to haunt ale-houses, taverns, or play-houses; nor to play cards, dice, or any unlawful game; but will exert (their)(handwritten) authority to cause and procure the said apprentice to behave (himself)(handwritten) in all things, as a faithful apprentice ought to do, during the term aforesaid.
In parenthesis is written:
Although the present instrument binds the above-named child, strictly as an apprentice, it is, nevertheless, the true intention of the parties of the first part to place, and the party of the second part to receive, said apprentice as an adopted child, to reside in the family of the party of the second part, and to be maintained, clothed, educated and treated, as far as practicable, with like care and kindness as if (he)(handwritten) were in fact the child of the party of the second part.
The last paragraph states that anytime within three months of this indenture, if they are dissatisfied, they can return him to the party of the first part, and gives their responsibilities if they do so.
It has been over a week since I have posted anything in anticipation of posting this with better news.
My son & daughter-in-law have been in the adoption process for over two years now and a few weeks ago were chosen to adopt a little girl about to be born. She was born last week to a young teenage girl. She is a beautiful and healthy baby, perfect in anyway possible. My son & daughter-in-law brought he home from the hospital, and for five days we were able to love and care for her. Than on the sixth day the birth mom, a child herself, decided she could not give her up, and we had to give her back. It has been a long and trying week to say the least, but we have to move on, and some day in the future, I'm sure we will have another bundle of joy to hold.
I couldn't seem to post anything new until I posted this. Maybe a little therapy for myself.
This was a very interesting part of my family history that I knew nothing about until I found this document in one of the boxes of photos and papers I received from my parents after they passed away.
Thanks for looking and listening,