Column: The Not So Ideal Maternity Home

Between today and Wednesday, my genealogy column, Roots to the Past, is available in the following Atlantic Canada newspapers:

Saturday: The Citizen (Amherst)

Saturday: Times & Transcript (Moncton)

Wednesday: The Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin (Lunenburg County)

Title: Column: The Not So Ideal Maternity Home

Snippet: A hundred years ago, a woman who became pregnant out of wedlock faced harsh treatment and scrutiny from their family, friends and community. She often took the brunt of the shame while the father of the child faded into obscurity. If she was a teacher, she would lose her job. In cruel situations, her family might disown her.

Single, pregnant women had few choices. Sometimes the family took control and forced their will upon the mother-to-be. In an attempt to hide the truth, women could be sent away or hidden in the home.

When the baby was born, it may have been given up for adoption or presented as the child of its grandmother and raised as a sibling to its mother. Needless to say, these hide-and-seek games played havoc in family trees.

Given the attitudes of the time and the secrecy forced upon many unwed mothers, it’s not surprising others took advantage of their situation. This was the case on the South Shore of Nova Scotia in the mid-1900s.

. . . To read more, pick up one of the above noted newspapers.


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