HOMES NEEDED FOR 10,000
BROWN ORPHANS: Deserted tots find few would-be parents, excluded
by color line in many orphanages
In South Carolina recently, a mid-wife sold an infant for $20 to
collect her fee for delivery of the child.
In Chicago a two-hour-old tot was abandoned in a shoe box on a
busy street by an unmarried mother.
In St. Louis a year-old youngster, happily adopted by a white family,
was returned to an agency when she began to develop Negroid features.
These are some of the estimated 10,000 deserted, neglected, motherless
Negro children who are in desperate need of homes. Victims of the
breakup of some 581,000 colored homes (according to 1947 U.S. census
bureau figures), these 10,000 brown babies are up for adoption but
there are piteously few would-be parents who will take them into
their homes. While for every one of the 150,000 white tots in 1,600
orphanages, there are 10 couples with outstretched arms anxious
to make an adoption, Negro orphans find few takers.
Because so few childless colored couples adopt orphans and because
so many orphanages strictly hold to the color line, there is a growing
crisis for homeless Negro youngsters that rapidly is approaching
calamitous proportions. Such responsible groups as the Illinois
Children’s Home and Aid Society were hit by 90 per cent increase
in Negro tots and had to turn many away. The society was overburdened
not only by the lack of parents willing to adopt the children and
the shortage of foster homes but also by the refusal of some 90
per cent of the state’s 106 institutions to accept Negro children
As a result these unfortunate children grow up unwanted and friendless
in unfit homes or are kept in penal institutions in some states
for lack of a better place – their only crime, that of being
brown. . . .