March 23rd, 2007
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There are many maternity homes through out the United States. Some still exist and some no longer exist. This 2 part blog series is touching base on only a few. If there is a particular maternity home you are interested in, please let me know.

Booth Memorial Hospitals
There were Booth Memorial Hospitals in most major U.S. cities and they were run by the Salvation Army. The hospitals are closed now and the records have been warehoused.

The contact information is as follows:

Central Territory Headquarters
10 W. Algonquin Road
Des Plaines, IL 60016-6006
Serving the states of: MI, IN, IL, WI, MN, ND, SD, IA, MO, NE, KS

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Phone: 1-847-294-2090

Eastern Territory Headquarters
440 West Nyack Road
West Nyack, NY 10994-1739
Serving the states of: ME, VT, NH, MA, CT, RI, NY, NJ,
DE, PA, OH, N.KY, PR, VI
Phone: 1-845-620-7330

Southern Territory Headquarters (Sorry no webpage found)
1424 NE Expressway
Atlanta, GA 30329-2088
Serving the states of: MD, W.VA, VA, S.KY, TN, NC, SC,
GA, FL, MS, AL, AR, LA, OK, TX, DC

Western Territory Headquarters
180 East Ocean Boulevard
Long Beach, CA 90802
1 800 698-7728
Serving the states of: MT, WY, CO, NM, AZ, UT, ID, NV, CA, OR, WA, HI, AK
Contact Person: Leslie Peacock
Phone: 1-800-698-7728

California, San Francisco – St Elizabeth’s Maternity Home
Anyone born at this Maternity Home might have trouble locating it because of the name change. This is now known as: Mt. St. Jospeph-St. Elizabeth and the address for contact is:
100 Masonic Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 567-8370

Delaware – The Veil & Dr. Niles
This is a Black Market Adoption Doctor in Delaware, his name was Dr. Jerome Niles, he is now deceased. The Veil (maternity home & hospital) no longer exists. The Veil also existed in Langhorne, PA. Most Babies born were between 1920 – 1950′s. and were mostly Jewish cultured, some Italian birth families, mostly from New York City or New York state, some from Northern New Jersey.

Bessie Bernard was placing babies from both Veils, who helped the doctors sell babies between the two Veil homes. Research that has been conducted by a DE Search and Support group called Finders Keepers has learned that most of the birth certificates were falsified and that all the birth certificates say “Born in Middletown, Delaware”. Most of the adoptions Dr. Niles facilitated were placed with rich Jewish Families in New York state, New York City, or Northern New Jersey.

28 Responses to “Maternity Homes Part 1”

  1. Krissy says:

    My husband is trying to find his birthmother who stayed at Booth Memorial in Philadelphia, PA. This was a Salvation Army unwed mother’s home and hospital I believe. Do you have any idea how he could go about finding her? Would the Salvation Army help in the search? Also, what was the Philadelphia Booth unwed mother’s home and hospital like at this time? Just wondering. He desparately wants to fill in pieces to his life. He also has SERIOUS medical reasons for wanting to know. Thank you.

  2. Krissy says:

    I wanted to add something to my last comment. I asked what the unwed mother’s home was at this time. She (Florence – don’t believe this was her real name) was in the home – Booth Memorial in Philly PA in 1961 and 62 I believe. My husband was born in Jan. 1962

  3. Barstamp says:

    What was your husband’s birth name? Does he know his birth mother’s name?

    Thank you.

    • Krissy says:

      Just noticed your questions, Barstamp, sorry so late. I hope you get to read this, as it is two and a half years late! His preadoption record (which he got the last year before the records were sealed) lists his name as Ralph James Brush and the name of the birth mother as Florence Joan Brush (although I honestly have come to believe that this is a made up name). I have my reasons for believing this. If you think you can help please email me at fisherkristina@aol.com — we are desparate.

  4. rosaletta says:

    I delivered my daughter at Booth Maternity Hosp. run by the Salvation Army in July, 1962. I was able to keep my daughter & raise her. Booth was a scary place. The social workers hinged onto you & harassed you until you caved in. My grandmother never left my side. I went for out-pt. visits & then delivered there. Delivery was awful, they were not kind folks. I also thought that perhaps they were using experimental drugs on the mothers just a feeling that I have.
    Roseanne

    • mclea1ah says:

      Dear Rosaletta,

      I also gave birth at Booth Memorial Center in Philadelphia on City Line Avenue in 1983, under different circumstances. By then it was run by midwives, who were shockingly uncaring. After a “normal” delivery, I began having intense pain and swelling that did not resolve. The midwife in charge of me told me I should shut up or I might need a catheter, but never did look at my swelling. It was 12 hours before anyone looked at it (a nurse; no midwife). She said it was a massive that could burst any time and I had to undergo surgery to avoid hemorrhage. Apparently that uncaring attitude persisted among some staff. Ironically the doctors were phenomenal.

  5. rosaletta says:

    oh sorry I did not include this the Booth Maternity Hosp. that I was in was off City Line Avenue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  6. ncstone says:

    While searching for my wife’s mother’s history, we found that there was also a Veil Maternity Hospital in Corry, PA,founded and operated by a Dr. Janes. It was in operation from the 19 teens until 1929 when it was taken over by a Dr. Rees and operated as Home Maternity Hospital. In 1936 Janes was denied licensing by Pennsylvania for another Veil in West Chester, Dauphin County, PA because his continued violations of PA statutes.

    We too are searching for a birth parents connection. We believe the birth mother was June Davidson Bishop and the child’s birth name was Dorothy Lane Bishop. If anyone has seen these names before, please let us know.

    • babs says:

      I am looking for my Dads’ birth mother. He was born in Corry Pa 1931 with A.G. Rees as the doctor. Have you had any success in finding any information about the hospital? It seems like the name we were given is non exciting? Mary Ann McGuire. Did you find any information? If so, could you lead me in the right direction? Thanks! Barb
      lbsmith@atlatnicbb.net

  7. jvincea says:

    I have a cousin who was adopted around 10 years of age by my uncle. I set out a year ago on a mission to help him locate his birth parents or siblings. The information I found was scattered but here we go. His birth name was Joseph Barnes born November 12 1961 @ booth Memorial in Grand Rapids Michigan. His parents were healthy and around 14-16 years of age, he was given up at birth. When he was in a foster home he was in a area were his birth mother stayed so they changed his last name to the foster families name. The town was ST. Joseph. I hope someone would be able to assist me in helping my cousin locate his birth relatives.

  8. copperjil says:

    I am a birthmother who stayed at St. Agnes Foundling home in Kalamazoo MI. I would like to be able the reconstruct the experience in my memory by talking with others who stayed there. Also, Karen, if you have any contact information about the records please let me know.

    • jayliz says:

      Hello
      I am trying to gather information on the Salvation Army Homes for Unwed Mothers, specifically the home that was operated in Kent County, Grand Rapids, MI. I was born at that hospital in 1975. My birth name on my Salvation Army Hospital Record was Amy Jessica Bussing, though it was changed when I was six months old.
      I primarily am looking to gather information on how the homes were operated, to hear experiences of the women that lived there or staff that worked there. Where was it located? What was a typical day? Did the children live there? What brought the ladies there? Did they continue to go to school? Were they visited by their families? Were they pressured to give their children up for adoption? Was it a good experience? Was it a bad experience?
      I am not successful in finding any historical information on these homes other than what is written regarding the Booth Family, snippets of things I read on sites such as this or what is on the S.A. website. Please rest assured that no ill will is intended here. I am life long supporter of the Salvation Army and am respectful of the privacy of others. I am not asking for anyone to give me their names or identifying information. I just would like to know what it was like. If you are willing to share your story or experience, please email it to me chantilla_edwards@yahoo.com. I won’t reply or try to contact you if you would prefer. I just want to know how it was at that time.
      I thank you.
      Kindest Regards,
      CEB

  9. balaney says:

    Hi
    I have met someone whose mother was a twin born at Borgess 1960. The sister twin was taken away and the mother told she only had one child. The other twin, I believe is my friend. Her parents never said she was adopted but the two are identical. Was there a baby scam going on back then in Kazoo? I am requesting the name of the dr from the twin I do not know. Their birthdates are one week apart.

  10. balaney says:

    to Jvincea – I live in St Joseph – the town that is. There is also a St JOseph county – if it is St Joseph, and you have any research you need done, let me know.

  11. jvincea says:

    I WAS GRATEFUL TO FIND MY COUSINS BIRTH FAMILY 2.5 MONTHS AGO!! THEY STILL LIVED IN BENTON HARBOR TOWNSHIP, NEAR ST.JOSEPH MICHIGAN. ITS ALMOST AS IF THEY NAMED HIM (THE DOCTORS,MIDWIVES, ECT DONT KNOW) TO REFLECT WHERE HE WAS FROM. JOSEPH BARNES WAS BORN AT BOOTH MEMORIAL AND THE ONLY INFORMATION THAT MADE ME LOOK DEEPER INTO THAT AREA WAS THE FACT WHEN HE WAS 6 HE WAS IN A FOSTER HOME IN BENTON HARBOR AND THEY CHANGED HIS LAST NAME SO HIS BIRTH FAMILY COULDNT IDENTIFY HIM. ALSO THE FACT ON SOME ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS THAT I HAD HIM OBTAIN FROM A BOYS HOME INCLUDED A CLOSE RANGE AGE OF HIS MOTHER AND THAT HER FATHER DIED AT 45 YEARS OF AGE. ALL CRUCIAL INFORMATION WHEN CALLING NUMBERS IN THE AREA FROM A ONLINE PHONE DIRECTORY. TAKE YOUR CHANCES IF YOU WERE BORN IN BOOTH, THEY GAVE YOU YOUR BIRTH PARENT, PROBABLY MOTHERS LAST NAME!! GOOD LUCK AND GOD BLESS YOU!

    • Krissy says:

      jvincea, Can you please tell me who gives you the birthmother’s name or last name? Would it be the Booth Memorial Hospital in which the adoptee was born? I believe the Booth Maternity Home and Booth Memorial Hospital in Philadelphia no longer exists. We have contacted The Salvation Army and they have stated that the records of the births of the babies were “accidentally destroyed” for the years of 1961 and 1962 (and 1963 also?), but that all other years existed, and that if my husband was born another year, they would have given him the information. I find that strange and don’t know if they’re telling the truth (told him his birthmother’s name). The woman who answered the phone was going to give him information, said, “I’ll be right back and set down the phone,” returned to the phone, and that’s when she told us the records were destroyed for the year he was born. Where do we turn from here? And why isn’t Salvation Army cooperating? Or are the records of The Salvation Army, where Booth Babies in Philly, PA are concerned, really destroyed and gone? If anyone knows the answer, please help.

      • jvincea says:

        If your husband had a last name on his original birth certificate, that is the last name you should look for. Whatever city state he was born in look using the online phone directory for the last name and if you have an age range look for women in that age range. Say for instance if his mother had him at 13 do the math. My cousins last name turned out to be his biological mothers last name and it still is her last name. He looks just like his uncles, its unbelievable. I have faith you can find them because I did in less than 1 year without the help of booth or salvation Army. I hope this helps you out a bit.

  12. fenstermacher4 says:

    We are looking for my brother who was born at BOOTH MEMORIAL HOSPITAL IN PHIALDELPHIA PA, They lied so much back then. His true bday is

    12/19/1964 they could of fudged that by a day or so on the b certificate.

    My mother was 15 at the time. She had no one but the baby’s father and he was not permitted to have contact with her.

    She said most women were called by different names. She used her middle name Dianne. NO last names were used.

    She said everyone was cold and you were just a number there.

    I want to find my brother so he knows the truth. If he wouldnt want a relationship i would understand and so would my mom. There were lies on top of lies so i feel he needs to know the truth!

    His birth name was

    PAUL SCOTT MEYERS

    Birthdate 12/19/1964

    My mom said she was the only one there that day that gave birth and she clearly said that she was the only one in the few days. No one the day before and no one the day after. She said he was adopted through Northamton County.

    My mom is very open about it I guess it helps to talk about it God willing we will find him.

  13. katyk8 says:

    My mother was born at Booth Memorial in Grand Rapids in March of 1955. I’m searching for her mother and doing a college research paper for a Grand Rapids History class in the process. If there’s anyone who can give me info on how to begin finding her, or has to something to share about the hospital itself in the post-war era; I’d love to chat with you. Thanks in advance for your time!

  14. ianandrachelsmom says:

    My sister was born at Booth Memorial Hospital(Phila)in January 1968 to an african american mother. I am uncertain of her name. My mom said she called her Diane. My mothers last name is Cox. If anyone has any information please contact me at likecandee@hotmail.com. this is the first step i have taken to find my sister. If anyone has any information about Booth Memorial Hospital in Phila please feel free to contact me.

    Thank you,

  15. Barstamp says:

    I made a mistake on the date of my son’s birth; it was December 1961. My experience with Booth, in Philly was not bad at all. They were good to me. The labor was long, but I never felt I was experimented on. I did check with them and was told the records for 61/62 were destroyed in a fire.

  16. juliepeterson says:

    Has anyone ever heard of the Ruth Potter Hospital in Fremont, NE. My mother was born there in 1936. Dr. Charlotte Seivers was the doctor there. I can’t find ANYONE who was born there.

    Also, does anyone know where to find records of the Mason-Eastern Star Children’s home from 1936. It’s possibly she was there temporarily.

    thanks!

  17. whitebeare says:

    i am looking for my son who was born on july 25 1976 in st.elizabeth in san franisco ca he has been in my heart and on my mind all these years

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