Thursday, January 29, 2009

Is this child

suitable for adoption?

This was a question which had to be answered in the affirmative before adoption agencies would accept a baby whose mother wished him or her to be placed in an adoptive home. The records I see commonly ask questions like "Is there any history of mental illness within the mother's family?" or "Is there any history of epilepsy?" I had not however seen the following question on an official form before, as asked by the National Adoption Society as recently as 1976:

"Is there any red hair in the family?"

Outrageous.

12 comments:

Karen said...

I started to write a reply but it got rather lengthy so have decided to make it into a blog.

Gill said...

I should have asked that question before I got married and had children!

Fire Byrd said...

Ah, I knew there was always something dodgy about my ex!
xx

John said...

Can I assume that it's because if the child has red hair and the parents don't, everyone will assume the mother has been banging the postman?

Or is it just that nobody wants the shame of having a red-headed child?

J.J said...

Hi Karen - very strange that in teh same year as they introduce the acts against both racism and sex discrimaination that they thought it was acceptable to ask such a question.

Gill - I should have asked about laziness and drunkenness.

Fire Byrd - he certainly always sounds well dodgy when you mention him.

John - I feel the answer to that would be in the eyes of that agency - Both.

Karen said...

I know I am not a 'milkman's child' even though neither of my parents are gingers. Before he went grey my dad had a rather lovely red beard though. And his mum's hair was red. Plus I look very much like my dad apparently.

Reidski said...

Some people look good with red hair - I didn't. Actually, I didn't have red hair, I had bright orange hair when I was growing up. I'm glad I have darker (black??) hair now!

My ginger niece, on the other hand, looks great!

On the subject of Simply Red, always loved the response from Steve Jone (or was it Paul Cook) when told that Mick Hucknall claimed to have been at the Manchester Free Trade Hall for THAT gig in '76: "I don't remember any ginger twat in the crowd that night!"

Jay said...

REally??? Ha! And here's me with my brown-gone-grey hair, and dying it red by choice!!

ROFL!

Not so funny for the poor mothers and babies, however.

J.J said...

Karen - I never quite know who I look like ...hummmm!

Reidski - I need to see the photographic evidence! Love that Hucknell story btw.

Jay - exactly!! Loads of us spend good mone to dye our hair red!

timesnewroman said...

I remember to this day standing outside Woolworths ( 20th C reference) in Irvine High Street roughly I guess 1964 when a busload of U.S sailors passed, stopped, at traffic lights and were a hootin and a hollerin as Americans are prone to do, at this four year old kid. My mother explained it was cos I had red hair and Americans weren't used to that. I no longer have it sadly.

J.J said...

TNR - I bet you were really cute!

Keiron said...

@J.J. Hey, if this really happened and I haven't misunderstood the joke, could you please scan in an example and email it over to me? keiron@gmail.com

I run the gingerism awareness blog over here: gingerism, where I'll post the scan.

Cheers

Keiron