Sunday, April 13, 2008

Home Children

I never gave much thought to the orphan train movement until I wrote Once Jilted. Even then, I only researched America’s Orphan Train movement because our related stories all dealt with children who rode the train in search of new homes across the wide expanse of states.

However, as I was looking for more information, I stumbled across information about other projects similar to the Orphan Train movement. Thousands of homeless waifs were sent from England to Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Orphan boats carried these “home children” from impoverished situations in England to become indentured servants to Canadian farmers or wards of the state in Australia and New Zealand. Many ended up in children’s orphanages abroad only to suffer abuse and mental anguish. In some cases, the children were stolen from their families to be placed in impossible situations. I’m thinking there’s a story here, one involving a hero or heroine with a similar background.

Regardless, I found it interesting to note that America was not the only country involved in this practice and children from all over either prospered or suffered according to the situations they found themselves in.

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