Need list of Maternity Homes in KC, MO
I know that my mother gave birth in the late 60's early 70's. I am trying to find a list of homes, somewhere to start. I have heard of The Willows, The Fairmont home and the Florence Crittenton home. Does anyone know of any other homes? I know the Willows was closed in 1969. What about the other 2 I mentioned? Any information would be helpful!
Thank you,

I too had to begin with takinga loof at Maternity Homes in KC MO.

I don't have a full list but there are 2 ways you can to this and maybe even get ahead of the game.

First, The Main branch of the Kansas City Library has an online dialogue service where you can get on the site, send a question and have a "chat" with a research librarian to get the infor. it's free and works very well.

Also - I found out that in MO, our birth certs are filed in 2 differetn places and the one in Jefferson City, not Kansas City contains the complete information.

Contact Rosalee Schottel at the Dept of Family Services in Jefferson City. She is the adoption specialist. For $15.00 you can get a copy of the orginial cert and it MAY contain the name of the Home. The Kansas City copy will not. I bought both anyway.
Also through Rosalee, for $50.00, you can apply for your "non-identification" information from your adoption file. She was even nice enough to pull the file and read some of it over the phone for me. It confirmed that I was born at The Willows.

I would speak with Rosalee FIRST while she is looking at your file and ask her if there is a lot or just a little there so you know what amount of infor you might be getting so your expectations aren't flattened when the info finally arrives.

that's her email. Her number is (816) 435-4788

Good Luck. Feel free to contact me anytime

I wonder if this is information I can request. I am not the birth mother nor the son. I am his sister. My mom actually does not know that I am aware of the adoption. I got as much information as I could frm my dad, who is also his father, but he knows very little. I do not have a birthdate. Just the hospital, St. Lukes and he narrowed it down to 70-71. I believe the Florence Critttenton home used the St Lukes hosp. Anyway, any clues are helpful.
KC Maternity Homes
As you might have found out by now - the Willows - was a private maternity home for the more affluent customers and in 1969 when it shut down - they tried to get the Dept. of Health to take their records, but they wouldn't so the family took the records out in the back yard so to speak and burned them - I found this out from an old site on the internet! I was so let down when I heard that, as I am searching for my birth mother too!

Good Luck!

You might even be able to write the hospital directly and ask for the birth records - but don't say the word adoption in the request, as you will more than likely not get anything!
Still looking

I took your advice and called Rosalee. You are right, she is a nice understanding lady and tries to be as helpful as possible.

I did not get any really new information, however, except for what I already got by way of CC in KC. I did get clarification on the number of sisters my bmom had but that is about it. I cannot get to my original unaltered birth certificate with out a court order..and that is held in Jefferson City I believe.

The state of MO is one really tightly closed state. It still irks me that as nice as the people are at the other end of the phone, as understanding as they are, and this is not their fault, but it irks me that they can see information about us that we can never know...when what most of us might be content with is just the history of what happened...we are apart of a story we are not even entitled to know..a character in a book that is treated like a non character....a footnote..a fly that was swatted. So the bmom knows the whole tale, the agency knows, the state knows and we can't....somehow that is not a just deal. I know none of us want to cause problems for a birth family and Lord knows we don't want them causing us troubles either which could happen. But we do want information and history so we can feel like we have a place in the world and are not taking up space and air that belongs only to the" ligitimate" members of the human species.

All this said..if people are searching in MO and you know the agency from which the adotion took place, and if it is still there, that is a good place to start. If not, Rosalee's office is a good jumping off place because she could most likely give you the location or no. where to begin.

Good luck all.. I think I am at the end of the line...knowing very very little.

Oh, one thing Rosalee did say was that with some of the cases of years ago, sometimes there was very little effort made to find out any information at all about the mom or dad or background and as little as mine has it is more that many have... Also I asked about the last name...and to be sure..because of the way histories were taken then some names may be the real last names and others not...makes things more complicated.

Social information and background is collected at the time and followup information is almost never provided, the bmoms just don't come back to the issue...for them when the papers are signed the whole thing is finished. Unhappy

I wish I were able to say I am looking forward to somemore information or something anything but it looks pretty grim from here..really a disappointment...kinda hopeless. Guess I'll just have to learn to be content with the tiny bit I have and it isn't much at all.Unhappy
kcmo adoption services
i am searching for my husbands sister that was given u pfor adoption in 1971 she was born at florence crittenton it is no longer here . his sister was born in april of 71 her mother was just 18 and unmarried she is looking to find her daughter that she hated to give up but had no choice she had no home to live in except for her what is now ex mother n law but she is a very sweet loveing person and she only wanted the best for her little girl her maiden name is lyle
maternaty homes in kc
hi it me again and ther are only two maternity homes in kc now and they are highlands child placement services which did some of florence crittentons adoptions and the number is 816 - 924- 6565 and then there is mothers refuge and that number is 816- 356 - 4797 and if u cant get any answers there go to rosealee schotl and her number is 816-435-4788 from what i understand she has all of the records that higlands doesnt she should be very helpful to you but from aug 5th to aug 7th she wll not be in her office i hope this comes as some help for your search
May God bless and keep you through your search you can also reach me if you need to at
Somewhat complete list
I received a packet of photocopied articles from the Kansas City Public Library's Special Collections department just yesterday. In an article by Jennifer Howe from the Kansas City Star Magazine, December 29, 1991, on page 8 she writes "When pregnant young women got off the trains, they found taxis waiting to take them to one of the city's maternity homes, including the Willows, Fairmount, St. Vincent's, Florence Crittenton, Eastside, The Rest Cottage, The Veil."

I know from my own research that the Florence Crittenton Home was converted in 1979 from a maternity home to a psychiatric facility for children and adolescents. This is from a letter I received written by Marty Wellington, Assistant to the CEO at the Crittenton Hospital.

I am currently tracking down the validity of the statement "At the closing and razing of the Willows in 1969, records of its 64 years of operation were piled in the back yard and burned." from the Kansas City Times, May 7, 1982. There is no quote associated with this claim and I am therefore skeptical of it.

As for the other Maternity homes, I know little about them as they have not been linked to my search for my birthparents. If along the way, I discover anything about the other Homes, I will most certainly pass the information along.

I am following your search with much interest. I am in contact with a few people in Kansas City as well. I have not yet found anyone who saw the burning, but I have a line on someonw with supposedly a lot of information on the Willows.

Her brother just died last week. soobviously she asked me to wait for a bit to speak with her. But I will. I will share what I can at that point. Keep cookin'! You're hot stuff!

Sr. Vincent's Hospital and ST. Anthony's Home For Infants
I found your list quite interesting.

Just last June, 03, I went to KC to seek out the location of what once was St. Vincent's Hospital ( where I was born) and St. Anthony's Home for Infants. The gals there were most helpful and sent me a history of the location. I posted the lengthy history on another thread under MO.

That said, the building that once was St. Vincent's Hopspital is now gone and is a parking lot. The area along the fence where St. Anthony's Home for Infants was is a lovely greenelt. The only building still standing is the brick building which house the mothers.

The address of St.Vincet's/St. Anthony's is 3201 E. 23rd St in KC. Howevwer, should anyone want to go see the place the address is 3220 E. 23rd St. It encompasses the whole block. Also you should know that the area which was once a lovely neighborhood is now quite rundown and if you go there it is safe enough during daylight hours but the ladies in the facility there told me it is a crack neighborhood and to be out by sundown.

The grounds are now called Benilde Hall. It is an outpatient, counsellling cacility for drug/alcohol rehab folks and a transitional living area. If anyone would care for a copy of the history of St. Anthony's the no. to call is (816) 842-5836. My search has not provided much except non id information, so to see the place where I was born was meaningful. I was told that now and then they get people who were born there to come and just want to see the place.Good luck.
Heads up from KC
I live in Kansas City and am a nurse at one of the area hospitals. I am helping a friend of mine that was born at one of the homes for unwed mothers, therefore had been inquiring to some friends as to what happened to the old homes. The Willows is rumored that they took the records out back and burned them when the home closed, however I have also heard another rumor that when the owner died, her daughter took possession of the records and has yet to release them to anyone. There was also The Fairmount Maternity on 21st Street and Montgall Avenue and then the Fairmount at 625 Arlington Avenue. The Florence Crittenton Home and St. Anthony's were names of two others. Sometimes mothers would need their children born at a hospital for various reasons, in which case they were transported from the homes for unwed mothers to the Old General Hospital which is now Truman Medical Center. In that case, most times hospitals store those records on microfilm/fiche and in Kansas City, those records would be stored in what is known as the "caves" (a storage unit area underground). If you write the hospital, sometimes they can provide you with the information. Call the medical records department. It would be Truman Medical Center West, since there is also a TMC East in the area. General Hospital used to be on 24th and Cherry. So, if you look on your birth certificate under your adoptive name and it lists this, you know you made a trip to old General Hospital. This hospital closed in 1976 with the opening of Truman Medical Center.
Hope this helps somebody make their way past a dead end.
Flo Crit Kansas City info
I was in Flo Crit from 8-1962 until 2-1963. Babies were born at the facility - 225 W. 43rd St. at Wornall Road - which was located just behind St. Luke's hospital. It still exists today and is part of St. Luke's now, I think accounting offices. The interior is eerily the same as it was 40 years ago. Very few changes have been made. The delivery room is a manager's office now. His desk is where the delivery table was located.

In my 6 months at Crit, all babies were born there. It was said that if complications arose, a girl would be taken to St. Lukes. The doctors that delivered the babies were St. Luke's residents.

As far as birth certificates, I have my son's ORIGINAL and it does say Florence Crittenton Home, but his AMENDED one is blank in that space. The doctor listed as the delivering doctor is NOT the doctor who actually delivered the baby, but some full-fledged doctor apparently. I believe a doctor was paid to sign the birth certificates although he never delivered the babies.

Just the way things were handled in the maternity home world.
"birthmom knows the whole tale"
This is for Blue Irish Eyes.

You stated that the 'birthmom knows the whole tale' in your post where you detailed all the work you've done trying to find your birthmother.

How I wish that were true. The birthmother knows only what happened up until the relinquishment. The birthmother was never given information about the adoptive families - in the 60's and 70's anyway. And certainly, the birthmother is given no names that would help her identify and find her child in the future.

Birthmothers were told to 'forget', 'go on with your life and have other babies' and most importantly 'never tell anyone that you even had a baby'. I have met so many birthmothers who really did forget - details like dates and places. And I find it very sad.

Just as you as an adoptee had a difficult time finding out any hard information that would help you locate a birthmother, birthmother's are not given any information if they contact the adoption authorities today.

I'm also an adoptee and although I've known my birth parents for years, I still can't get the state of Iowa to give me my original birth certificate. I was told to be 'happy that I knew who my parents were'. Such concern and consideration! Very frustrating.
Andromeda, Hi,

What I meant by the bmom knowing the whole tale is she knows who my bfather is and the circumstances of how she came to be pregnant as well as the details of the " constant communication with her family" regarding my placement.

I found her finally by using a well known PI. I called her last Spet and she did not deny that she had me. " Said I would prefer not to pursue this". I wanted medical info and she only mentioned that some had hypertension and there are redheads in the family. She would not tell me who the father is..said I was the result " of an assault" and it was a stressful time. Nevetheless, there was a name and description of the father although nothing else about his background as to his parents etc as was given for her.

In some of the documents at the agency and at the court, I was given some hints as to comments made in the social workers notes and one thing was that " whatever plans were made for the placement of her child, the mother wants as little inconvience as possible and wants to move on with her independence". When I called her I mentioned I lived in CA. Then when the fires broke out I sent a note just saying we were safely away from the threat and hoped she was keeping well. NOt one word more. The note came back in an addressed envelope with a stamp on it not having been read. She really wants nothing to do with me at all. She didn't even want a picture or to know anything about my life..I would think she would have been just a tiny bit interested to know how I made out..was I healthy, was I happy, was I successful, etc.Nope.

I learned my birth grandmother's full name when I sent to the SSN for a copy of her SSN application and I learned I was given her middle name. I was given a white cotton dress for the Christening and I asked bmom if she gave it to me..she said " No I did not" but I bet the grandmother did!

Now I am just doing my own searching to find out lineage...and maybe I can find out somehow the name of my bfather..but so far no luck.

I was born in ST. Vincent's Hospital and put in ST. Anthony's Home for there any way to get the original birthrecord? The court will not provide it, only the copy of the altered one which I have.
More on maternity home history
As far as original birth records, if they exist, they should be with Jackson County Juvenile, I believe. Obviously with all the tight security around adoption records these days, I feel certain that they won't give them to you. I got my son's maternity home birth information years ago and it was not through regular channels. After all, the maternity home wanted us out of the way as quickly and quietly as possible and the juvenile division isn't happy to have to deal with any of us today.

If you used a PI, I assume you probably used the North Carolina person. If so, that is who I used as well in 1987. They live very near my home.

I see your point, Blue Eyes, regarding the birthmother knowing all the information. The information you want. Of course, on the other side, the birthmother knows nothing about the home and family where you were raised. I hate it when a birthmother - or any other searched for individual - appears to be so uninterested when found.

As for what is written in the files about the attitude of the birthmother wanting as little hassle as possible, try to take that with a grain of salt. Those agencies were determined to portray birthmothers in passive and unemotional terms. My own file was very matter of fact, devoid of any humanity in describing me. I was a young girl who played the piano. I was alot more than that but they didn't want me to come alive and seem real to adoptive parents, I suppose. In case some soft hearted couple might actually show interest in the girl behind the baby they sought.

The main purpose of background or history on birthmothers was to assure the couple that the baby would be reasonably intelligent and healthy, not that the mother wanted it. Quite the contrary. I think they painted the picture that mothers didn't want babies to ease any twinge of regret or guilt that a potential couple might have. After all, they were the paying customers, not the mother. The mother supplied the baby for free. And she paid to stay at the home until delivery. And she worked at jobs in the home -including taking care of babies in the nursery. Girls not only supplied the babies that made money for the agency, they kept the maternity home running on a shoestring with their unpaid labor.

I'm sorry you have had little success in finding information. Your birthmother or her family are your best source for information that you seek, particularly re the father. Agencies didn't want too much information on fathers, I suppose, hoping he would never pop up in person - which most did not. As for the original birth certificate NOT having the father's name on was assumed if a woman was not married that she did not know who the father was. And with no name, they did not have to get his signature on a relinquishment. A rather disgusting ploy but effective for years of adoption paperwork. Of the 40 or 50 girls I knew in 62-63, I'll bet 90% or more gave the father's name freely and willingly. We talked about the fathers all the time among ourselves.

I have met birthmothers like the one you found, uninterested at best. I don't know or understand why they feel that way. Adoption affects each of us in different ways but I don't think there is any excuse for ignoring someone who has made an effort to find them in spite of a hostile and closed adoption machine.
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