Richard B. McKenzie and Adoption


McKenzie's mother committed suicide and his alcoholic father was unable to care for him, so he was placed in the Barium Springs Home for Children in North Carolina at the age of 10. He remembers his time there as happy and stable, if lacking personal, parental love. But there was no personal, parental love in his prior life either, and he and his fellows were glad of the opportunity to make a fresh start in a supportive, nurturing environment. Most of the children went on to university and successful adult lives.

McKenzie himself is Walter B. Gerken Professor of Enterprise and Society in the Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Irvine, and married with children. His book, The Home, and other papers, make a cogent case for the reinstatement of good orphanages as an alternative for some children from dysfunctional homes.


McKenzie, Richard B. The Home: A Memoir of Growing Up in an Orphanage. (New York: Basic Books, 1996) "Richard B. McKenzie: Curriculum Vita." [Includes portrait]. Available at: