The American Experience: The Orphan Trains

The American Experience: The Orphan Trains was broadcasted through the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and can be found on VHS or DVD.

IMDb: 7.8 out of 10

Categories: Documentaries

Ages: all


This documentary is about The Orphan Trains established by a minister, Charles Loring Brace who also created the Children’s Aid Society in New York. This film shows experiences of some of those who rode on these trains as children. Several riders share their story about where they were sent and how grateful they were to move out west. We learn where the idea of orphan trains came about, how they worked, and the results they had.


This documentary is moving with heartfelt stories and tear-jerking moments. It was shown on television in 1995 through PBS. Though this may be an older documentary, it shares an important part of adoption history in the U.S.

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Link to the website with information on the documentary: [[1]]